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Finding Passion, Living Passion

By Sheri Plybon.

How do you define passion? Is it finding something you love to do, something you love to see, or something you love to touch or hear or taste?

Passion is something that ignites the senses of your being, bringing joy, laughter, a sense of accomplishment, power. So why is finding passion important?

Children experience a sense of wonder and awe, questioning everything, and are very capable of thinking through problems to solve them. How does the roly poly bug of childhood grow into a vocation of the study of insects, perhaps mosquitoes, and then to the fields of micro technology and the ability to fly secret military missions? Passion and a love of science.

Think back to your own childhood, about your passions, interests and ideas that you couldn’t let go of. Are they still in your life? Is there still passion to learn? George Betts, PhD, says that passions are a part of the drive to becoming an autonomous learner (see the SENGinar “The Autonomous Learner Model for the Gifted and Talented”), where learning is authentic and for the self. It embraces the internal curiosity so as to learn more, to play with ideas, and to incubate an idea until it hatches.

Each week on the television show Shark Tank, several innovators bring their products to the “sharks” to ask for funding or other entrepreneurial assistance. Knowing oneself is key in this situation. It begins with resilience to get this far but then includes confidence to go further and let someone else who is more knowledgeable in business take the idea. We tend to hold our ideas so closely and identify with our inventions, and the key is “knowing” that if I did this before, I can do it again. Innovation is a learned process, but the drive and the passion are inherently personal.

It may be that a passion for cooking leads to the understanding of sustainability of food sources, as happened for the chef, Dan Barber, who spoke on

Or, consider the 11-year-old boy, Casey Golden, who invented a biodegradable golf tee after going golfing with his father and experiencing unease when he saw the broken tees on the tee box.

So, I ask again,”Why is passion so important?” One right answer (see books by Roger von Oeck, listed at the end of this article) is that in each of the above cases, the passion led to an innovation that then gave back – the essence of philanthropy. The military trademark of the drones. The sustainability of the fish in the oceans. The environmental impact of a wooden golf tee replaced by a biodegradable product, which in turn led Casey Golden to develop additional entrepreneurial ventures. All cases of giving back to society.

How to commit to your passion:

· Identify a passion

· Keep a notebook or journal of your thoughts, ideas and inspirations

· Research the topic

· Work through your ideas with the Roger von Oeck’s Creative Whack Pack or his books, A Whack on the Side of the Head or A Kick in the Seat of the Pants

· If you find an idea worth pursuing, research patents (see MIT, below)

· Take your ideas to a trusted friend

· Take the next step to make it happen

Find your passion, explore your passion, love and live your passion.

Learn More

Dan Barber, Chef, “How I fell in love with a fish

George Betts, PhD, author of The Autonomous Learner Model and SENGinar The Autonomous Learner Model for the Gifted and Talented

· A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative

· A Kick in the Seat of the Pants: Using Your Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior to Be More Creative

· Creative Whack Pack Deck & Book Set

MIT App Inventor and MIT Inventor’s Handbook (an excellent resource for inventions)


Sheri Plybon, President-Elect of the SENG Board of Directors, is a national/international Master SMPG Facilitator Trainer and SENG Model Parent Group Leader. She is an educational consultant and provides professional development and consultation with school districts, parent organizations and mental health professionals. Her experience of 30+ years in education makes her a sought after presenter at state and national conferences. Ms. Plybon has served eight years on the Texas State Association for Gifted Board of Directors.

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