Chapter seven "The Power of Passion" in Making the Impossible Possible challenges people to find the real passions in their lives. Bill Strickland shows several examples in which he noticed his passion for something new. He discusses how after flying for the very first time, he knew he had to become a pilot and so he did! He became a pilot even after several setbacks and disappointments. He became successful by pursuing his passion; his passion told him that he it was imperative that he become a pilot. He did not allow this daunting task overwhelm him or make him run away in fear. A person's passions are powerful tools in this way.
The most significant quote in this chapter that stuck out to me was on page 170. In this passage Bill Strickland discusses how easy it is to figure out your passions, but how terrifying it can be to follow them. Strickland states,
"(T)he things you are passionate about won't leave you alone. They're the ideas and hopes and possibilities your mind naturally gravitates to, the things you would focus your time and attention on for no other reason than that doing them feels right. Passions are irresistible and relentless; they tug at your sleeve, demanding your attention. It's no trick to recognize your passions. The hard part is trusting in them as an organizing principle in your life. Why is it so difficult? The problem is fear. We're afraid that following our passions will make us look impractical, ineffectual, self-indulgent or even irresponsible" (170).
I found this passage very powerful. I found it relevant to my own life and applicable to many others. Strickland tells us that our passions are not those things that we have to do; passions are things that we want to do. Our hearts and minds constantly tell us to make them happen. Strickland states that it can be easy to find a passion, but many people shy away from that important passion because of fear. We are not only afraid of failure, but how others will perceive our passions.
I believe this concept of passions can be seen in many teachers and students across the country. Every day in the back of a teacher's mind he tells himself that today will be different; he will instill change in the lives of students. But the restrictions of the school only allow him to focus on the all important curriculum surrounded by standardized testing. If this teacher goes outside of these defined lines he may be seen as unconventional, so he backs away from his true passion. It can also be seen in students. Something in a student's hearts is badgering him to become a teacher. The problem is this student is barely passing any of his classes and his family does not even expect him to graduate high school. For this student it seems very easy to run away from his passion and just keep living his life.
With that said my question is how can we help teachers and students to not only find their passions, but to explore them and make these passions become a reality?
In the following article, the author discusses the challenges he faces while trying to discover his passion and then pursuing that passion.
And last but not least, just a little bit of humor.