PQ (Passion Quotient)
A passionate teacher was once queried on her secret behind living in the moment—always enjoying her work with no personal baggage.
She raised a glass of water, and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Her students enthusiastically shouted answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple of pounds!
The teacher replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s light. If I hold it for an hour, my arm will ache a little, and if I hold it for a day, it’ll numb my arm, forcing me to drop the glass. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, it is going to weaken my grip.”
The students understood her message. Each day as we carry forward the stress from the previous day, it tends to get heavier.
As the students comprehended the profound learning, the skillful teacher switched the topic and narrated an animated joke. Everyone roared with laughter. Next day, she told them the same joke, but this time only a few of them laughed. On the third day, she said the same joke. This time no one smiled.
The students caught her googly. Each day as we carry forward the laugh from the previous day, our ability to smile goes down.
The teacher explained, “Holding on to the same stress is not going to lighten our load. Similarly, holding on to the same laugh is not going to sustain our smiles. For anything that doesn’t improve over time, is going to pull us down. That’s the nature of existence!”
But then, the question arises—how do we find stuff that gets better with age? Maybe a mission that beckons us to continuously improve, something that gives us a bigger purpose beyond repetitive stress and laugh. Perhaps, our calling resides in a pursuit that we are passionate about—be it a meaningful vocation or a stimulating hobby.
For instance, the creative teacher enjoyed meeting new students and improving her teaching style through innovative metaphors. Personally, I love to write, as expressing my thoughts in novel ways liberates me. Likewise, your escape may reside in sports, singing, gardening, cooking, or other meaningful quests that allow you to benchmark your daily progress.
Passions, if ardently pursued, allow us to create our own little exciting world within the big complex one. They become an integral part of our lives. They may not solve our problems, but they divert our mind, give us a sense of accomplishment, and above all, become the reason to wake up with a smile every day.