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Do You Have Passion-Ways to Tell If You Do

Updated on November 26, 2012

What is Passion?

Have you ever thought about the subject of passion? Recently, a friend asked how I managed to juggle a number of things in my life while still finding the time to write. I replied it was my sanity, my passion.

Webster’s dictionary and Wikipedia’s definition of passion may not agree that it has any semblance of logic or reasonableness to it at all. The inference is that passion is beyond any sensibility; it engulfs and consumes…

One way to tell if you have passion

There was one other time in my life when I was consumed with the passion of a project. I didn’t even realize it until a co-worker remarked about this, following my enthusiastic sharing of my new passion: owning and operating a dance studio and the places I envisioned it reaching.

“Denise,” she said quietly after I had finished, “it is clear you have a real passion for what you are doing.”

I hadn’t thought about it until my friend, who is a social worker, pointed it out to me. That is one of the ways you can tell it is passion-you aren’t even aware of the fact that you are constantly thinking and talking about this subject. In the situation of the dance studio it had been a lifelong dream of mine to have my own studio. That dream came true over three decades later in my mid forties and it was on my mind continuously.

Passion Engulfs You

Here is another fact: it is not something that deflates, but elates. It lifts your mood. Just imagine being passionate about another individual. You are so in love that your mind rearranges your life around the love for that person. The sun does not just rise-it rises in a beautiful display of rich color in which you may sigh heavily and think, “I wish Donna could see this; if only she were here with me now to share this moment.”

Or, a commercial for a Caribbean getaway comes on television and you have seen it a zillion times, but now it is a message that prompts you to think of your loved one. “That is the perfect place for Joe and I to vacation,” you may think to yourself; never minding the cost, the time off of work or the need to place your pooch in a kennel for a week. It is enough to know that the commercial was a reminder that you and your lover deserve that special trip.

Passion excites, exhilarates, and electrifies. It prompts you to want share your passion with the world, in whatever form it may take: painting, sculpting, biking, writing. Whatever happens to light your fire-the fire that burns within the very marrow of you, is what your soul is impassioned about.

How My Passion Consumes Me

For me, it happens to be writing. I know this by the goals that I set for myself; my attempts to hone my craft; the fact that I consider it a craft and not a hobby; the decision to write regardless of any monetary gains and despite any monetary shortcomings; the hours of sleep I lose when engrossed in a writing project; forgetting that at some point I went from hunger to not eating and not noticing; and, most importantly, being aware that my mind is continuously filing away hub ideas

Passion is Contagious

One year ago while visiting my children in Michigan I carried my camera with me at all times. As the proud grandmother of four it would be simple enough to say it was to catch those candid moments with my grandkids. While that may be some of the truth, it was not the whole truth.

The other reason was to take pictures of everything and anything for the next hub I would write. In fact, I stopped to photograph things so often that my oldest daughter finally commented that it was all I was thinking of.

Well, fast forward a few months from that date and she became a Hubpages member and caught the bug as well. No longer does she chide me about my habit. In fact, I had to smile one afternoon when she shared with me that she had bought some flowers and fresh fruit and vegetable to take ‘still life’ photos for her hubs.

Let your passion embrace you


Passion is Unstoppable

Being passionate about something does not end with a person, a talent or a particular object. It can be an idea, a charity or a cause that stirs the fires within. Whatever you are passionate about you will know it. It is not something that fades away with time or with the next fad that comes along. You don’t lose your enthusiasm about it if someone tells you that it is a silly idea. You don’t forget about it when you go to bed at night and get up for breakfast the next morning.

You realize that it is the still, small voice inside you prompting, nudging, tickling, cajoling. It is the whisper you hear walking alone, or the clang in your head when the message is ignored. It is the heartbreak you feel when you are separated from this that absorbs you so completely. It is the loneliness you bear when you spend time doing something other than what you love.

Like lovers reaching across an empty space toward each other, it is the mystery of whatever prompts us to be more than we knew we could be.

To be passionate about what you love is to die for…


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello meenakshivadla, I'm glad to hear from you again. I am curious what path you are on at this time...what is your current interest? Thank you, I consider you my friend as well.

    • profile image

      meenakshivadla 4 years ago

      Thank you Denise ,I am very comfortable now. I am trying a lot of things hope i would achieve my dream soon.I am utilizing my potential to fullest and I feel very comfortable writing to you . I think you as a close friend of mine.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, meenakshivadia, I appreciate you returning to this page. There are many inspirational books that encourage us to live a 'passionate' life. Many of the great biographical books tell stories of people who followed their dreams despite adversity.

      I would encourage you to study some of the writers here and get an idea of what works for them; also, read the Learning Center tips. Then, try your hand at writing your first hub about something you are familiar with. Best of luck to you.

    • profile image

      meenakshivadla 4 years ago

      Thank you Denise i was in a confusion these many days surely i'll report you.I love your writing style !

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      meenakshivadla, why must you choose? Passion is not stagnate, it is a dynamic flow. When you are in the midst of passion, all time stops and other menial tasks fall by the wayside.

      Don't make a decision to choose this or that...choose to LIVE LIFE BOLDY and with courage. Engage in one of your interests fully. When that wanes, pick up another interest. If they happen to coincide both at the same time, pursuit both.

      If you are trying to make a decision about school or a career-start on the path of general classes and see what interests you the most. The place you start at may not be the place you end up at and there is NOTHING wrong with this.

      It is important to stay open and flexible to life. That is moving with the source of the spiritual flow that guides us all. When we are guided by our hearts all is well. When we think and analyze our decisions with our head, we stumble and block ourselves.

      Go with the most obvious and see where that takes you and stay in the moment.

      I hope this helps; do check back in with me now and then to report how you are doing...You are at the beginning of your journey of must learn to bend like the willow and not stand strong like the rock. The rock gets warn down with the force of life's flow and there is nothing left but pebbles in the stream.

    • profile image

      meenakshivadla 4 years ago

      i am 20 years old i have passion for many things dont know which one to choose what should i do?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Kerry. :) I hope you enjoy the w/e.

    • profile image

      Kerry43 5 years ago

      Good for you, Denise :) I'm fine, thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours xxx

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Kerry-I appreciate your feedback and agree with you. Passion and the word 'madly' go hand in hand. I once dreamed of having a dance studio (I was 16). When I was in my 40's it finally came into reality. In the meantime I lived, breathed and visualized the dream. When it came to pass I would stay up late working on ideas; listen to music in the care as my husband drove, charting choreography notes; talking incessantly and excitedly about the studio to anyone who would was my love and passion. To be honest, other than writing, I have not experienced passion in a long time...sad, isn't it.

      How are you? Happy Thanksgiving to you. :) Hugs to you.

    • profile image

      Kerry43 5 years ago one of your responses above - just don't start chopping off your ears, Denise! :)

      Being passionate about something truly is like being madly in love. When you wake up and it's the first thing you think about, or it gives you that little tingly feeling like a first love leaves goosebumps, then you can be sure it's something you're passionate about.

      Good job, I love this hub!


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Maria, what a nice surprise to open and read this comment from you this afternoon. I'm minutes from leaving for work so I will savor that I have a 'motivating' style of writing.

      Thanks for the votes up and etc. I hope you also have a wonderful week. :) The bond is mutual.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi Denise,

      You, girlfriend, are someone whom I feel a bond with and I will be checking out more of your writing again. It would be amazing to read more in your soul series when you are so inspired.

      You are truly infectious with your motivating and generative style.

      Voted UP & UABI. Have a fabulous week Hugs, Maria

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks eddiecarrara, for commenting. I believe your question is one many, many people ponder. There are some wonderful books that steer one to reflecting on this issue. But, for me it is a heartfelt desire and one that brings us joy. If we are doing what we love, all time stands still. We lose track of time and the 'work' becomes 'play'. Even in the midst of doing something junky, we love it because we know it is part of our passion.

      Listen to your heart and inquire into what it yearns for. Happy New Year.

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      This is one question that has haunted me forever, What is my passion? I have searched for my passion for years, yet I have only had small signs for what I am searching for. I'm hoping one day the teacher will appear. Good hub, very thought provoking, voted up and interesting.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Adrienne for reading and your thoughtful feedback. Can one have more than one passion? I suppose they can-I'm passionate about my writing, but I am also passionate about my spirituality and my family. In many ways they all intertwine. Maybe that is what happens with someone who is multi talented. Good question. Thanks.

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 6 years ago from Atlanta

      Nicely written hub on passion Denise. I agree with @happyboomernurse that passion can help lead you to your life's purpose. Question: What happens when you have more than one passion? I have had conversations in the past with some old classmates who are very talented, and passionate toward more than one skill. I think a person can have more than one passion. Yes? Sorry, to gebber on about multi-passionate individuals.

      Your examples of how to tell if you have passion are excellent tests for a person to know if they have passion or not. Great hub. Have voted up!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Izlpio90-thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate it. :)

    • lzlpio90 profile image

      lzlpio90 6 years ago

      This is a very inspiring article! You are right, even me have hard time sleeping recently. All i can think of is about what to write for my next hub. My mind is fill with ideas it makes me hard to sleep... I love the way you write. I have learned new words from your hub.. Nice and interesting!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Gail...with the new job coming soon it is a difficult place with J. He has settled down now, and knows that this behavior is taken seriously. I'll let you know when I hear about the job. Thanks.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for the update. We've had company all weekend and our great-nephew is staying with us for the rest of this week so I've barely been on Hub Pages since posting the


      Hope you get the guidance you need from your nephew's doctor.

      Waiting is always tough (especially for me, so I can really empathize). Am praying for you.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail-I'm so humbled by your nomination and frankly, didn't know what you were referring to until I chatted with Cara this w/e. So, thank you! I sure do appreciate this kind acknowledgement.

      It's been wild at home this past week, with my nephew...and I am waiting to see his doc with him on the 25th for some guidance. (still no word from the new job re: a start date. :( I'm a bit impatient!)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Am nominating you for the "Most Supportive Hubber" Hubbie Award because you're not only passionate about your own writing, but are always so supportive of other hubbers including myself. You always acknowledge milestones and give excellent feedback and I appreciate that.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Sofs-thanks so much for reading this and commenting. I had to chuckle about people looking at you oddly-yes, they will never know the excitement we feel.

      So, it was my passion for writing, I am sure, that clinched my new position for me! What a wonderful feeling that was. I wish both of us a long career in living out our passion, my friend!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Denise, it is one of the many things that I think we share in common. My passion consumes me ..I love to write, to wield my camera to get the best pictures, to make the best out of my kids .. in general a robust love of life.. I was so happy reading this hub, sometimes people give me that all knowing look.. as much as to say there you go.. :) But it is our passion that makes others envy us :)

      I have written so much on this subject in my blog and other places. :) Glad to read your views :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Audrey, thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate your visit and comments. Have a wonderful w/e. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      With a passion like yours, it is contagious. And I am sure you have influenced many lives, both young and old with passion and enthusiasm. You automatically attract others to you, even without knowing it. And I am so attracted to this hub, along with all your others. Thank you dear Denise. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Fucsia, for visiting the hub and commenting. I am sure you are a very passionate person. It is difficult to discern which passion to follow. It takes patience, attention and I think, sensing into what is in your heart. Good luck to you with your investigation.

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 6 years ago

      Once I thought not to have a passion. I felt lost, without try a sense in my life. I did not understand that my heart is full of passions, I simply could not see them because I had no trust in myself.

      Now I am trying to understand which of these passions is worth to pursue.

      In the meantime I feel rich, because my heart and my mind are rich.

      Thank for sharing your passion and for this great Hub!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Sue. I feel the same way. I was writing and had joined a women's writing guild (see A Circle of Women) but it wasn't going anywhere. Sometimes our writing requires privacy (journals) and other times it requires an audience. I had progressed to the point that I was starving for an audience and was grateful for this website that fullfilled that need. Have fun.

      BTW-did you find your way to Sesame Street? LOL

    • SueShepard profile image

      SueShepard 6 years ago from USA

      I love this hub! I never knew I had a passion until I discovered Hubpages, really. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here so far! Voted Up and Useful!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Kath-Whenever I think of people being 'too passionate' I immediately think of artists, like Van Gogh. I don't think there is anything wrong with being 'too passionate' as long as it is comeing from the heart and not the 'crazy place' in our heads, LOL I can get that way too...for me, as a psych nurse, I think-manic???? LOL It is a fine line-thanks for reading.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Most interesting topic Denise, unfortunately I think I can be a bit too passionate sometimes, or shall I say "extreme"

      It really is a fine line. Thanks for sharing, good job.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Bluestar-I will bet that the lines get mixed with all three at times, between 'obsession' and 'passion'. I know for me it is a fine line between what I love the most-grandkids being top of the list also; and what I am 'crazy' about. Thanks for your comments.

      Hi Jo-thanks! It is always wonderful to visit your site and read your beautiful wisdom. Take care.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 6 years ago

      This is wonderful Denise! I can certainly appreciate your passion and think it's wonderful that we have this in common! take care..voted up and shared

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Beautifully written Denise. I have three passions that almost consume every hour of my day at the moment. My horse, Blue (actually he is more of an obsession), my Grandson, Callum, and last but not least, my writing. Thank you for sharing. x

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Ruby-I agree-mine as well. Thanks for your comments and I'll stop by your site soon. :)

      Sima-so good to see you. How are you? Thanks for your comments. I'm still hoping to get to Michigan this summer. Will look you up if I do.

      Passion is an interesting thing-the fires will burn whether there is an audience to appreciate it or not...and then, in some mysterious way the audience appears to recognize the work after all.

      I suppose it is similar to the movie: Field of Dreams-if you build it they will come. It is an amazing reciprocal effect.

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Denise, I appreciate this hub on passion. I like when you said...."the fire that burns within the very marrow of you.." Then you mentioned that your daughter picked up her pen(computer) to do the same as you.

      I think having a following is another sign of passion - it rubs off on others.

      Lastly, you mentioned that passion is "Unstoppable," that put the icing on the cake.

      Thanks for the sincere share.


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great article Denise. I guess right now my passion is Hubpages, writing and reading poetry. I'm happy to have a passion. I know people who have no interests at all. Thank you for sharing.


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      First, thank you all for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. I think the subject of passion is one we all wonder about in our writing. Second, I would that if you are here at HP your writing is not just a mere hobby. If you have any doubts about your passion just look at what you have accomplished and the tenacity and determination it took to do that.

      Gail-I was unaware of the book you mentioned and I thank you for that. I'll look into that one-jotted it down to remind me, LOL No, I have not written about the dance studio experience yet, other than writing the hub: Creative Dance Experience-how to choose a studio.

      Phoebe-thank you for your comments. Sometimes, this cinder for me is more like a gnat that won't go away or rest until I pay attention to it, LOL

      Thanks Marie for your comments. I agree, when you lose yourself there is a joy that is part of the process.

      Cara-very funny, honey. I appreciate your comments. Turns out the hub wrote itself. I didn't think I was ready yet, but it is kind of like labor-the baby won't wait to come into the world!

      Micky-thanks for stopping by and commenting. Nice to see you. Blessings back, my friend.

      TM-I am so glad to know I'm not the only one who 'annoys' others with my passion! You're right-at least we enjoy ourselves, LOL

      Dexter-if you have any doubts just ask your peers for feedback and they will help you squash the voice of the inner critic! :)

      Temirah-thank you for your comments. For me, HP was the next step in my writing and I am filled with gratitude for that.

      Yes, b.malin-your work speaks for itself, truly. Thanks for your comments and vote up.

      SpiritWhisperer-I was LOL when I read the first part of your comment. No, I would not either, my friend, LOL Not for HP at least! Yes, how does one walk the razor's edge between passion and obsession? I did visit that in my thinking while writing this hub. I agree-it is a fine line. I have no secret except to say: BALANCE in all things. Sometimes, when I am on a writing spree it does appear to be more the maddening obsession than creative passion. So, I just try to stay aware of it. When I am missing sleep and meals then I stop and question this (in)sanity. I also laughed when I read there are others who are forming HA...I could see myself there, that's for sure.

      Stephanie-your conversation with me the other day via email was the inspiration for this hub. Thank you so much for that! :) I love the comment about passion giving color and sparkle to one's life. That is so true. It is the heartbeat of the moment when you are immersed in the passion.

      Hi Praireprincess-thank you so much for your comments. Cheers to us all and our writing. :)

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Denise, this is a very beautiful hub. Your passion for writing flowed out to us, the readers. I, too, have a passion for writing, and it's wonderful. It is so good to have a passion for what you are doing, because it keeps you young and alive. Wonderful work, and keep on writing! :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Many of us have deep interest and enthusiasm for something in our lives, but having a passion gives your life unequaled color and sparkle. It's wonderful that you are passionate about your writing - and it shows! If passion is contagious, then thank you for spreading it around! This is an awesome and thought provoking hub!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Another thought provoking hub and I love that. I do wish to first of all say that though I do love writing I would not commit jihad for hubpages! LOL

      Having said that how do you make the distinction between being passionate about something and being obsessed with it? There is a very fine line between these two states so what is your secret? I hear that a group of people who quit HubPages have set up HA as opposed to AA so there is support for those who are finding it hard to go cold turkey! Voted up and awesome.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      It's my Passion too, to Write Denise. I hope I have Passion for others, I'd like to think I do. I just LOVE you last three lines...they truly say it all for me. Wonderful, Passionate, Hub my Friend. Two Thumbs UP!

    • Temirah profile image

      Temirah 6 years ago

      You're so right Denise - passion is consuming, contagious and unstoppable! It gives our lives juice and make them more meaningful. Hubpages is a great place to find passion.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Great hub, Denise. You really give those of us that aren't sure if we have a passion for what we do a definition for what it really is. Thank you!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Writing and photography are some of my passion. Some of the local folks got annoyed of my behavior; taking photos on things that interest me.

      I don't mind. I am enjoying what I'm doing.

      Thanks for sharing, Ms. Denise!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      It's wonderful to be passionate about "right", justice, humanity. Passion "will consume" when the world doesn't read, doesn't see, will not hear. Passion can consume and burn. God bless!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Beautifully written hub! And for the record, I NEVER use my kids or go on special trips or buy special foods to take photos for a hub! ;) (hehehe)

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Denise, I felt my energy go up, getting caught up with your enthusiasm! My passion goes up and down, sometimes in certain cycles I am caught up with a project, and can't wait to get up in the morning to work on it, and at others, I admit, I lose my momentum. In those instances when I am truly caught up in something that I love doing, I lose my sense of time and I am more joyful.

      Voted up!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 6 years ago

      Very interesting hub and very informative. I think that passion is much like a tiny cinder, just waiting to ignite into a blaze when the right person, idea, action comes along. Great hub.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Well said! Finding your passion is also a good way to discover your life purpose. Janet and Chris Attwood wrote a book about this topic called, "The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose" which is available through

      Did you write a hub about the dance school studio you once owned? That must have been quite an experience utilizing another whole side of you that is dormant in your nursing career.