Loren at Writing Power asked a question the other day that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, since I’ve been thinking about metaphors and how language affects our thinking and behavior.
“What term would you like to see replace “passion” in our personal development lexicon?”
The reason we want to switch terms is because passion’s etymological roots and current connotation don’t capture the concepts or feelings that we’re trying to describe.
More from Loren:
“First, the word’s etymological root is not pleasant. It comes from a Latin verb, passio, which means “to suffer.” (Think of the movie title “The Passion of the Christ.”) So a writer might choose to use the word “passion” instead of “delight” or “love,” in order to emphasize a feeling [that’s] so powerful, it’s painful.”
Also think about how the word is used in both the sexual and emotional senses. When I say I’m passionate about writing, I don’t mean that it causes me to suffer, or that it arouses me, or that it’s some uncontrollable facet of my existence.
So, we’re a bit stuck. If we use passion in its specific sense, then it doesn’t work. But if we use it in its extended sense, it gets thrown in with other concepts that we don’t want, either.
The recurring braintornado that I’ve been having has been centered on play, muse, flow, and fire. Weird, I know, but I’m prone to weirdness, as this post clearly shows.
I stumbled upon a word that captures (I think) the spirit, but it’s somewhat of an ugly one. Before I introduce the word, I’ll give its meaning: the energy or force within us that causes us to live, grow, and develop.
People who do what they love to do draw energy from within – their doing what they do does not drain them, but rather brings them to life.
The word that refers to that energy or force is “vitality.”
It’s too bad it’s not nearly as easy to use as “passion.” Maybe it’s a stab in the right direction?
Join the conversation – what term would you like to see replace “passion”?
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