Monday, April 30, 2007

It May Not Be Your Passion If:

#3 - Pursuing your passion clashes big time with your personality.

I probably wouldn't make a great Trappist monk. Although the life fascinates me. Simplicity. Quiet. Focus.

I remember seeing a 60 Minutes piece on Thomas Merton, probably the most famous Trappist monk of all (if one can or should label a monk "famous.") He had fascinating things to say, and I read his book The Seven Storey Mountain not long afterwards.

But I know I wouldn't make a good Trappist monk for one reason: I'm a raging extrovert. A huge "E" on the Meyers-Briggs profile. I not only "get" energy from other people, I can feel it coming in. I don't want to be the center of attention, and I don't need to be onstage. But put me in an enclosed office for hours at a time, and I shut down. My brain ceases to function - all creativity goes right out the window.

And isn't that a major portion of a Trappist monk's life? Deep introspection, silence (or should I say lack of conversation)?

Sure, we all want and crave a certain amount of calm and rest in our lives. But if I were to pursue that as my passion, well, then passion would drain out of my life.

But I'm going to read The Seven Storey Mountain again. I've still got my copy. And one of the neat things about getting older? You don't have to buy as many books, since you forget what was in many of them...

#1: You're in love with the idea of your passion, but you can't stand the component parts.

#2 - You and your passion have a long distance relationship (and you aren't willing to move.)

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