Jay Rifenbary

Jay Rifenbary's Blog

Passion - Life's Little Spark


When was the last time you were genuinely passionate about something? Was it related to your work or your personal life? Did it revolve around yourself or others? There is rarely a greater feeling of excitement when your heart and soul are part of something you truly believe in, desire for, and trust can make a positive difference in the world around you. Passion is defined as, “strong and barely controllable emotion, a state of outburst of such emotion, an intense desire or enthusiasm for something”. Passion is the spark that ignites the fuel to power you to the fulfillment of your aspirations. The fruition of a cause or desire you are passionate about results in an expression of joy and happiness that is unsurpassed. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat demonstrates how powerful passion can be in regard to human emotion.

Without passion there is apathy and boredom, both of which stifle personal and professional growth. We have all met individuals who are miserable, dislike their job, distrust everyone, and in turn display their personal dissatisfaction through their negativity, doubtfulness, excuse making, and destructive behavior. In many cases the destructive behavior tends to be directed toward the people that matter most in their lives, usually their family and friends. However, there should be caution with passion as well. Passion for passions sake can be dangerous if there is no thoughtful consideration in regard to what the outcome of that passion may be. Passion can be self-serving in a healthy way, but when passion for something or someone destroys those around you, the dark side of passion is revealed. Passion for self-centered desires at the expense of others exposes an inner core of destructive character traits, primarily a lack of personal accountability and personal honesty. Healthy passion is never irresponsible, and should always be an honest reflection of the values that comprise the individual.

It is also important to understand there is a difference between passion and anger. Anger transcends passion when in the course of being passionate spontaneous verbal or physical abuse becomes apparent. Passion in combination with professionalism (emotional patience), integrity, honesty, accountability and respect is a formula for true achievement. Genuine passion is also motivating for others to witness and be a part of. It generates a level of excitement, energy and enthusiasm that is not normally experienced during our daily lives. Much of our passion is bred in the core values we believe in. The issues, topics and people that create internal passion are related to how they align with, or diverge from our core values. A leader who is passionate about a core value they believe in will develop a following of similar core valued people. Thus, a collective desire for something is initiated.

A common thread of feedback I receive following my speaking engagements is the recognition of the passion I have in the delivery of my message. I am always appreciative of that feedback, and I promise to those I inspire and myself that if I ever lose the passion for what I do, I will never conduct another seminar. To not speak from the heart would be unfair to myself and the people I share my message with. Five matches to ignite the spark of passion in your life include, * revisit and redefine the core values in your life that stimulate interest and excitement. They may include honesty, perseverance, integrity, and family. * find and connect with those who share your common values. Immediately there will be an increase in personal value because others are validating the essence of who you are. * attach those common values to a cause, a desire, or a dream you wish to be a part of, and initiate taking the steps to be involved in the process of making it come to fruition. * stay on a path of purpose that is ethical and contributes to the betterment of yourself and those around you. * anticipate how fun it will be to celebrate the rediscovery of passion in your life, and to continually enjoy a level of vigor in all you do. You are the one in charge of today and tomorrow, and passion for what you love and what you wish for should forever be a part of what it means to live a life of fullness and purpose.

Interdependency - The Web of Achievement


Ultimately, the final framework of your life will be a collection of the choices you have made, and the execution of the core values you believed in. Others and circumstances may have influenced those decisions, but regardless they will have been your decisions. Over the years I have addressed with you certain topics that focus on a particular value, or behavior. It is critically important to understand it is not you alone, nor one core value or principle that contributes to the final outcome of what your life and career will be. It is the working interdependency, and the application of the many core values you believe in, in conjunction with your definitive relationships that are the mechanism to create the life you want.

Web is defined as, a complex system of interconnected elements, a network of fine threads (values) constructed by a spider (human being) from fluid secreted by its spinnerets (behavior), used to catch its prey (success). Yes, you are the web you weave and it is, and will be, your decisions that create the opportunity to catch success. An established foundation of constructive core values is the fundamental structure that will build the life you desire. It provides a greater ability to hold yourself and others accountable because you have an understanding of what you stand for and believe in. This provides increased individual credibility and a capability to set expectations and standards for your personal behaviors and performance. When you act on the core values you believe in, you begin to develop an enhanced level of personal honesty, because you are living a life that is a reflection of who you are. Additionally, an increased awareness of the importance of aligning who you are with what you project to others is established.

At that moment you become a person of integrity because you are behaving in a way consistent with your values. Combine consistency in behavior with being morally upright and you gain a higher degree of self-worth. Your self-esteem (pride in oneself, possessing dignity and self-respect) is solidified as you have earned an understanding of what is important and defines you. Subsequently, your attitude turns more positive. You are in stricter control of who you want to be, and the outside world has less influence on whether or not you put a smile on your face. This internal growth stimulates the practice of being more selfless than self-centered because you are more accepting of you.

Phase two of this process is the ease at which other principles are incorporated as a result of having a solid sense of self. Forgiveness becomes relevant and is more easily executed since you are less likely to allow past personal failures, the hurts distributed by others or the environment be used as justification to be miserable. You are now in control of the present, positive about the future, and the past no longer dictates how you feel. Again, this immediately increases your self-respect and self-worth. Professionalism is enhanced as a result of less internal frustration and disappointment. This solid level of self-respect increases your ability to handle stress and pressure and in turn maintain patience and professionalism with yourself and others. It also increases personal resilience and perseverance. A stronger self is less likely to give up on a task, and more likely to accomplish a task or goal at hand. You are also more motivated because you value yourself.

It is the working relationship of these many core values that generates happiness, fulfillment and contentment in our lives. The greatest benefit of this interdependency is the ease at which our focus changes away from self-centeredness, and is now directed towards others and family. When our web is strong, taut, and interconnected we have the ability to overcome the pressure exerted by others, the stressors of life, the winds of change, and those who wish to shred our web apart. Each day is an opportunity to build a stronger web of personal and professional achievement. Let us all weave a web of gratitude, mutual respect, selflessness, generosity, humility and compassion together. It will be a web forever strong, flexible and enduring.

Friday, August 14, 2020

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