It all starts with passion. Passion is the fuel that drives any endeavor.
Are you passionate? Notice I didn’t ask, “What’s your passion?” I believe that’s the wrong question. That elicits a response like—‘I don’t have any weird talent like juggling. I can’t sing, I don’t play sports– I don’t have any passions.”
This is backwards. I believe it’s the rare case when someone drifts through life, suddenly finds something that moves them, and then instantly transforms into a different kind of person – one who cares, who has an intense drive and a desire to make things happen. Can this life-transformation occur? Sure. But generally speaking, that’s a remarkably one-sided view. More often, passionate people wake up every day with an intense desire to become more than they were the day before – mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. They connect with projects they believe in, and channel their passion through that endeavor. The energy flows in both directions.
In his bestseller book “Linchpin,” (92) Seth Godin writes “Passion isn’t project-specific. It’s people-specific. Some people are hooked on passion, deriving their sense of self from the act of being passionate. Perhaps your challenge isn’t finding a better project… Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.”
As a kid, I went from one hobby to the next – completely engrossing myself in whatever it was at the time. My parents talked of “Jeff’s obsessions.” I collected rocks, I collected stamps… looking back at the other options, I think I actually became the least nerdy kid possible by choosing juggling. WOW.
My passion has changed over the years. At first it was hardcore, technical juggling. I wanted to juggle more stuff than the other guy, and win more medals at the world juggling competitions (yes there are world juggling competitions!).
Then my passion became entertaining. I quickly learned that the audience didn’t care about juggling – they wanted to laugh, to connect—they wanted to be entertained. I loved the feeling of making an audience laugh together – what a rush! My quest became to craft interactive juggling routines in a way that built a strong rapport with my audience.
Today, my passion is connecting with people – on stage and off. I’ve learned that what really thrills me is bringing people together – whether it’s laughing together with a huge crowd for 45 minutes on stage at a corporate event, talking to one person after a show for 5 minutes, or building my non-profit – Win-Win Entertainment – to match willing performers with charity events in need.
The point is that I am not hooked on juggling. I am hooked on passion.
TAKEAWAY– Don’t complain that you don’t have anything to be passionate about. Work on becoming a passionate person, and you will have plenty to be passionate about.
This excerpt was adapted from the book Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion of which Jeff is a co-author. Jeff Civillico is a Las-Vegas based headline entertainer who blends his perfected art of juggling with friendly audience interaction and insane amounts of energy. With his “Comedy in Action” show, he has performed everywhere from Australia and New Zealand to The White House. He is a favorite onboard Disney Cruise Line, and his credits on the Las Vegas Strip include V: The Ultimate Variety Show, Nathan Burton, and The Improv at Harrah’s.
In addition to his comedy show, Jeff also delivers a powerful keynote that illustrates the keys to “Branding Your Passion” to create the career, and lifestyle, of your dreams. A 2005 honors graduate of Georgetown University, Jeff currently serves as President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Las Vegas. He is the Founder and President of Win-Win Entertainment, a non-profit that pairs performers willing to donate their time and talent with charities in need of entertainment.