Starting something is easy. Getting married is easier than staying married. Starting a new company or church is often easier than maintaining one or turning one around.
Yes, it takes a lot of work and effort to get something off the ground, but the dreaming phase, the launching phase, is often incredibly fun and exhilarating.
Passion can take you incredibly far in life.
We don’t follow people who aren’t passionate, and often passion is what will keep you going when the road gets long and hard as a leader. Your passion to see a dream come true, a marriage survive, a child succeed. Our passion can carry us.
But no matter how passionate, energetic or optimistic we are, passion also drains and runs low.
There are times when we are simply showing up, going through the motions and trying to survive.
The passion that got it off the ground is hard to maintain.
Sadly, when this happens, many people quit. They give up. They throw in the towel, or they keep going through the motions, which kills them and sucks the life out of them.
One author said, “You will be most tempted to quit moments before the critical breakthrough.”
How do you raise your passion when it gets dry? Here are some ways:
1. Ask God. Our passion and calling come from God. He has wired us with it. When it is waning and not burning hot, ask God for the desire and original passion He gave you.
2. Go back to where you started. Place is important in our lives. For many of us, the dreams we have or the things we started began at a place. I can take you to the seat in an auditorium where God called me to plant a church when I was 21. I can take you to the banks of a lake where I knew at 18 I was supposed to be a pastor.
Many people have sat in conferences or gone on mission trips that have changed their lives and perspectives.
Go back to those places. Sometimes the return to a place ignites a passion in us.
3. Look for small wins and celebrations. Too often the reason our passion is waning is because it isn’t as big or as great as we imagined. It also goes slower than we expected. Most successful people have walked a long winding road to their success.
Look for the small ways you’ve moved ahead. Celebrate the little things that have happened.
4. Get around passionate people. You and I both know passionate, optimistic people. When your passion is waning, get around them. Ask them what they’re dreaming about. This is a great opportunity to stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone.
5. Be honest. This might feel like a downer when talking about passion, but a lack of passion might be the end of your time somewhere. All things come to an end, and that is OK. The reality is that it is possible that when our passion wanes in a job, it is a sign of the end, and that is OK. God will often speak through passion or lack thereof.
This is why it is crucial to have a team or friends who can help you and talk with you about your passion level, where it went, why it is down and how to raise it back up.
If you’re a leader, this matters. Not only for your sanity but for those around you.
If you’re a pastor, your church will feed off your passion, whatever level it is.