Last night, I was the timer (aka; evil clock guy) as eight finalist competed for a top prize of $50K to grow their business. The Global Challenge Cup competition saw 3,000 pitches over the last year through the incubator 1776, headquartered in DC. At the end of the evening, all 60 international startups that were in the run-up to the finals this week, did a 30 second pitch for a $10K People’s Choice Award chosen by the audience. This was a front row seat to see passion on full display. The company offerings ranged from a Fitbit for cows, health care solutions, drone fences and an app to help those in need to find an available apartment in real time. It was energizing to hang out with such a diverse crowd who found a need and are doing something about it. I was freshly reminded about the importance of who we choose to surround ourselves with and the encouragement that comes from those on a mission. My passion trajectory has looked more like a roller coaster than a rocket-ship, but I am working to install boosters to help with consistency. One with passion, doesn't need to be reminded, has eyes to see what needs to be done, and steps forward even for the most mundane task, for no other reason than it must be done. Where do those around you experience your passion? Is it through your diligence, effort, application of knowledge or smiling through the difficulties? Is your passion on display at your job, in your family or through your hobbies? Just as personalities differ, there isn't a one size fits all, but it must be identifiable. Today, you could live a happy life of watching endless movies made by someone else, scrolling endlessly through the news feed about other lives, listening to music sung by other singers and be lowered into the ground with your passion dead, unknown. My heart aches at the loss for those that are unwilling to step forward; it's a missed opportunity for everyone. Write a song, build a robot, raise children, build a business, preach, mentor or perfect your underwater basket weaving technique. You don't know when the undertaker will be taking your measurements. May he not find you in your recliner halfway through your sixth watching of Friends season two. Instead may you be found pushing your love for family through the cancer or belting out that high note you have been working to hit perfectly. Go live passionately!
Where are you intentionally pouring out your passion?