Do you have professional passion? Something that you are willing to sacrifice a lot for, because the alternatives are simply not an option?
Last week I met Pauline. She is the chef Les Linottes, a fantastic restaurant in Tours in the Loire area. If you are ever in the area, go over there. She also cooks gluten free and pure (that’s my ultimate test). Pauline is around 40 years old and mother of 2 children. She started her career in a renowned restaurant in Paris. There she was part of a big team and worked day and night. Literally. Sometimes the team didn’t even go home to sleep. To me it sounded like the worst workplace ver: work-work-work. And still she did it with pleasure: because cooking is her passion. Then she got pregnant with her oldest son. Being pregnant, the job became too heavy and the pretty absurd rhythm too high. She had to leave.
But what do you do when you are passionate about what you do and are unable to continue? Lucky for us she didn’t leave her passion. She now has her own restaurant. There she can take full advantage of her enthusiasm and be able to see her kids grow up and take on her role as mother. Because she couldn’t do that, the way she wanted it, in that other rhythm. Just like most business owners she has a bit of a lack of sleep (point of attention for passionate souls!), but most of the time she can set her own, her children feel included in her life and business and are very proud of their mum (the youngest spontaneously spreads cards at school). And as a customer you taste and notice that spirit and passion in everything that comes out of her kitchen.
Not everybody has a big passion
Professional passion is complex. Not everybody has a great passion. Passion for your work (or even for a hobby) is definitely not a ‘must’. Being content is an art that could even be a bit of a challenge for more passionate souls. But if you have a (professional) passion, you can’t deny it. Every other road you travel leaves you unsatisfied and frustrated and that is annoying for everyone around you.
Enthusiasm gives you energy and also costs energy
I recognized a lot from her energy and enthusiasm. And I know what it costs to always go ‘all the way’.
That’s why passions can fade over time. That enthusiasm is needed by the ‘passionate ones’ to give it their all. And it also asks maintenance: regularly recharging your batteries and taking care of yourself, is key. Dose and distance are incredibly important to avoid at some point starting to hate your passion ‘with a passion’.
They are not always the strongest in setting boundaries…
Passion usually goes ‘all the way’. And so spirited people don’t make the best boundary setters. That’s what makes them more vulnerable to burnout. Most of the time it’s all or nothing. And this is also a reason why they feel such a need to work for or at something they believe in 100%. I used to be a passionate musician; I danced with passion, even smoked with passion (don’t worry, I quit 16 years ago). And a few years ago I discovered karate. I go all the way with my business and write a lot. Because something in between doesn’t work for me. You would notice in ‘everything that leaves the kitchen’.
So for all the passionate souls: go for it and take good care of yourself. In between is not an option. Even though it might often mean going against the flow. I was very happy to meet Pauline. I really enjoyed her story and seeing, tasting, noticing and hearing that much passion!
Do you struggle to combine your passion and your work?
Have you not yet found your passion?
Get in touch!