The New Year always brings out thoughts about what we are doing and where we are going in our lives. Life is best when we are allowed to do what we are passionate about. Are you passionate about what you do? And what does that mean?

Passion is defined as a driving force for a strong belief or feeling. When we are passionate about an activity or a person, it does not wane. It stays strong. We never tire of the object of our passion.

passionResearch shows that passion needs to have a positive harmonious aspect to it and not be obsessive in order to contribute to overall well-being. If it is obsessive, it can lead to burn out. Research also has linked passion to more job creation. In other words, as people follow their passion, it can lead to creating ways of earning a living.

I am passionate about pie. How do I know? It has been a life long desire that has not waned. I am never tired of pie. It never bugs me or gets on my nerves. It is always there to comfort me and fill me with thrills and chills.

I did briefly have an affair with doughnuts. However, my time with doughnuts did not last as it was not a true passion although I will always have the memories.

With pie it is different. I must always have pie. Sure I can go without pie for a few months but if it goes too long, then pie and I must reconnect. And the experience is always what I wish it to be. This is a true passion.

You may think this is a frivolous example but you cannot pick your passions. And since my passion for pie led me to be a pastry chef and own a bakery for 11 years, I guess the research that states it leads to job creation is true.  

So if I am so passionate about pie, why do I not have a bakery today? I started the bakery to share my version of pie with the world but the world would not pay for the kind of pie I wanted to make.

I wanted to make pies with all-butter pastry and fresh fruit fillings – yes, we peeled all the apples, one at a time, using one of those little machines that you screw onto the counter. The world wanted to pay for hydrogenated shortening and pie filling that comes out of pale.

I ended up making a compromise like a good business person should do but while the pies were so much better than other pies that were available, they were not my pies and I could just never truly promote them. So, I evolved and the bulk of my business ended up being about cake. Yes, I ended up being a cake baker and, despite being very good at it and very proud of the work that I did, cakes were never my passion.

And a result, I lost the desire to have a bakery over the years. The bakery became a burden, not a joy and the love of baking was gone for me. Except for when I made a treat for myself, and that, of course, was pie.

When I think of all that time I spent in a bakery only to find myself having to change careers and try something new, I often wonder what would have happened had I stuck to my guns and made the pie I wanted to make.

And that is the reality of passion. You need to be able to understand that when you are following your passion, you doing the right things that will allow you to achieve your goals. You also need to understand when you are diluting your passion and ultimately, not serving yourself or your goals.

It is a fine balance of not being too extreme but instead being dedicated to what drives you and fulfills you so that you can accomplish great things.

So ask yourself if you are passionate about what you do. What gives you true joy? Do you get to pursue this passion on a regular basis? Whether it is part of your job or a hobby, as long as you have true joy, you will be rewarded one way or another. Joy brings positive physical and mental benefits and if you do it for a living, it can be bring you tangible benefits, too.

What is my passion now, other than eating pie? It is not nutrition. Dissecting food into parts and labeling some as good and some as bad does not really do it for me. Nor does following some doctrine that some person has created based on what? No one really knows what we should eat.

However, I am fascinated about how we work mentally, emotionally and physically and our relationship with food and happy living. And this passion will last for quite some time since there is so much to learn and so much that we still don’t know. So I want to learn and I want to share this knowledge so it may help people as much as possible.

So my wish for you is that in 2016, you get to pursue your passion and bring true joy to your life, if you do not already have it and if you do, keep on doing what you are doing.


  1. Leadership, Passion and Performance: A Study of Job Creation Projects during the Recession, Pankaj C. Patel1, Sara Thorgren2 and Joakim Wincent, British Journal of Management, Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 211–224, April 2015
  2. On The Role Of Passion In Performance, Vallerand RJ et al, J Pers. 2007 Jun;75(3):505-33