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The Passion Book

UYP Dan Miller Quote

Psssst…

I’ve got a new book out.

You’ll like this one. It’s about…passion.

How to unwrap your passion and create the life you truly want.

I spent the last several years asking a lot of people about passion. I took all the lessons I learned and put them in this book. It was a lot of FUN to write this one, because when you interview passionate people about the stuff that lights them up, drives them forward, or allows them to savor life–you get all kinds of really cool answers and life lessons.

UYP Dara Torres Quote

The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million or your favorite local bookstore (just ask, they can order if they haven’t already!).

Your passion matters.

UYP Joel Boggess Quote

Here’s what my own editor, Tyler Tichelaar says about Unwrapping Your Passion:

In the Foreword to Karen Putz’s new book Unwrapping Your Passion, bestselling authors and self-help gurus Debra Poneman and Janet Attwood, state about Karen, “How amazing is that woman?” I have to agree. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as passionate as Karen about her own passions as well as helping others discover theirs. In addition, she’s deaf but doesn’t let that get in her way, and one of her biggest passions is barefoot water skiing, a sport she took back up at age forty-four. Now she water skis across the United States year-round, pursuing her passion.

“What’s your passion?” is the question Karen Putz challenges her readers with. She believes we all have a passion, and once we find it, we can enjoy our lives like never before. Sometimes we just need a little inspiration and help in discovering it, which is why Karen has written this book. In fact, she needed a little of that herself when she got back into barefoot water skiing. At forty-four, she thought she was too old until she met a sixty-six-year-old woman who had started barefoot water skiing at age fifty-three. Both women are proof it is never too late to find your passion.

In writing this book, Karen set out to determine how people find their passions and what keeps them passionate. She interviewed 200 people, and she tells many of their stories, revealing their secrets and inspirations. Then she challenges readers with exercises to help discover the passion within themselves.

The various chapters in Unwrapping Your Passion look at different ways to find your passion and also ways to overcome obstacles that present themselves in your pursuit of it. One way Karen strongly advocates for finding your passion lies in the power of meditation. One of the people she mentions in the book, Patti, taught her, “passion doesn’t just have to be the fire in the belly—passion is also the quiet nudging of the heart. We just have to listen.” Karen knows that from experience. It was listening to a quiet voice that caused her to write her first book. She had never written a book before, which was challenge enough, but that quiet voice was telling her to go introduce herself to a water skier she had never met and write his story. It seemed like an impossible situation, but she did it, and now she has several books under her belt.

One obstacle to pursuing one’s passion is fear. Too often we repress what we want because of our fears, whether it’s fear of success, fear people will reject us if we pursue our passion, or fear of physical harm. Karen, herself, dealt with the fear of physical harm. She wanted to barefoot water ski, but she was also deathly afraid of alligators. She even had nightmares about them, which made her not want to venture out on lakes. But she knew if she was going to pursue her passion, she would have to overcome that fear. With the help of a qualified friend, she got up close and personal with an alligator, actually touching it, discovering what beautiful and magnificent creatures alligators are, and then her fear dissolved.

I can’t discuss all the topics Karen covers in this book but others include how to avoid toxic people who will try to suck your passion out of you, and how to deal with stress that will debilitate you from pursuing your passion. She also quotes and interviews many authors who know a lot about passion. One of them, Terry Hadaway, author of Live Your Why, offers great advice when he says that we often have the question all wrong. Instead of asking “What do you want to be?” we should be asking, “How do you want to live?”

Nor is it always easy to be a cheerleader for others when they want to follow their passions. Karen discovered that hard truth when her daughter wanted to drop out of college to pursue an acting career. Karen was terrified for her daughter and tried to convince her to stay in school until her daughter called her on the situation, saying, “How can you tell others to follow their passions when you can’t even let your own daughter do that?” Karen knew her daughter was right. Today, her daughter is on Broadway.

Finally, if you think it’s too late or you don’t think you’re good enough to succeed at what you’re passionate about, take this bit of advice from Karen, “There’s a learning curve when you are doing something that’s totally new to you. Every expert on earth has started out as a beginner. I often tell people, ‘Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s ten-year process.’” I love this advice and would add that in ten years, if you don’t pursue your passion, you won’t get anywhere you want to be, so begin, no matter how small or hard that beginning is.

As someone who has spent his life pursuing his passion for writing, even making decisions some people told him were mistakes, and knowing that it has all turned out well regardless, I guarantee that Unwrapping Your Passion will leave you feeling reinvigorated and passionate about the endless possibilities that lie before you. Karen will help you find your passion, and once you do, the sky’s the limit.

 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore or online: Unwrapping Your Passion

Unwrapping Your Passion: Interview with Carole Cannon

carole cannon

When I met Carole Cannon at a Passion Test workshop, we connected immediately. Every bit of Carole screams PASSION! Carole’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. Carole lost her last child from a placenta abruption during childbirth and almost lost her own life as well. Her husband died of a heart attack at the age of 42, leaving Carole to raise their five children alone.

Carole found her passion at a rummage sale. Someone dropped off a massage table. The table triggered an “Ah ha” moment as Carole realized she could become a massage therapist. The clues were present all along: in high school, Carole used to give massages to friends.

In this interview, Carole talks about discovering her passion and what it means to wake up and love your life:

 

The Three Places You Can Discover Clues to Your Passions

answers you seek quote

“I don’t have a passion.”

“I don’t know what my passions are.”

“I haven’t found that ONE passion.”

Is this you? Are you searching for something “more” in your life? 

I used to be so envious of people who found their passions early in life and went on to have stellar careers in that direction.  For many years, I was drifting through life with a couple of minor dreams, waiting for that magical “Someday” to appear so that I could start living them.

Someday I was going to write a book.

Someday I was going to travel.

Someday I was going to get up on stage and speak.

Someday I was going to live my passions–if I just knew what they were…

It wasn’t until my 44th birthday that I started looking for some clues to my passions. I explored this topic in great detail.  I loved to write. I loved to talk to people. The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize the inklings of passion were indeed there. I just had ignored them for so long. 

I was fortunate. I took those clues and created a life centered around passion and joy. I ended up writing several books. I unwrapped a long-buried passion for barefoot water skiing. I travel and speak on various topics–especially PASSION!

There’s a richness in the journey when you center it around what you’re passionate about. Passion fuels you. 

So where can you start?

 

You can start with this simple activity that will begin to bring focus on your passions. Carve out some time in your day–you’ll need at least 30 minutes. An hour is even better. No distractions. Turn off the phone. Shut the door.

Or even better, go someplace where technology isn’t a factor. I did this on a picnic table in a forest preserve near my home. 

Here are three places you can discover clues to your passions: 

The Past: 

Reflect back on your childhood thoughts. What did you long for as a child? What did you grow up dreaming about? What were your moments of joy? What have you abandoned doing but wish you could do again?

The Future: 

What are you putting off for “Someday?” When you envision the future–who are you with? What are you doing? What do you have? How do others see you? 

Right Now: 

Where do you often go in your mind with your thoughts? What do you daydream about? When you are doing something that is of no interest to you, where do your thoughts drift off to? 

Your past, present, and future thoughts are rich with clues. Being aware and writing them down is a powerful way to gain clarity.

Want even more? Sign up for Passion Mentoring 

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As often happens when you move toward your heart’s desire, situations and people appear in your path to help illuminate your way. Karen Putz appeared in my path in the form of her inspiring story in MORE Magazine.

Reinvent Yourself After Misfortune

After reading about Karen, I felt a renewed sense of enthusiasm about what is possible. She had rediscovered her passion! Now, how was I going to uncover mine?

Sometimes you’re not sure what something is, but you know what it is not.

Passion is not half. Of anything. It is not half a thought. Nor, half a feeling. It is not the emotion you feel when you spend time with a half a friend. Or, are half in love.

Passion is what grabs you, hooks you and propels you forward with the firing of all the positive, life-affirming synapses in your body!

Passion is how I recently found myself in Spain; stumbling down a mountain in the dark and rainy early morning hours on the eighth day (of 36) of my Camino. Ahead of me that day are 15 miles of hiking to my destination. Behind me are the Pyrenees I climbed across and an idea that had taken hold when I watched the film, “The Way.” http://www.theway-themovie.com/
“The Way” is about the Camino de Santiago; a 500 mile “walk” across Spain.

As the film ended and the credits rolled, I knew I would one day make the pilgrimage as thousands had for hundreds of years before me. How this was going to happen didn’t occur to me. Passion had grabbed hold! I remembered Karen Putz. Something she said kept resonating -- “I didn’t know I had it in me to learn this at age 45.” “I’m 45”, I thought. “It’s not too late. I can do this!”

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And two years later, here I was. Doing this. Which is how I found myself stumbling down a mountain in the rain.


I slipped on a rock and skinned my knee. As I struggled to right myself with my pack on, I began to cry. It had been a physically demanding and emotional week and I was overtired and missing home. The rain was not a gentle rain and soon it was pouring. I cried harder. We were all under our rain gear though, so nobody noticed. I wondered why I cared if some stranger saw me crying. I wondered a lot of things as we trudged for hours through mud and farmland. Suddenly, I stopped. I had the familiar feeling that flooded me when I sat in that theater and watched “The Way.” “This is really happening,” I thought. “I am following my dream!” In that moment, I realized there was no place I would rather be. No place. Pure joy!


Shortly after, the rain ended. It always does. A rainbow appeared and I walked in that direction. For days. Weeks. Finding my way.

At home now, I often gaze down at the scar on my left knee and smile.

Passion. Never settle for half.

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MORE Magazine Article Inspires Passion

Judith Swankoski reached out and connected with me via Facebook to share her thoughts about my story which appeared in MORE magazine. I didn’t discover her message until recently. Judith went on a passionate adventure of her own so I asked her to share her journey:

 

As often happens when you move toward your heart’s desire, situations and people appear in your path to help illuminate your way. Karen Putz appeared in my path in the form of her inspiring story in MORE Magazine.

Reinvent Yourself After Misfortune

After reading about Karen, I felt a renewed sense of enthusiasm about what is possible. She had rediscovered her passion! Now, how was I going to uncover mine?

Sometimes you’re not sure what something is, but you know what it is not.

Passion is not half. Of anything. It is not half a thought. Nor, half a feeling. It is not the emotion you feel when you spend time with a half a friend. Or, are half in love.

Passion is what grabs you, hooks you and propels you forward with the firing of all the positive, life-affirming synapses in your body!

Passion is how I recently found myself in Spain; stumbling down a mountain in the dark and rainy early morning hours on the eighth day (of 36) of my Camino. Ahead of me that day are 15 miles of hiking to my destination. Behind me are the Pyrenees I climbed across and an idea that had taken hold when I watched the film, “The Way.” http://www.theway-themovie.com/
“The Way” is about the Camino de Santiago; a 500 mile “walk” across Spain.

As the film ended and the credits rolled, I knew I would one day make the pilgrimage as thousands had for hundreds of years before me. How this was going to happen didn’t occur to me. Passion had grabbed hold! I remembered Karen Putz. Something she said kept resonating — “I didn’t know I had it in me to learn this at age 45.” “I’m 45”, I thought. “It’s not too late. I can do this!”

20140219-195428.jpg

And two years later, here I was. Doing this. Which is how I found myself stumbling down a mountain in the rain.

I slipped on a rock and skinned my knee. As I struggled to right myself with my pack on, I began to cry. It had been a physically demanding and emotional week and I was overtired and missing home. The rain was not a gentle rain and soon it was pouring. I cried harder. We were all under our rain gear though, so nobody noticed. I wondered why I cared if some stranger saw me crying. I wondered a lot of things as we trudged for hours through mud and farmland. Suddenly, I stopped. I had the familiar feeling that flooded me when I sat in that theater and watched “The Way.” “This is really happening,” I thought. “I am following my dream!” In that moment, I realized there was no place I would rather be. No place. Pure joy!

Shortly after, the rain ended. It always does. A rainbow appeared and I walked in that direction. For days. Weeks. Finding my way.

At home now, I often gaze down at the scar on my left knee and smile.

Passion. Never settle for half.

20140219-195103.jpg