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With Valentine’s Day only a day away, love and passion are in the air. Unfortunately, many people spend more than half their waking hours doing work for which they feel no passion, living a work life of gloom and misery.

That passion has to be spontaneous and cannot be forced is an unfortunate myth in our culture; people think you can either love your job or not. However, in reality, passion can be created by tweaking the activities and pursuits you engage in. All it takes is a bit of patience and an open mind; the process of seeking what you love and turning it into a successful career is possible.

Here are some ways to fire your enthusiasm and passion:

  • Be curious. Curiosity is the basis of passion; keep things interesting by taking a fresh perspective and a novel approach to your work.
  • Break the frustration barrier. You can do this by tweaking the challenge. For instance, if an activity is too difficult for you to become enthusiastic about it, worry less about results and concentrate on experimenting and building up skills.
  • Remove the chains. Feeling forced into an activity is a sure way to kill passion. Resisting the flow of work and the given tasks will only make you more miserable. Keep in mind that there are consequences for not taking action and remember, you always have a choice.
  • Focus on the present. When you find a task overwhelming, don’t stress about what needs to be done next month or next year, focus on the immediate action needed. Focus on each step of the marathon, not on how many miles you have left.

No one can be in ‘a state of passion’ all the time. Inevitably, there will be boring and uninteresting routine administrative tasks that you dread. The key is to recognise when you are in one of these bored phases and figure out how to improve the situation and get those passion juices flowing again.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan

The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, eLearning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com

First published on February 12, 2012, in the Careers Section of the DAWN National Advertiser.