Bill Burns

The Ownership Project

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If you have discovered something you are passionate about, how did you discover that thing?

Many people go through living bored, mundane, uninspired lives. Many have not taken it upon themselves to seek out what they are passionate about. I was like that for about 50 years and it seems by luck I found my mine.

How did you find yours?

  • Nov 4 2011: Hi,

    In these days of accelerated innovations, it seems finding "passion" is the answer to our problems. But maybe is the other way around: We don't find "passion" on things we do.
    We think, successful people find their passion, but I believe people that are really successful don't find it, They are already passionate about making things happend. They are not worried about the results to get, therefore they enjoy every moment of action.

    So, I believe it is a shift of awareness, a change of direction.

    That way we discover that every moment is different so we just enjoy it. Not because We must enjoy it, but because is the only way it happens.

    I live in Peru, and a few years ago I believed poor people has a lack of happiness, but I realized that is not true. I realized, it is not the situation that makes us happy or being passionate about things, instead it is the other way around.

    I'd like to share this quote :
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer
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      Nov 4 2011: Hi again Yuri:>)
      I totally agree with you...we don't "find" passion...people are already passionate about making things happen...not worried about the results to get, therefor they enjoy every moment of action...yes...yes....yes!!!

      I agree that it is a shift of awareness...not to "find" passion, but rather to create passion....discovery in every moment.....not becaue we must enjoy it, but because it is the only way it happens....yes....yes...yes!!!

      I also realized, by traveling in remote areas of our world (including the mountains of Peru, BTW), that it is not the situation that makes us happy or passionate about things, instead, it is the other way around....yes...yes...yes!!! Thank you for that insightful comment:>)
      • Nov 4 2011: Hi Colleen,
        I very much appreciate your words. also I'm happy to know You have visited Peru .
        Thank You
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          Nov 5 2011: I appreciate your words as well Yuri. I LOVE Peru, and was very passionate about hiking part of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu and beyond...unbelievably beautiful:>)
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      Nov 4 2011: Yes indeed¡¡¡¡¡¡
    • Nov 5 2011: Thank you Yuri! Very thoughtful and inspirational thought!
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      Nov 6 2011: Very good Yuri and I think I get what you are expressing. Yet, as in my case, if you have lost happiness and feel no passion, then what? It is too common for people to lead dull, boring mundane lives or worse to live with depression and anxiety. This is what happened to me after a number of serious losses.

      I HAD to find myself again and to find my passion or was doomed to a sad existence.

      Luckily for me I have found myself and my passion and have reclaimed my life.

      Passionate people are engaged in all that life has to offer and I have been experiencing this too.

      Thank you for sharing your talents here with us.

      • Nov 7 2011: Hi Bill,

        I'm glad what I share can help all... Just as other people's sharing help me.

        It's amazing to know we started finding ourselves.

        Thank you for a challenging question..
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      Nov 6 2011: " Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." - Albert Schweitzer

      Thank you for this quote Yuri. It is so true. And I appreciate your view:)
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    Nov 2 2011: Bill, people who know me might say, "He's the most seriously religious person I know," and perhaps one person has said it to me.

    When I was a child, my large, maternal family, from Tater Valley, Tennessee, said I’d make a good Bible preacher. But the boy had precious doubt: the God could not be so weak as to threaten believers.

    In college I focused on science and became a chemical engineer. Then, I fell in love with a Louisiana-French Catholic woman. LFC means she follows her family tradition, mind, and heart, not the Church. When my protestant peers refused to accommodate her in our Sunday school classes, I had a decision to make: stay with them or support her plus be true to myself—really decide what I think.

    I quit religion and took up classical reading, then expanded to US history leading to the US Constitution, health, human biology, evolution, and more. I filled the “churched” void by pondering social issues and writing letters to the editor. In my earliest letters, I expressed faith in the truth much of which is unknown. When people discussed it with me, they would say, “Your Christian faith failed you,” and I responded, “Faith in the truth takes more faith and courage than faith in an institution.”

    Fifteen years later, I still have faith in the truth much of which is unknown. I claim that I am a human being and member of the community of living species. Those are my preferences. About the ultimate validity of my preferences, I do not know. Therefore, I do not want anyone to join my path. However, I am very happy to share it, as I do not think many people have followed such a path, and that is my number one passion beyond my family and well being.

    So: I am passionate about my faith and discovered it through my wife and my childhood thoughts.

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      Nov 2 2011: Faith in yourself, faith in your own critical thinking - that is important. I love being spiritual but religious - not so much.
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        Nov 2 2011: Thanks, Bill, for your dedication to your question and TEDsters’ responses.

        To clarify my statement, “my faith” refers to trust in and commitment to the truth much of which is unknown.

        If reality involves the supernatural, I must accept it, but, so far, it seems to me there is no supernatural beyond intellectual constructs. Therefore, I have no interest in supernatural ideas, such as souls. I do not consider myself spiritual.

        If we replace “tolerate” with “appreciate,” I like two statements in 90 seconds by Bertrand Russell. The first part is applicable to if not describes my faith: .

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          Nov 2 2011: Fact - "love is wise - hatred is foolish." B. Russell. As I like to say, "love is the verb for peace."
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    Nov 7 2011: Simple:whatever you are passionate about is effortless, time flies on wings when you do it, money does not come in the picture... you could do it for free if time/resources permitted...

    Food is my passion and i discovered it when i asked myself what would i do easily and happily for a lifetime...

    Of course its hard for people like me to have a single passion :)
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      Nov 7 2011: Hi Bulbul,
      It IS simple...I agree..."whatever you are passionate about is effortless, time flies on wings when you do it..."
      It may be hard for people like you and me to have a single passsion, because we bring passion to the experience, rather than waiting for the experience to bring passion to us.
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    Nov 6 2011: This is an interesting question. For myself, I wasn't passionate about anything other than my students until I turned 39. That was due to suffering from depression (sometimes mild and sometimes severe) and anxiety. It was difficult to have any sustaining passion, excitement or energy until I dealt with that inner sadness. Although I gave my students everything I had, in hindsight it was only a fraction of what it could have been, because I was a fraction of what I could have been.

    At 39 I decided I didn't want to live that way and made a decision to change my life. I decided to run 40K on my 40th birthday (I had no idea how far that really was!!) Once I put that energy into place, my life turned around...dramatically! I had no idea an exercise goal would change all other aspects of my life! (Note: I had NEVER exercised before...ever!)

    Because of that goal, I am now passionate about LIFE! I laugh on a daily basis whereas before I used to cry. Finding my passion was finding mySELF. Once I uncovered my inner spirit and dealt with the past life, my creativity, inspiration, vigor and energy exceeded anything I'd ever felt before.

    LIFE BECAME MY PASSION, for this I am very grateful.

    Thank you for this question...and I'm so glad to hear you found YOUR passion!

    With a smile,
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      Nov 6 2011: Wow Tina, I am moved! Isn't 40K almost a marathon?? From this discussion I've learned there are SO many different ways that people find their passion.

      Once found I think a person then has the responsibility to express the passion and to share it, nurture and grow it. Maybe this is what unleashed the miracles in one's life.

      You have an inspirational story for sure. Thank you for sharing it.

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        Nov 6 2011: Hi Bill...thank you...and yes, it most certainly is...but I saved the 42K (full marathon) for my 42nd birthday which was just last month...I literally smiled the entire way!

        I agree with your statement to share, nurture and grow your passion, but I think once you've discovered it, for me anyway, it's an automatic driving energy that makes you bounce out of bed excited to start the day...that's how it is for me now...

        Having lived in a dark cloud for so many's a brand new life...and yes, I want to share, love, nurture, and help as much as I can!
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          Nov 6 2011: What a great route for the Victoria marathon! I have been to Victoria on holiday and toured all around where you ran. Just beautiful. Both Victoria and Vancouver are such beautiful cities and people.

          Great pictures on your blog!
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      Nov 6 2011: "Although I gave my students everything I had, in hindsight it was only a fraction of what it could have been, because I was a fraction of what I could have been." - Lovingly, beautifully and well said Tina :)
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        Nov 6 2011: Bill, so happy to hear you've been to Victoria! It was an absolutely gorgeous and inspiring route. I'm glad I made the choice to enJOY it rather than run to make a specific time and miss all the beauty that was around me. Thanks for checking out the photos! :)

        Juliette: Thank you...what a lovely comment! I am in contact with most of my students to this day even though I'm now in a different city, so I guess I did something right! :) Love travels miles...
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    Nov 1 2011: when you see what u are passionate about, you dont need anyone to tell you, you see yourself smiling while doing that, and whenever you see yourself or someone else doing same thing you feel so happy within you, for instance i love music, and when i sing i feel on top of the world, if i hear someone else sing i feel so happy, it makes me forget my pains, so at a time i came to realize that this is exactly what i would love to do, thats how i became a singer, you can discover what you are passionate about through ur instinct and feelings..
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      Nov 1 2011: "you see yourself smiling while doing that, and whenever you see yourself or someone else doing same thing"

      YA! A great clue to what your passion is aye? I dream about speaking in public about 3 times a week these days. That is my main passion. I love teaching, inspiring and making folks laugh.

      Keep singing!
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    Nov 6 2011: @ Phillip Beaver:
    Bla, bla, bla, bla.....NO, YOU TAKE.....Bla, bla, bla, bla...

    Please, live Bill out of this!

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    Nov 6 2011: Hi Bill,
    Great question. My passion found me. It's always been in me, but it was only recently that I recognized it! It was through the hardships of life and how I overcame them when I started acting on my passion. It's always been there. Caring and helping and entertaining. It's all about "Others" for me. What I have I share in order to bring a smile, warm a heart and give some comfort to your soul. Love my friend - that is my passion!
    BTW: it doesn't matter how many years it takes to pursue your passion. sometimes it just needs to develop more through experiences. I bet it was always there......
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      Nov 6 2011: Yes you are right! Seems like my passion was always there. It was just hidden under the decaying leaves of too many autumns. (ewww - that's kind of a dark and dismal image isn't it? ;)

      I think I know what you mean which is the joy of living and being "of service" to others. It is its own reward.

      Now you mentioned entertaining. What did you mean by that?

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        Nov 6 2011: Being a person who usually sees the cup more than half full AND a gardener, I percieve your insightful statement as BEAUTIFUL, rather than "dark and dismal".

        Out of the composted fertile earth springs beautiful flowers......and love:>)
        I'm passionate about both;>)
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        Nov 6 2011: I used to have a passion to make people laugh and smile. In my younger years I did this through dance. I say entertain now because I believe we can entertain through conversation...... :)
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    Nov 6 2011: I have a great deal of passion, I love everything I do. I have no idea where it comes from:-)
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      Nov 6 2011: You are one of the lucky ones!! Wherever it comes from don't lose it!
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    Nov 5 2011: I am passionate about fish and the marine environment. I still remember getting my first mask at about 5 years old and being able to see clearly underwater. For years I tried to talk my father into joining me and he always was reluctant to put a mask on. I settled it by giving him a mask and snorkel for his birthday. He put it on his face and saw his first fish and was instantly hooked. That winter he asked if I would like to join him and take the Canadian Armed Forces Scuba Course. He was the oldest in the class and I was the youngest. That was 37 years ago and today I find myself president of the Marine Life Sanctuaries Society and an avid underwater videographer and fish sympathizer.
    I never tire of diving and what I have seen happen to the ocean in front of my own eyes, has motivated me to devote my life to stewarding the ocean and enlightening people on what is there to be seen and taken care of.
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      Nov 6 2011: Wow Roy! How utterly cool. To have known since age 5!!! I have walked under ancient seas while in the Grand Canyon but have never dived into today's oceans.

      Keep up your excellent work.

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    Nov 4 2011: To discover we have to uncovering and see....but thats is a dare for most of the people...fear to remove the cover.
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      Nov 6 2011: Yes Jaime - seems I was one of these people for many years. Funny how it happens. Then I woke up.

      Like the way you expressed that!

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    Nov 4 2011: When you can not stop thinking about it ! THIS IS IT! Now, you either have the opportunity to act on it and take a leap of faith!!

    Or you can either let fear rob you from that passion ! In either case, IT 'S ABOUT YOUR OWN CHOICE TO FOLLOW THAT PASSION.

    I really pray, that people can break out of their fear, and FOLLOW THEIR PASSION, because I'm sure, that we lost so many ideas, because of fear. JUST DO IT, like Nike said !!

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      Nov 4 2011: What a thought! "We lost so many ideas because of fear." Wow! And yes how practical....what you think about all the time! How true.

      So what do you think about all the time and how did you discover this thing, your passion?
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        Nov 4 2011: Thank you Bill!!

        I will start by saying : Where did I find my passion ? In my heart ! Cliché! Maybe, but so true to me!

        My passion is business, negotiation, business strategies, marketing etc., and people, I love the human race. God did a great job!

        I just love all the aspect of it. In my early adult age, 18 or so, I was buying books about business, finding book on the subject, I don't know, my attraction and interest was thriving me towards that path. When to school and studied it obviously. I'm looking forward to do my MBA.

        Along the way, because all came from my heart, it wasn't about the money aspect of it, but don't get me wrong, we need money to do business. So, I start to bring all the business sense that I have and mixed it with philantropy, because all came from my heart. Now I found my passion, putting all the knowledge of how to make money, and bring it, to the world that need it the most, philantropy.

        My passion is to take money from the rich and give it to the poor, kind of a modern "RobinE Hood". Right now I'm putting the Board together, great people already participating.

        I'm a philantropist businesswoman and my passion is to make money to help someone else. Best of both world, yes it is possible !!

        Cheers Bill! Check my website :
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          Nov 6 2011: Oui Mirelle. C'est bon. Please excuse my poor attempt with the beautiful French language but it has been too many years since university and any practice. I think I know what you mean about the excitement of business and not just the money.

          Business - commerce is what makes the world go round It is the buying and selling and moving of goods about the planet that bring people together. Of course greed and power corrupt completely but when in balance, commerce is a beautiful thing.

          I so enjoy the psychology of negotiations and the intellectual games to be played. My best friend from childhood now has a company in Toronto that does capital campaigns in the 1 to 5 M range for non-profits. A most interesting business and fella.

          Thank you for sharing!
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          Nov 6 2011: "My passion is to take money from the rich and give it to the poor."

          Bill seemed to wholeheartedly approve of this passion; I question it.

          With the word "take" it seems a tyranny--an oppressive, harsh, and unjust act. Unjust mostly toward the poor.

          After redistribution of the riches, how would the poor survive? Would the injustice I perceive become evident?

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    Nov 2 2011: A key question. Early on, as a kid, I had the notion that the closer I looked at something the more beauty I would see. Why I sought beauty I don't know...perhaps it was my test pilot father taking us kids out to see the Mojave Desert's spectacular poppy and lupine and goldfield show in spring. I simply absorbed the flower identification guide my dad bought. I worry that kids these days have less opportunities to be similarly imprinted early on (I love the slogan "no child left inside"!). My passion had me making botanical illustrations in middle school, "looking into the throats of wildflowers". My science teacher at Malibu Junior High (now the High school) excused me from class so I could explore the nearby fields, choosing spring wildflowers to dissect and sketch. In college I got into plankton (living in Malibu gave me a marine orientation), and eventually I got into electron microscopy at Woods Hole (on Cape Cod). Now I am writing and illustrating a guide to single-cell creatures while living on a tiny Pacific atoll. The book will be published next year, a labor of 20 years. Late in life I heard the Navajo phrase "walking in beauty". There is something cosmic in beauty; despite my scientific training, it mystifies me. I remained an artist throughout my career, but had to invent my own job (as writer) to do so.
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      Nov 2 2011: Dear Dean,
      I LOVE what you have written, and agree wholeheartedly! The closer I look at something the more beauty I see, and "walking in beauty" resonates in every cell of my heart, mind, body and spirit energy.
      Since you know and love flowers, I'd like to share with you the space I occupy:>)

      Gardening is one of my many passions, and it fits perfectly with another passion, which is to leave the space I occupy on this earth a little bit cleaner than when I came here. My mom was in the gardens when she went into labor for me 65 years ago, and I have been in a garden ever since:>) )
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      Nov 2 2011: Thanks for your story Dean. Seems like you were a natural at this passion thing. Keep it up!
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    Nov 2 2011: I found it when I was still doing it without getting paid.
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      Nov 2 2011: Okay Oliver sounds like you must love it if you did it for free. Is it now your paid gig? Care to share what it is and how you found it?
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        Nov 2 2011: I can't say that I get paid doing it a 100% because I do pro bono projects.

        I like creating, designing and building. I need my hands to be busy all the time. I find myself doing a new project for no reason at all. If my hands aren't busy, like while I'm sleeping, my brain takes over. :)

        Currently, I do a lot of graphic design and web development but I've done industrial design related projects too (furniture, packaging, etc.).

        I can also say that I am passionate about these things because I get support and approval from my family, colleagues and clients.

        I think to find your passion, it needs an audience.
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          Nov 2 2011: Thanks Oliver that's cool. "I think to find your passion, it needs an audience." There's a new thought!!

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    Nov 1 2011: I found that by going back to my childhood dreams, where anything is possible, I was able to find my passion. I also read a great book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron- which is where I found this path
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      Nov 1 2011: Wow, Aurora, I absolutely love this! It so resonates with my experience. I had such a hard time finding my passion because I never really looked and it never jumped up and bit me. I started playing ice hockey at 53 because of a childhood dream that I totally had forgotten. Thanks for sharing.
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        Nov 1 2011: You see? It did whisper to you. I just knew it.
        Lately, the idea that our deepest passions and gifts whispered to us when we were young, and are still there speaking to us when we clear away the outside noise to hear them...even 50 years later, astounds me and begs asking whether it's already planted when we arrive. Do you think it is?
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          Nov 2 2011: I gotta give it to you - you're right. The dream was forgotten. I had started to emerge from my cry baby cave after the big D and stuff started happening. A friend and I were visiting and he asked, "hey, did you ever think about playing ice hockey?" There was no whispering about that one. It was loud and clear. And its not a world changing big picture passion but its something that brings me so much joy and I needed to get some joy back in my life so it is an important one for me.

          Peace on ya! Enjoy your comments.
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      Nov 1 2011: LOVE IT!!! Explore life with the curiosity and unconditional love of a child:>)
  • Oct 31 2011: To get passionate at first one has to find out what one loves most. It’s not an easy thing to do. Some people can spend X years, chasing all sorts of things and yet not knowing what exactly they want to do with their lives. Some people go to University and study something because their parents want them to study or they friends study and they want to study the same (this counts for sport as well). in this way they think they can discover what they love, but during that time either they start to love it or they get bored. “Seek and ya shall find” isn’t always working, because one can seek and seek.

    To me there were two things to find out: INSPIRATION and DESPERATION (only these two make me to take actions.)
    I simply ask myself:
    for INSPIRATION – How loud a telephone has to be before it let me know that it needs to be answered?
    for DESPERATION – How uncomfortable my chair (situation) has to be to let me know that I have to leave?

    Then I start to ACT, and the funniest thing is that I discover something that I am passionate about and get inspired when I do nothing “important”, such as cycling, walking, travelling, etc.

    Sometimes we get hold back because of FEAR of UNKNOWN, fear of losing or just because someone tells us we can’t do it. NOTHING VANTURED NOTHING GAINED! No pain no gain.

    Let me remind us some power words
    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”
    By Marianne Williamson
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    Oct 30 2011: I am passionate about everything in every single moment. For me, it hasn't been a matter of "discovering" anything, it's been a matter of being aware of all there is to be passionate about, and following that which makes my heart sing. For me, it's always been about opening my heart and mind to the possibilities. Look around you..."BE" totally engaged in whatever you're doing in the moment. What comes first...passion...or the reason for passion? Do we wait for passion to knock on our door? Or do we create it? I like creating it as part of the life journey... It's a choice in every moment:>)
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      Oct 31 2011: Sounds like you are a real lover of life! What would you say are your top three things you are passionate about and how did you discover these passions? I am genuinely curious to know HOW people found their passions.
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        Oct 31 2011: I AM a lover of life, and as I said, I am passionate about everything in every single moment. What part of that statement do you not understand? I don't have "three things" I am passionate about. Right now, my focus and passion is on taking care of my brother, who has cancer and is not doing well. I do that with passion...totally engaged in the process. I don't "find" passion...I AM passionate about everything I do.

        There is no reason to look outside ourselves for "something" in my humble perception. Passion is something we create in our "self"...or not.
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          Oct 31 2011: I get that Colleen. I'm rather that way myself. Your comment made me think about passion differently. Awhile back someone asked us (not on TED) to list 20 things someone might not know about you, or something of that nature. The first thing I wrote was, "I wake up happy." However, I don't necessarily equate that with passion.

          I generally place passion into the file that says what one loves to do, a cause or group of people one feels deeply enough about to move them to action, lights the fire in our belly, etc., but you're right. Passion is an attitude too, isn't it? It's how we show up towards life. I completely get that, and am most definitely that way myself when it comes to work I care about, people I love, the world around me in general. It pours out like a spring. Thank you for that.

          We've begun to use the word passion categorically - as it applies to a particular thing we do. And I think that's true too. It's also a way of being, or how we show up towards life, towards everything that presents itself to us. Nice.
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        Oct 31 2011: Hi Linda,
        I cannot even imagine limiting myself to only 3 things to be passionate about!!! Humans seem to like categorizing things, and I do not like that process. I live in the moment, and I percieve everything to be connected, so whatever I'm doing at any given time is my passion. Whether I'm hiking the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal, the Inca trail in Peru, skiing, sailing, biking, kayaking, gardening, or taking care of a sick relative or friend, etc. etc. etc., I am passionate about the moment.

        Yes, for me, passion is an's how we "show up" for's how we "flow" with life. I really don't care how people choose to use the word, but it seems limiting to me to choose only a couple things to be passionate about.
        You're welcome. I am passionate about spreading the word about passion.....LOL:>)
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          Oct 31 2011: I hear you about passion...laughing :)

          And I know we both hear Bill too, being in a job (or jobs) for decades doing what he thought he should, and woke up to find what made his heart beat faster and maybe even shook him at his core. That's revelatory, at best! I love being witness to that in others, I imagine, you are too. We don't know each other yet, but it's clear you're passionate about passion - no matter its form. :)
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          Oct 31 2011: Colleen and Linda, Thank you for sharing your insights. You have taken me deeper into this thought. The fire in the belly expressed in some kind of action are both parts of the thing. For so long I didn't feel any. Now inspiration and passion for things are all around me. I now know what brings me joy.

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          Nov 2 2011: Colleen, Bill kindly asked for the top three--not a limit. It seems to me you were not passionate about responding to his simple request.

          I'm passionate about my family and friends, my work in retirement,reading social issues and writing letters to the editor, planning family vacations and trips, supporting my daughters careers, etc.

          But when a friend asked me to check on another friend, and I found him in a wrecked home, bleeding from all four limbs due to diabetes, suffering from multiple-myeloma, in cold rain with a crew rebuilding his house, I convinced him to come to my home. He was there for twelve days, bleeding for the first week and doing far worse in his illness. Then, there was only one passion for me. My family felt foresaken and abused yet understood.

          If I am going to bother responding to Bill, he has my whole passion while I am responding. I think that is what TED is for.

          Forgive me for being so bold to say what I think.

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        Nov 2 2011: Dear Phil,
        I am aware of what Bill asked for, and I honestly answered from my perspective and life experience. I DO NOT have "the top three" passions, and as I explained clearly, I am passionate about whatever I am engaged in at the moment.

        I do not have anything to "forgive" you for, because I do not judge you. Your interpretation of, and displeasure with my response is interesting.
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          Nov 6 2011: Dear Colleen, I appreciate your response as well as Bill's approval of it.

          Yet, I remain frustrated with the equivocation of "top three" as “limit.” It seems disingenuous and your response to my concern seems to be: So what? It’s my business.

          That’s OK, too, if that’s how it is. Even that is none of my business.

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        Nov 6 2011: Phil,
        Being frustrated is YOUR choice. Judging another person for what s/he feels is YOUR choice. What I choose to be passionate about is MY choice, and I am very clear about that. As I said, your displeasure and continuing frustration with my response is interesting...and amusing!
    • Oct 31 2011: Hi Colleen and Bill,

      Colleen's observation is one that I couldn't have said better!
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        Nov 3 2011: Thank you Richard:>)
        I truly believe that passions do not necessarily come to us, nor do we need to find or seek passions. My life experience shows me that passion is an energy I carry with me wherever I go, in each and every moment. It is like many other emotions or feelings that people are looking for "out there somewhere", when all the time, we have the choice to really "see" our world differently with knowing our "self".
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    Oct 30 2011: For me it's about synthesis. How do the pieces fit together in larger wholes while seeing the connections that translates into wise action.
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      Oct 31 2011: So Craig, what are the three things you are most passionate about and how did you discover them?
  • Nov 8 2011: When I first joined a telcom industry (Telnor) handing brand communication for a youth brand (Djuice), I knew I found my passion. The ability to create something at a mass level is something that brings an overwhelming sense of joy.

    Recently I've created a Consumer Engagement Platform for the youth of Dhaka called Nxtation. I'm happy to say that all of our shows till date has been sold out, and concept of fusion music is well appreciated in the Bangladeshi Market.
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    Nov 8 2011: Pencils and paper were cheap.
    I could draw in an attempt to make sense of my world and to sublimate.
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    Nov 7 2011: With your help, we can alter the future of mankind. Will you join forces with me?
    • Nov 7 2011: Hi Michael,

      I already have.

      I am passionate about promoting nuclear power. Carbon-based fuels are cheap thus developing nations (and us) will use them. In the 2012 issue of Infinite Energy I will present a case for the Lake Superior Complex. It is advanced nuclear technology to tackle global warming. By installing 20,000-30,000 mW of installed capacity every year for the next 100 years, here, in the Soviet Union and China we can make a dent in eliminating carbon-based fuels something, absent cheap energy, will never occur.

      My reactor complex would cost less that the stiumulus packages and make us not only energy independent but the largest exporters of hydrogen, steel, aluminum and petrochemical products anywhere in the world.

      Chernobly was irrelevant. The Japanese should not build nuclear plants on the "Ring Of Fire"; hence the Diablo Canyon reactors are a bad idea. The Lake Superior complex is in the most seismically quiescent
      area anywhere in the world.

      I am passionate about hormesis the proven ability of organisms including humans to benefit from low-levels of radiation. This has been proven in countless studies including the most recent in Chernobyl where it was demonstrated that mice exposed to the radiation there lived longer than the control mice. The Japanese exposed to low-level radiation will live longer, more cancer-free lives than those not exposed to the radiation.

      I am passionate about picketing Greenpeace in the future who I regard as environmental terrorists for shutting down nuclear power in this country. What those "geniuses" didn't do was ask themselves one simple question in the 1970's forward, "What will replace nuclear power if we shut them down?"

      The answer was coal, of course, because wind and solar back then couldn't even add a trivial amount of installed capacity.

      Greenpeace and their ilk over the next fifty years will cause over 50 million coal-related deaths and trillions of dollars in direct and indirect environmental costs.
    • Nov 7 2011: HI Bill and Michael,

      I became passionate about hormesis simply because I put in the search parameter "benefical effects of low-level radiation" and I found hormesis. Here is a small segment of my article.

      "The primary ill effect of Chernobyl with the exception of the firefighters and helicopter pilots who were exposed to high-level radiation is psychological. Wouldn’t you feel ill effects of this psychological abuse?

      " Here are the facts: Cows exposed to high levels of radiation during the Trinity tests of the A-bomb in 1946 had to be euthanized because of extreme old age. Mice exposed to uranium dust at ten times the maximum dose level during the Manhattan project lived longer than control groups. Men working at Los Alamos who ingested large quantities of radioactive plutonium had lower mortality than the average population. Workers in the UK nuclear industry had a lower incidence of cancer than the general population. Moderate exposure to radon, a radioactive gas, correlates with good lung health. In fact radon is regarded as a biomedical treatment in Europe. Extremely low levels of radon correlate with elevated levels of lung cancer.

      "Here are the mechanisms of hormesis: 1) Low levels of radiation stimulate the immune system; high levels suppress it, 2) Damaged cells “commit suicide”, a process called, “Apoptosis”, rather than spread the damage; this process is enhanced by low levels of radiation, 3) Repair enzymes flourish in response to low levels of radiation (that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger), 4) The real culprit in cancer is, “Reactive Oxygen Species—ROS”, scavenging processes to remove them are enhanced by low-level radiation, but high levels depress it.

      "Radiation can alter cell cycle timing. This can extend the time before the next cell division (mitosis). Damage repair is most effective before the next mitosis, so changing the available time can be important."
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        Nov 7 2011: Michael, I think you're statements are built upon a some wishfull thinking.

        Quote:" Damaged cells “commit suicide”, a process called, “Apoptosis”, rather than spread the damage; this process is enhanced by low levels of radiation,"

        For all I know this isn't quite the case. It is rather that the cell has to revivified constantly by neighboring cells as long as it’s properly functioning. If a cell is damaged it is no longer supported and dies. If this health check on any cell fails because that mechanism is distorted it will grow independent into a tumor.

        Evidence about the effect of radiation on health is hard to get for all parties that have their own agenda and interest in the subject.
        Maybe make up your own mind:
  • Nov 7 2011: I was a tour guide at Howe Caverns for a total of 18 seasons---an old man working with kids. What a blast! Of course you have lots of caves in Tennessee.
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    Nov 6 2011: It's just being at the right place at the right time, with the right people influencing you. I don't think it's one thing that I can name. A lot of different things by themselves wouldn't have made me passionate about the world, but combine them all and you create a passionate me:)
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      Nov 7 2011: Thanks Emil,

      Boy I sure get it about timing and people. I try to create a sense of wonder in life by asking myself, "what interesting and amazing person am I going to meet this week and what wonderful collaboration might come from it?"

      Is it a wonderful world? It is but only if there's wonder in you.

      Thanks my friend.
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        Nov 7 2011: No, thank you for bringing up this conversation. As much as I believe that everyone's "triggers" to become passionate are unique, if we can somehow discover patterns or connection we could try to use it in the education system which would completely revolutionize the world. Now there's an idea worth spreading!
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    Nov 6 2011: Laurie--

    I've pondered this.

    In my mind it was more a celebratory "lesson" for coaches, players and viewers than for the young man. My sense is he, as many differently-gifted people, has a closer relationship with his abilities and powers than observers do/did.

    I think this deeper story behind our initial glee for/with this young man should be self-evident.

    But your comment reminds me how detached our society can be from this man's reality. Which needs no pity. Only equal respect: your point.

    He's used to and content being different.

    So the enlightened moment in this video is when others understand the unseen connection they/we have with this delightful young man.

    The only way people could see how similar he is to them, is through THEIR measurements of ability, happiness and success. Only when they saw him win in ways THEY understand quite clearly can they FINALLY understood he is more one of them than not.

    I imagine he knows this.

    Notice he never appears uncomfortable with himself. He is open and accepting of his enthusiastic energies and differences. By contrast, note the discomfort expressed by the coach, father and even in the body language of some of the players early on in the video.

    Only when the coach dares be fully open and accepting does he, his players and the crowd get the whole picture of this player's potentials. It seems, and I agree, is unfair that he was only given four minutes at the end of the season.

    What's heartening is four minutes is all this young man's irrepressible spirit needs to send a transformative message no one previously comprehended. Only four minutes for him to prove, what in fact, because of the brilliant part of his difference, has no need or desire to prove. That he's a star.

    That this epiphany comes so late in the game exemplifies the lesser intelligence of those of us who measure others and ourselves by superficial exogenous non-essential norms.

    A problem with win-lose societies.

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    Nov 6 2011: A little over 20 years ago I discovered a passion for teaching, that began with volunteer work at my local high school. A science teacher was overloaded with students that year, and was open to me coming into his classroom one day a week to help with labs.

    Volunteerism is an open door to all kinds of new experiences that may just change the course of your personal life or professional life.
  • Nov 6 2011: When cold fusion burst on the scene it arose in a media circus. This tainted a legitimate branch of science. Then the hot fusion cabal took over. They feared loss of funding for their $15 billion hot fusion boondoggle. MIT hot fusion scientists cooked the data from the initial tests i.e. if you look at the graph they used it was obvious the data had been deliberately misinterpreted to argue against excess heat. They used that corrupted data to convince DOE to provide no funding for cold fusion research.

    They installed their man at the bureau of Patents and Trademarks to disallow cold fusion inventions as being counter to modern physics.

    Randall Mills fought for years losing valuable time to get his technology through the patent process.

    Any university undertaking cold fusion research was threatened with loss of funding from Washingtion if "they had so much as one graduate student working on it"

    One of the greatest electrochemists of all times, John O'M Bockris detected nuclear "ash" from his cold fusion, tritium. A known science writer went to his laboratory under the guise of doing a story on it was, in actuality, determined to prove it was af fraud. He allegedly was paid $30,000 by hot fusion lobbyists to write a book to discredit cold fusion research and researchers.

    Main stream publications refuse to publish legitimate results documented hundreds of times of excess heat, produced reliably in a short period of time. This is being kept out of the journals by hot fusion scientists protecting their research dollars and their reputations. They have made a living promoting their model of physics. Along comes a paradigm shift that they refuse to recognize.

    This is what is meant by pathological denial i.e. the falsificatin of facts because they contradict theory. This cabal with support from the media is slowly changing, but we lost 20 years of good reseach because of a hot fusion/conventional physics cabal.
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    Nov 6 2011: @Bill
    Beautiful French Bill, just beautiful!! I can only imagine, this beautiful English accent speaking French, we go crazy for this sound over here in Canada.

    Yes this is it "the psychology on negociations and the intellectual games to be played", that's a thrill, isn't?? Yes, just love the game!! When it played with greatness, all parties involved, are please...well, this is passion at is best !

    I'm happy for your friend in TO (Toronto-Ontario), great job!!! You should send him my website address, not for his money, but maybe doing something by putting both our strength in the same endeavours and give!

    Have a great life Bill, be blessed !!
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      Nov 6 2011: I will forward him you website. He is a terrific person. And I am one American who loves the French. I know you are in Montreal but I just had to say that as many here make fun of and disparage the French.

      "Bien sur! Every man has two countries: his own and France".
      Thomas Jefferson, the day after the Battle of Yorktown, the final battle in our revolutionary war. In that battle French warships prevented the powerful British navy from shelling American troops enabling them to defeat the British. Without the French - no victory.

      And one more thing, there is nothing more attractive that a woman with a French accent.

      Blessing to you too.
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        Nov 12 2011: Hello Bill,

        Sorry for the delay, got cut up in work !

        Vive Napoléon et Joséphine!! I'm on the same page as you Bill, nothing more attractive, then an English man with a French accent!

        Have a wonderful Saturday !

        PS: On the contrary of anybody else, I love, and Michele Obama!
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          Nov 12 2011: Well we love you!! And I still subscribe to Obama's message of hope in these challenging times!
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    Nov 6 2011: I discovered Hugh Everett's MWI of QM, and Max Tegmarks AUH. I did so by assuming the universe is logical and causal, not capricious, arbitrary, and random. I imagined the nascient universe in the same predictamdent as Buridan's ass. Since the universe exists, since it did not starve to death, I assumed (like electricity) it took every possible path. I then realized if the universe did take every possible quantum path, it would automatically eliminate every QM paradox (including wave-particle duality, Schrodinger's cat, the double-slit, etc.), it would return QM to a classical theory (a theory that would have been acceptable to Einstein), and would justify the anthropic prinicple. I further realized with Max Tegmark's extension it would also justify Feynman's sum-over-history, path-integral solution to problems in QED. When one assumption solves so many disparate paradoxes, Occam's razor favors that assumption. In 1965, I claimed there was an error in John von Neuman's proof.. Just about every physicist in the world would have said I was mistaken. I claimed the proof contained a false premise. John Bell found the "silly mistake" a few years later. It was quite a while before I heard about it.
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    Nov 6 2011: This is now, I realize there's hardly any line between passion and OCB. The ones destructive are worked upon and beneficial ones preserved. I get both types randomly, erratically, I name those 'passion' once I know those are (good or bad for system I subscribe to) workable and I can keep doing it.
  • Nov 6 2011: Discovering my passion was certainly the most wonderful thing which happened to me. The whole episode of seeing something new was packed with surprises, hopes, dreams and meeting the monster called fear. But the word passion is nothing but a feeling, an inspiration sucked out of emotions, it could be from your surroundings, your job, your family, your idol, your fav movie, fav book, or from your life so far. It is all about your faith, your trust in yourself, an ability to view the world totally, being aware, not correct or incorrect but complete.

    And I think, that's all there's to a purposeful existence, being away from ignorance, absent mindedness, and blindness, and self superiority, and experiencing the best to the worst, to go through the wall no matter how thick it is. Complete awareness can make the impossible seem possible, it can either make you strong or break you into a million pieces, but the fear of the outcome must never become strong enough to stop us halfway.

    Without courage, without sense and understanding, without a bit of stubbornness, without trust, passion is only a commercially used word. So, whether or not you meet your passion, whether or not a miracle happens, at the end, you know you lived a life of awareness.

    If your emotions never bottled down to an inspiration, then perhaps they never were meant to be.
  • Nov 5 2011: Hi Bill!I am passionate about the truth in science---truth matters. This was something that caused me to actively seek the truth, but it has resulted in a negative result. What I see happening in science today it that it has strayed far from its noble roots. Now it is just a business where truth doesn't matter, only acceptance by your peers matters.

    Once a cabal evolves the scientic method goes out the window as the cabal consolidates its power.The goal of every scientific cabal is to stop paradigm shifts and preserve the status quo. This is anathema to good (true) science. Unless the American public actually sees their lives impacted negatively by the cabals, the business of science will remain broken.
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      Nov 6 2011: Thanks Richard. Seems today that business has ruined more than science or. more precisely, the business of greed has. Do not despair because most still seek the truth. I think I know what you mean about the satisfaction and joy in being interested in science and learning the true nature of things. There is nothing quite like it.

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      Nov 6 2011: Mr. Moody,

      I prefer "understanding" to "science," as I think science is not well understood. Also, I prefer "truth most of which is unknown" to "truth," for clarity. I'd like to learn your thoughts on these two issues.

      I am aware of people who try to force reality into their paradigm, for example, Albert Einstein using a "Cosmological Factor," to pretend the dynamic universe is static. But I am unfamiliar with and would like to learn an example of a "scientific cabal."

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    Nov 5 2011: (Ran out of space, too!) As for what got me through, I have to say that it was my 3 daughters. I remember feeling as if I could not feel much emotion in the beginning, everything felt unfamiliar and even new. Except for my daughters. I KNEW them, LOVED them, FELT them, and I was going to get better because I did not want to miss anything. The older 2 were traumatized by the whole ordeal and we are still dealing with that aftermath, but they were so strong, and when they looked at me, they still saw their mama, not a sick, changed woman. They still needed me, so I was compelled to suck it up, figure it out, and get on with it. They taught me a lot. They laughed at my funny problems with words and trying to talk. When I would suddenly fall over, they would come running (terrified, I know now), help me up, and then, to make them smile, I learned to laugh at myself and my trippy feet. They helped me remember things, quizzing me on each day's activities. They left me alone to open packages, or put together a toy, or button my shirt, or change their little sister's diapers because they just knew I needed to do it myself no matter how long it took unlike the adults around me who always stepped in and did it faster. They NEVER felt sorry for me. They just loved me. My daughters are everything to me.
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      Nov 6 2011: I was wondering about your story. Wow - thank you so much for sharing it. My daughter helped save me from a black hole of depression and anxiety. After a crushing divorce and subsequent collapse of my career I became severely depressed and anxious.

      I began meditating just to get 20 minutes of relief from anxiety. I had had no training in any meditation technique so I would just sit and concentrate on breathing. I got better and better at it and began to relax more. Then one morning it became crystal clear to me that I was going down a road of victim-hood, anger and resentment and that I was becoming a bitter angry man. I did not want this.

      Before me was a stark choice. Choose the road of love or the road of fear. I chose love but didn't know how to bring love back into my life. Then I pictured my then 15 year old daughter as an infant in my arms. I broke down and cried like a little boy. That is when love flooded back into my life.

      "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I chose the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

      Blessings on you dear Aine.
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    Nov 5 2011: Wow, Clint, talk about inspirational! You have traveled a very rough road, & yet your writing is very are obviously very determined. Like you, I wear glasses now & find it difficult to remember people and events from my past. Frustrating & embarrassing. My math skills were slow in returning, but they did after my brain reboot! Maybe that is still in your future.

    My coma was the result of an infection; I came down with mastitis (clogged milk ducts) 9 days after my 3rd daughter was born. Since I'd had several bouts with it when my other 2 daughters were breast feeding, I thought I knew what to expect & went about my business.Turned out that I was infected with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which is what causes toxic shock which shuts your body systems down. Last thing I remember before the coma was being put on a ventilator & hearing the people in the ER babbling about a 20/15 blood pressure, fever of 105, extreme allergic reaction (my husband says my lips and extremities were blue while the rest of me was bright red), & then my husband next to my ear telling me I couldn't die.

    My time in the coma is a black hole. That really bothered me. I questioned my husband incessantly, but since my brain was not working well, I never remembered the answers & asked the questions over & over. I did, however, have many recurring dreams in the following years, all of them disturbing. The two most frightening were of not being able to move & choking on a huge wad of gum that was threatening to close my throat. It was a few years before my husband realized that the dream about not being able to move came from the fact that they restrained my hands because even in a coma, I kept trying to pull the ventilator tube out. Then I finally realized the choking dream was about the tube. 2 years ago, I dreamed that the gum was a long purse strap, & I finally pulled it all out. That dream has never returned, tho' I am violently claustrophobic now.
    • Nov 7 2011: Thanks Aine, my story is in no way more remarkable than yours. I see many parallels within them. I absolutely hated the phase of hearing someone answer your question(which had been forgotten by me the asker) and so there was such jagged gaps between memory and being aware of the existing moment completely. I am so glad that the majority of these deficits has gotten better. There are such inspiring and remarkable talks on this thread. I'm very glad you got that completion of having choreography returned into your life. You had MRSA, I believe I had RSLA. Either way, both received Staph infections while in hospitals, which should be sanctuaries of clean air. The dreams you experienced seem to make sense as the triggering moments of trauma left in your subconscious the seed for them. I also have the claustrophobic fears, I also was strapped down, after waking up from initial surgery, and tearing off the electrodes, did not attempt the respirator as I figure I was used to that sort of thing by using nebulizers for asthma since childhood. I have the choking dream, in my case from a drug reaction to a common antibiotic given in severe trauma, called Vancomyacin. Which left my body in hives, which I itched until I was bleeding in a few areas. I did not find it to be threatening until I felt the throat beginning to close. Which was vastly more terrifying than how it similarly feels during an asthma attack. I also have a fear that I must conquer regarding driving, since the last thing I saw before the whole traumatic experience was the front end of a Semi. I think completely differently about driving in general and how people drive in such a way as to completely take for granted the actual forces, momentum, velocity, etc. Of their bodies within the confines of their vehicles. And how if that vehicle is brought to a sudden stop, that they shall keep that momentum on impact. I see so many dangerous drivers here in my current city of El Paso, where everyone is out for self alon
  • Nov 4 2011: My passion is the strategic board game called Go. In my late 20s I was in a bookstore looking at chess books. Nearby there was a book titled, How to Play Go. I bought it, made a board from a 2 by 12 with dowel pegs to hold the halves together. Then I bought a 100 pound bag of black Santa Rosa Beach stones, picked about 400 small round ones, and painted half of them white. Then I began teaching my brothers-in-law and everyone who would try, how to play Go. I would give a 9 stone handicap and never lost a game!

    Then one day I met some people who already knew how to play at a Go club. I was matched with the weakest player in the club (17 Kyu rank) who gave ME a two stone handicap! I lost! (So I was 19 Kyu or weaker!) It was a humbling experience.

    I have been playing for 35 years now. Playing Go and getting stronger and rising in the ranks is like climbing a tall mountain.
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      Nov 4 2011: From a chance happenstance of noticing a book that you weren't looking for, came a lifetime of fun, challenge and entertainment. Probably new friends as well.

      Very well done sir! Thank you for sharing.
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    Nov 4 2011: Reading these 2 essays gave me a purpose and completely changed the course of my life. It's hard to overstate how different my life might be without them.
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      Nov 6 2011: Mr. Maxwell,
      I appreciate your two articles. I copied them to a file then did word searches: religion and science and found neither, which I thought I had noticed. I like that.
      Vieth reminds me about balance in my life and makes me wonder if he is aware of Game Six of the recent world series and Tona LaRussa’s well deserved retirement. Being able to relate to other human beings, without requiring their attention to my concerns, is worth the time it takes for awareness of what is important to them. If I happen to meet someone today at Sunday in the Park and learn they are from St. Louis, I may know current small talk that will make them feel welcomed. If they allow it, within five minutes we will converse about more serious issues, such as how “We the People,” as defined in the US Constitution, never happened.
      Bostram reminds me how unworthy attention to “Global Warming,” seems to be. It seems the human contribution is 0.1 degrees and the other 1.5 is cosmic activity. The energy some folks spend on global warming could be redirected to space exploration.

      I was reared to be religious, but my Christian sect rebuked my wife’s Christian preferences, which I never supported, so I withdrew from my sect, not immediately aware that I was withdrawing from religion itself. On the other hand, I am attracted to my wife’s preferences for her.

      Now, I view all religious thought as intellectual construct or an art form. I perceive human knowledge as the pursuit of reality in two parts: understanding and art. I prefer understanding yet appreciate art and people who pursue art.

      The part of your post I would like to understand is: How did each of the articles change your life and what is it like now?

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Nov 6 2011: Hi Phil,

        One thing I have noticed as a tour guide is how willing most people are to share their passions to a stranger. First five minutes of small talk and soon the conversation goes to their interests and less commonly my interests. It is amazing how many people are so passionate about certain things. I even had one gal in her twenties who was passionate about Tesla!

        By the way Al Gore may have gotten it wrong--- according to a scientist at USGS first you get global warming and then, right on schedule, the CO^2 starts coming out 300 years later because warm water cannot hold dissolvded gasses as well as cold water.

        One Nobel Laureate I know even said that the man-made contribution to CO^2 levels is comparable to lighting a match in a large room once every 20 years. Here is where the truth matters. What is not generally known is that Al Gore's iconic "hockey stick" graph showing severe global warming within a century was just one of eight computer runs; he apparently dismissed the other seven that didn't suggest global warming was a problem. And then there is the classic sea ice situation in the Arctic---gone one summer---all returned the next winter and the ice melted far less the next summer, but no one referred to global cooling.

        When a large number of Nobel Laureates were assembled to discuss the most pressing issues facing humanity out of 17 issues global warming was number 17.
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          Nov 6 2011: Hello, Richard, my family visited the Catskills in 2009 and enjoyed it very much. Where and for what do you guide—mountains and fly fishing?

          When I meet someone, the thing important to me is their most heartfelt opinion. However, people are very reluctant to reveal concerns. Starting with small talk, if I get the slightest vibe that there could be real conversation, I go there quickly, because I may not get another chance. If I detect a common heartfelt interest, I try to go as deeply as they will go. Very frequently, I find a brick wall. When I do, I allow them to come to an end, then introduce a new topic, such as, “Did you see the LSU-Alabama game?”

          I was born in Tennessee, and most natives I know say Al Gore was born in Washington, D.C. A lot of my childhood friends don’t know me, because I am no longer Christian.

          They have faith in Christianity and don’t understand faith in the truth much of which is unknown. We each contend with uncertainty. They feel that they have the better argument, because they know. I refuse to join them, because to claim I know requires me to turn my back on what I don’t know.

          I like your fiction extending the (fictional) New Testament. In a formative Sunday school class for 45 year olds the teacher led us through 4 weeks of the basics. We were to answer in turn to the idea; Jesus died to redeem us of sins. The responses: Yes; Yes; Yes; I don’t know--clerics and politicians collaborated to kill him and the people allowed it, but God could have handled them letting Jesus live. Not long after that, I departed.

          I have seven pages of fiction titled, "Abraham Tempted to Sacrifice his Son." A dear friend who commented on it did not like my renaming of Abram, because it was out of Biblical chronology. I replied, "I state from the beginning that this is my fiction. Do you think I need to revise it to "fiction about fiction?" He did not accept the question.

          Thank you for sharing.

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          Nov 7 2011: Richard,

          Bar none, the most passionate scientist I've ever seen speak was Jim Hansen. He has been known both as Al Gore's favorite scientist and foe of Gore's policy recommendations.

          Which, perhaps, sheds light on why Hansen is respected for advocating for "freedom of speech" (non-rhetorically co-opted) for scientific truths.

          He is an equal-opportunity rabble-rouser. But, nonetheless is quite respected as something of a whistleblower of pseudo-science propagated in the name of economic good(s). He, essentially, calls everyone from scientists to CEOs accountable for their actions.

          I was invited to a talk at Minnesota's Science Museum by polar explorer Will Steger, who I was profiling at the time. Steger somehow got Hansen to give what Hanson later told me was a very rare public talk about his NASA research on anthroprogenic effects on global warming.

          Hansen was utterly kinetic about his work.

          The science was fascinating but keeping up with it at the pace Hansen was delivering it with slides and an infrared pointer was not easy. His love for his work -- not his agenda (in my guests or my view, at least) was captivating. We were awestruck as much by his excitement and engagement with what he was sharing, as we were by the story the research he shared "told."

          I remember thinking "I want whatever he's on."

          What Hansen was "on" in my and my guest's mind, was what seemed to be a passion-fueled "high." Which I've seen in other scientists and scholars, but none quite so unselfconsciously expressive of the pure joy their work brought them. Some convey it, but usually with more measured, apologetic, self-effacing or series tones.

          It was, regardless of one's views on the research, remarkable and refreshing to see.

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          Nov 7 2011: This has nothing to do with Al Gore (who did by the way create the Internet we know today) by sponsoring legislation to make DARPA's ARAPNET open to the public.

          I don't know what field you are expert in, but suppose a bunch of people who knew virtually nothing about your field starting telling you which end was up, what would you say. The overwhelming consensus among climatolgists is that global warming is manmade, that it will have dire consequences. Several times in the past, nature wiped-out all life on Earth. Nature is quite capable of being just as destructive as man is. But don't believe anything you read about global warming unless you read it in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Anyone with a little bit of knowledge can get the facts wrong. A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Steve Jobs learned the hard way when he listened to soi-disant medical "experts" with alternative views. It would be sad if the Earth reached a climate tipping point because humans relied more on the opinion of a few, alternative, minority views instead of the view advocated by mainstream climatologists. When you listen to members of the minority talk, you are only getting one side. It would be just like listening to creationists, or biologists who believe plants talk. The people you are listening to have enough knowledge to confuse you, and you do not have enough knowledge to evaluate the validity of their claims. Trust me, mainstream climatologists have heard the claims of the minority. They have good reason for rejectiong their claims. Cheers, Michael
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          Nov 7 2011: Just because someone is a Nobel Laureate does not mean they have any more expertise on fields of knowledge outside their niche field or their bailiwick than any other person. Would you take a Nobel Laureate's opinion on what is wrong with your car, or would you trust your auto mechanic's opinion? Cheers, Michael
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        Nov 7 2011: You miss a critical point made by Bostrom: near-term space exploration is much less important than making sure humanity holds out until it develops technology powerful enough for space colonization, which is a much more difficult problem than mere exploration. So fighting global warming could be extremely important if a runaway greenhouse effect could lead to Earth having a climate like that of Venus.

        Bostrom has another good paper on human existential threats:

        Anyway, the way the 2 essays changed my life is they made me realize that according to a moral code that I had previously espoused, I had a tremendous moral obligation to make decreasing the aforementioned existential threats my life purpose. And that's what I did.
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          Nov 7 2011: It is unlikely modern human civilization will last another 500 years.
        • Nov 7 2011: You cannot stop global warming with solar, wind or fusion. The only realistic alternative is nuclear power but no one wants it.

          The Obama administration wants to bring oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the dirtiest, most carbon intensive source of energy. There are 6 trillion tons of coal in Alaska, huge oil shale deposits, methane clathrates on the continental slope, natural gas for 100 years in various shale deposits---any no serious alternative to using carbon-based fuels.

          You cannot stop flatulent cows from spewing vast amounts of methane into the air or stop the peat moss from warming and releasing millions of tons of sequestered CO^2.

          China puts in a new coal-fired plant every two weeks; China's demand for energy will grow to a vast quantity once the lower middle class expands to over 200-400 million people.

          I am passionate about promoting nuclear power and have come up with the only realistic way to end global warming. In an article to appear in the January 2012 issue of Infinite Energy Magazine I recommend installing 20,000 to 30,000 mW of installed capacity/year in the Lake Superior Complex for the next 100 years or 2000-3000 gigawatts of nuclear and wind supplemented energy partially for hydrogen generation.

          These reactors burn up their own waste. Siting them in Lake Superior will place them in the least seismically active area anywhere in the world.

          Chernobyl was irrelevant. Japan's plants were underdesigned even based on historic earthquakes and tsunamis; you should not build nuclear plants on the "Ring of Fire". The Diable Canyon reactors are a good case in point.

          I am passionate about hormesis, the fact that low-level radiation is beneficial demonstrated in countless field and laboratory studies. I intend to picket outside the offices of Greenpeace, who I regard as environmental terrorists for bringing us the coal cycle; they helped shut down nuclear power world wide at the future cost of 10's of millions of coal-related deaths.
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          Nov 7 2011: John, I appreciate your caring response.

          Anyone who writes about the future of global warming is writing opinion--really speculation, not reality. Likewise, writing about the future of space exploration and colonization is speculation.

          However, my comments are focused on perceived benefits of the alternatives. If humankind spends its resources on controlling CO2 and succeeds in time for a massive, cosmic global cooling, it is all for naught. If, instead humankind spends its treasure on space colonization and succeeds, the next expansions into the universe have unimaginable promise. In "what-if" comparisons, it is prudent to recall, "I don't know."

          Furthermore, evolution teaches that life forms survive environmental change. It’s not a question of “survival of the fittest,” it’s the power of “adaptation to the environment.” I’m experiencing this in my own yard. Thirty years ago, I had to mow centipede lawn weekly. Today, I am sprigging bald spots with border grass and mow about monthly during the growing season. I installed an irrigation system.

          So, I was thinking more about the prize: try to preserve the environment we have versus adapt on earth and perhaps explore the universe.

          Also, I am among the minority who appreciate and can write about Albert Einstein's "greatest blunder," a fudge factor to "force" the universe to comport to his static paradigm. I extrapolate that story to all scientific theory (not fact). So, when what I am reading inspires me to try to persuade myself, I retreat to "I don't know." I don't know if anthropomorphic (thanks Andrea) global warming should be controlled or not, but don't think so, because of feasibity, especially given cosmic cycles.

          I respect the changes you made. It takes courage to change paths, yet once you realize “Your Life is in Your Hands,” (an unrelated book but must give credit) you can’t resist the better fork when choice becomes evident.

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          Nov 7 2011: John, I read "Existential Risks" and am impressed with your interests, whatever your function is.

          As a chemical engineer, I was involved in practical aspects, such as expanding a plant that had operated for thirty years with the potential for an explosion, discovering that potential, and risking my career for the time and money to re-design the expansion. I still have the letter of gratitude from my company. However, I could not take interest in and contribute to what we called "new technologies," until very late, thirty years, in my career. Your picture seems young, and I congratulate you again.

          Today, my prime interest is convincing theists and atheists they may hold their hopes and dreams yet unite under a third option: "We don't know." This relates to William Ury's great TED talk, The walk from "no" to "yes," that Linda suggested. My second interest is promoting the Preamble to the US Constitution, which the majority of Americans unfortunately never accepted--not since 1789. It holds the key to just governance under "consent of the governed." I wrote another essay on that today and submitted it to my local newspaper as a letter to the editor.

          Quoting Bostrum at the end of 9.4, "Peace and international cooperation are obviously worthy goals, as is cultivation of traditions that help democracies prosper." That's where I feel my work lies, but I differ from Bostrum in that I do not favor democracy: I favor a republic--the rule of written law with elected representatives.

          Thank you very much for sharing the three essays.

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    Nov 3 2011: People say "Only the boring people get bored" I disagree I think it is through experiencing boring jobs, boring places and dare I say it even boring people that we search for more and for me the search is the passion and the exploration and discovery is where I am passionate.
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      Nov 3 2011: Probably a passionate person is less often bored. Could boredom also be a spring of creativity one can dip into.
      I mean what was James Naismith doing when he invented the game of basketball? Maybe sitting being bored and ....... hey there's a basket and "hand me that ball?" Just bored and looking to create some fun.
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        Nov 4 2011: Bill --

        I believe boredom most certainly is fertile space for creativity to germinate from. Or ball-games to bounce up from, something like that.

        A piece I wrote that relates to the "boredom factor" you allude to, and the constructive effects of lying in the grass and "idly" daydreaming .

        Including for young athletes who might someday express their passions as basketball-playing global leaders:

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          Nov 4 2011: I'm glad I checked my mail before bed just now. What a well written and well thought article. I loved it. I did a little coaching when my daughter was in grade school. What a trip that was!

          It was during periods of boredom and daydreaming that I realized what my new passion was which is to do trainings and be a professional speaker. On a Saturday morning was lying in bed day dreaming about giving a speech. I realized I did that I had been day dreaming about that a lot. Bingo! Like duh!

          I'm liking this guy called Gags too.

          So grateful for your contributions here.
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        Nov 4 2011: Bill --

        Something is stirring.

        This video came into my view (via a friend) just moments ago.

        Lest we doubt the powers of hoops-dreamers and their manly-men coaches:

        If this doesn't ignite a few passions I'm thinkin' its time to check pulses.

        An exquisite diversion to fill a few bored moments...

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          Nov 4 2011: What a wonderful video. That's passion all right!
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          Nov 4 2011: Thanks Andrea - got me all misty eyed here at 6 in the morning and I've seen it before. Reaffirms the goodness in people and in life yeah?
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          Nov 6 2011: Andrea, I had seen this before, enjoyed it again, and will if it comes my way again.

          I suppose it is my imagination (a video produced after such an outstanding event is not likely to reflect every reality), however, it seems to me Jason's articulations in scenes that seemed to precede the 20 point performance (e.g.; 0.41 and 1:03) were not of the high quality of articulations seemingly after the event (1:45 and 2:05). I wonder if Jason would say realization of his unrecognized basketball skills helped him realize unused speech skills and others.

          Regardless, thank you.

        • Nov 6 2011: That video is so sad. They didn't even let him play (or even wear a jersey) until the last game of the season. That is terrible.
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        Nov 4 2011: Bill,

        Yes. Reaffirms the goodness in people and life. Much needed sometimes. Thanks for offering a space to share passions like these.

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        Nov 6 2011: Phil,

        You're missing a bigger reality.

        It's there if we dare look behind the face reflected in the computer screen.

        But, first to address your point:

        The video conveys psychological, physiological and kinetic effects at work. Some would say, and I agree, these are occurring in dialectic with fans in the bleachers, his fellow hoopsters, etc. All of these happening at individual and collective unconscious levels.

        Sports is a one of those rare near-universal vernaculars and venues these unconscious effects can be conveyed and understood, by most everyone. (A basketball essay, related:

        Here's my point:

        My strong sense is Jason understood his capacities better than anyone who has since observed them. My guess is he recognized(s) his ability to "articulate" his athletic abilities rather as equally as his verbal voice and speech. Note how his rally call was quite clear during the practice session.

        The reason his voice rings clearer now, is less because he "found" it. More, because we did.
        It was always there. We just finally saw it.

        What is critical, salient is this:
        We only found Jason's exquisite "voice" because he was given the chance to speak it in venues and vernaculars where it could be on clear display and thus, could be heard.

        The venues include:
        1. A "real" basketball game
        2. His team
        2. Many layers of traditional and social-media.

        The vernaculars include:
        1. Sports
        2. Video
        3. Human empathy.

        Empathy is an exceedingly rich "vernacular" where/with contagious and dialectic momentum can be catalyzed and built on.

        First Jason's family valued their differently-abled child. Than coach valued his gifts for motivating/supporting others by giving him constructive roles.

        Think scaffolding. As a building, without articulation with others (players/fans/media/us) concretely engaged in them, valuable realizations and visions (his/theirs/ours) might never have been, well, realized.

        In sum: we'd all lose.

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          Nov 8 2011: Andrea,

          I appreciate your elaborations on the reality--kind of an affirmation that I was not dreaming or reading too much into the event.

          While I try to balance my life (not be a couch potato), I will never tire of the wonderful human exeriences sports facilitates--like the fantastic interception by Eric Reid against Alabama.

          I'm an annoyance at the fitness center, because trainers interpret my enthusism and sharing as threatening their turf. I ignore them and enjoy the social suport I find there.

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      Nov 6 2011: I guess I've always thought intelligent beings have the capacity to be bored. If we are not challenged in life or don't find meaning and fulfillment in what we do, we can get bored and frustrated and even demoralised.
      I think boredom is a reality of our species...
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        Nov 7 2011: Yes Dan - they say we are far more capable and powerful and that we only use a small part of our intelligence. It would follow that we would easily get bored. Personally, I think boredom is a good thing and can be a source of creativity and invention.

        Thanks for sharing,

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        Nov 7 2011: Hi Dan and Bill,
        I think/feel boredom is a choice. With so many very interesting things in our world to do, and interesting people to explore life with, I cannot imagine being bored. How does boredom (to make one's way laboriously, tiresome person, devoid of interest) in any way reflect intelligence?

        Perhaps, if we choose to be in the state of boredom for a minute, it could spur us on to some sort of creativity. For me, it seems like a useless waste of time.
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        Nov 7 2011: Maybe I'm not an intelligent being because I'm unable to be bored. Even the most simple things are interesting and stupid work stimulates me to dedicate myself and in between venture in my mind for interesting thoughts and visions.
        Look at anything as if you saw it for the first time and you are never bored again.
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          Nov 7 2011: FRANS...YOU ARE A VERY INTELLIGENT my humble opinion:>)
          Apparently, I'm out of the penalty box and can give you thumbs up again...HOORAY!!!

          I'm "unable to be bored" too...can't even imagine it!!! I agree...look at ANYTHING and EVERYTHING as if you saw it for the first time and you are never bored again"...Very well said.

          I find pleasure in even the most common tasks...taking laundry off the line. Did you ever smell fresh laundry that has been drying in the sun and breeze? Sublime!!! I've been doing laundry for a LOT of years, and still enjoy the experience. I've had gardens all my life, and every time I walk through the gardens, it is as if it is my first time. I notice the beauty and wonder EVERY SINGLE time. I believe that is what passion is Frans...looking at everything as if for the first time...with the curiosity and unconditional love of a child:>)
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          Nov 8 2011: Frans and Colleen your posts are exciting.

          Two plastic shelves in our refrigerator disintegrated when someone inadvertently tried to cram an oversized jar into the top one and it crashed down on an overloaded one below it. Of course replacements are no longer available; over a week's time with $5 epoxy, I slowly put many plastic parts back together, and the two aluminum shelves are reinstalled, stronger than when new. How can a human being have so much fun?

          And I often hang a shirt outside, just to smell it when I bring it in.

          But most of all, I love discovering something astonishing, such as Abraham Lincoln attributing the Civil War to God and thinking, “That can’t be true,” confirming the report: in the last paragrpah, then doing the work to convince myself I perceive an interpretation with which I would agree. What a thrill! And I have not given up on the prospect of asking him if I understand. (I’d love to learn other opinion on Lincoln’s thought.)

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      Nov 7 2011: What is boredom?
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        Nov 7 2011: Hi Michael,
        According to the definition, boredom is:
        "to make one's way laboriously, a tiresome person, devoid of interest".

        I could never figure out why someone would do that to him/her "self". There are so many wonderful things in this world to explore, it boggles my mind that people would choose to be bored.

        When I was a teenager, many moons ago, I saw this written somewhere...
        "Interested = Interesting
        Interesting = Interested"

        I remember having an AHA moment!!! To me, EVERYTHING in the life adventure has been, and continues to be interesting. We learn so much when we are open to all the possibilities in the life exploration. Nothing in my world is boring or is a choice, which is why I am passionate about everything.

        I have a feeling you already know this Michael, and your question is a good way to bring the information to light:>)
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    Nov 2 2011: I found my passion at an real jong age, at the age of 10 i discover that i wanted to write everything down i saw, and that i wanted to remember things. Now i am 20 and now i am advising people how to do thing and how to improve them self.
    Also i am discussing new ideas and project with people all around the world , so we can for full the needs of the people.
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      Nov 2 2011: You are lucky to have found something so young. Be listening for new passions always and keep writing.
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    Nov 2 2011: I was a dancer. My mother tells stories about me rocking my head in time to music when I was 5 mos old, dancing to all music as soon as I could walk, & costuming myself to perform to the stereo I learned to operate when I was 2. Dancing and creating dance was just simply what I did. Was a university professor with a professional performance career and a dance company (that just turned 25!) by the time I was 26. Life was good & I was doing what I loved.

    At 39, after the birth of my 3rd daughter, I got sick. When I woke up from the coma a week later, I could not walk, talk, see, or use my hands. My cognitive memory was shot as were my joints. The brain damage was accompanied by a grand case of aphasia ( a language disorder that impacts language comprehension & the production of meaningful language). After some time on disability, I went back to the university to teach my lecture courses, but very quickly found that I not only did not have the stamina, but I could not pull the words out of my head to even begin to lecture...talking to my 3 small children was easier than trying to be articulate for my grad students! I retired.

    I fell into a new career that I daughters were Irish dancers. Long story short, I am now an Irish dance dress designer and embroiderer. In the beginning, learning to embroider gave me the opportunity to learn to use my hands again, to retrain my brain. My brain rebooted (the only way I can describe it!) 7 1/2 years later when suddenly my sense of smell returned, my sense of direction began working again, & my aphasia receded quickly. About the same time, my reputation as a embroidery digitizer began to take off as my obsessive attention to detail became a hallmark of my work. I had my creative outlet again.

    And, I just recently returned to the world of dance. As stated above, my dance co just turned 25, and they convinced me to try choreographing again. I did. It was a success. So happy to find my first love is not dead!
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      Nov 2 2011: What a story! You are an insipriation! Have you been approached by writers about your story?
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        Nov 2 2011: Thank you, Bill, for having asked the question in the first place! Gave me reason to think about my life differently. And, no, no one has approached me about my story, though I have been encouraged to write about creative and family blogs were another huge part of my recovery as I not only had to drag the words out of my brain, but I had to then type them!! Maybe someday.
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          Nov 2 2011: There must have been some dark days emotionally during that time. You are a courageous person. Thanks for sharing your story and for sharing you obvious talents with the world.
        • Nov 5 2011: Beautiful, Aine. You are quite some amazing woman. I have questions though. I wish your experience was completely alien to me. I was in a car wreck that left me paralyzed on half my body(temporarily thank god), with severe aphasia, as well as every kind of spatial deficit. i could not hold a train of thought long enough to express it to others. It has been 4 tough years, and my healing process is never ending. I have had 4 brain surgeries, including the removal of an abscess from a skull flap that became infected with RSLA while in hospital freezer. I have attended 3 Neurological rehab facilities. After the second, i was curious to assess the actual cognitive deficits, and went to take placement testing. At that time, I did my only academic cheating, by writing my middle name, birthday, date upon a note card. I was able to test out of all required college reading and writing classes. As well as Precalculus 1, but for some reason, I was unable to pass the sections concerning 8th grade algebra. Which seems impossible, but the traumatic brain injury I sustained wiped out strange portions of my memories while leaving entire epochs of my thoughts, past, and memories fully intact. i also to this day have a strange inability to instantly recognize old friends after not seeing them for years. As well as the most likely permanent more difficult time of encoding new memories from my short term to long term memory brain maps. I through this seemingly horrible experience, have found much more to myself, my life. I am grateful for such simple things as being able to walk, articulate complex thoughts, read since they had told me in hospital that the damages done to my optic nerve via inter cranial pressure, ICP, might leave me unable to read again. The eyes have healed, although I have always needed glasses for reading signs beyond 15 feet. I was always philosophical, and spiritual, but having an NDE has only deepened my appreciation for life, health, contemplation, and love.
        • Nov 5 2011: I'm sorry I ran out of space Aine, what pulled you through the hard parts? What was the initial trauma or occurrence that left you in a coma? I was in 4 drug induced comas and was curious if upon waking you were able to recall any of the time spent under. I performed so many mental exercises to recall memory, as my past was gone until I performed intensive meditation, and memory exercises to remember my previous self. While doing these, I kept pulling up the trauma, the initial craniotomy, and yet in the time of coma. I have these very vivid memories of something similar, but not dreaming. I kept seeing visual imagery, with the occasional auditory stimulus of doctors talking over my body. I was terrified that when I awoke, I would be in a catatonic state. It felt like those few months of actual comas, were like a decade of time spent traveling my own mind. Assessing my past experiences, my future after the accident, and an almost spiritual visionary world. I assume mental imagery is common while in comas. But I've never heard another say they had ay memories of their coma experience. Thank you so much for your inspirational story and outlook. And please let me know if you have memories of your coma? Your an exemplary woman thanks for sharing.
  • Nov 2 2011: After losing a significant amount of money through some property investments that went sour, I bumped into business training for the unemployed. I absolutely love it and find getting up in the morning so easy. Funny that without the losses I would not have ended up here.
  • Nov 2 2011: I think I wanted to do so much and things kept getting in the way and before you know it the kids are grown and there are grandchildren. So what I finally discovered is that it was so complex and ahead of its time that the time is now and I want to give it back to a generation that came after me and one who needs it more now than I did then. (smile) Getting is good, but giving is greater!
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      Nov 2 2011: Good one James. And you know what? This time right now. This time. This moment and these times? This is your time!
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    Nov 2 2011: I remember reading an article about a little survey in Britain, where animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts were asked, what influenced them.; how did they discover this passion. Most of them answered that it was mainly Sir David Attenborough and his books and documentaries. And I am no exception.
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      Nov 2 2011: Very cool. What I'm learning hear is there are as many ways to find one's passion as their are people. Maybe on key is to listen and feel how you feel when you read, or see or hear about or try something for the first time.
      Make sense?
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    Nov 1 2011: Hi Krisztián - I'm sorry but I don't understand your comment. Its probably because I am not as hip as you and not up with the term reddit/youtube ?????
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    Nov 1 2011: reddit / youtube
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      Nov 1 2011: I found by searching Wikipedia with "reddit." Itls a neat site.
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    Nov 1 2011: My posting is about dietary intervention, which can probably help between 60% and 80% of autism patients to SOME degree. Young patients are more likely to improve much. A few, like my stepson, recover completely.

    My passion involves more than just "helping people" in general. Autism is like a mad dog that bit my son. It is still out there, and it bites kids every day. I want to help build a bridge between the people who know how to treat it, and the people who need that knowledge.

    I don't pretend to know how to fix all cases of autism. What I'm talking aobut, is how to balance the risk of doing nothing, against the costs and risks (sometimes vanishingly small) and possible benefits of doing something. If you google "irrationality in autism reasearch", you'll find a blog posting I wrote about it.

    The hypothesis that scares me the most, is based on some pretty simple chemistry. If the autism epidemic is the result of a (presumably stable) genetic vulnerability and an increasingly prevalent environmental trigger, and if it affects boys 4-5 times more than girls, we're probably looking for a "culprit" that acts synergistically with testosterone. The only such substance that I know about, is mercury, which also acts synergistically with other substances, like lead and (possibly) other metals.
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      Nov 1 2011: Keep up the great work! Have read that "cleaning up diet" can have a huge impact on austism. Obviously you know a whole lot more than I. You are definitely doing important work, Jorgen! Thanks.
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    Nov 1 2011: "Too old and cold and settled in its ways." Saweet! Hadn't heard that one in a long time. I know how a place can exert a pull. I feel it from the Grand Canyon. Used to work there and was the greatest time of my life. Ah youth.
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    Nov 1 2011: My first passion found me. It came to me while in highschool: get to California from the Northwoods of Minnesota. Took me a couple years but my goal was clear and I was passionate about getting there, living there and experiencing at the time what I saw as an unconditional freedom (Ah, youth.) Still today I have no idea from where that passion came. None of my four siblings ever left Minnesota. Thereafter, I believe the music of Joni Mitchell inspired this passion for years:
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      Nov 1 2011: "Too old and cold and settled in its ways." Saweet! Hadn't heard that one in a long time. I know how a place can exert a pull. I feel it from the Grand Canyon. Used to work there and was the greatest time of my life. Ah youth.
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      Nov 1 2011: I do some speech/presentation coaching and I use Joni as a teaching example. Some women have those lovely soft voices that don't work so well when speaking in a big room. I suggest they find their Janis Joplin voice instead of their Joni Mitchell voice. Janis and Joni - geniuses both!
  • Nov 1 2011: If the thing I am doing or did is full of sence of sucess, I will be passionate about it. If I spend a lot of my time or even dedicate my life to it, eventually it pays off, I am sure I discover what I am passionate about. I love working and study, as I fully believe the more you pay for them, the more you will be paid off. Love, however, it is opposite. So I am not passionate about love, let alone marriage.
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      Nov 2 2011: Last Saturday, I was talking to an octogenarian friend, mother of six and widow whose dear husband I knew. She praised my marriage of forty-two years, and I responded, “Oh, it could not hold a light to yours.”
      She asked, “Why?”
      I said, “George was psychologically mature. When I met my bride, I thought I had found someone as dependable as my mom but with whom I could make love. My wife waited twenty-five years for me to realize she is not even similar to my mom—my wife is my unique life partner and friend.”
      My friend responded, “At least you did not want to ‘have sex,’ like most men do. But you are right about George. He never had sex with me—not once.”
      Then, my friend said, “You should write your thought for young men to read.”
      I did.
  • Nov 1 2011: I would not say that i have found something i am passionate about but i think one might have to work at finding what they love to do and do what they love. To me, i think it's hard to really find what one is passionate about. I personally feel that such interests have to be cultivated over time such that the interest grows strong enough to stay in the person as a passion. Keeping one's mind open and the willingness to try new things might be an option to first discover interests which one really likes and having like minded people pursuing the same interest provides a very positive influence to reaffirm one's passion in what he/she is doing. Different people have different starting points as to where their interests lie, some from a young age could already have been exposed to music and hence develops the inclination and interest better. Some could be due to influence of friends etc. I think the method in discovering the interest is interesting to know. Whats worthwhile knowing lies in how do people sustain their passion? What does a person tell him or herself, in times of difficulties, especially to still persist on and pursue his passion? Without this perseverance, the interest or passion would be just hard to sustain. just my 2 cents worth
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    Nov 1 2011: The thing that lingered longest was an ambition to get to the Antarctic. It had been an aim since I was small, and I have no idea where it came from. Some time after I got back home I started coming across books about polar travel which I'd had since childhood and forgotten about.

    I like hearing people talk about their interests, and quite often that leads me into trying something. Recently that's got me into sea kayaking and air sports, amongst other things. I've found a kind of snowball effect - the more you talk to enthusiastic people about what interests them, the more options open up to try. You must find that with a team sport, Bill? It gets you inot the company of enthusiasts.
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      Nov 1 2011: Hey Anne - Yeah there is nothing quite so fun as a good hockey game then sitting around afterward having a beer with your mates! My niece, Gina Carani, spent a year at McMurdo (sp?) station. I think she is headed back. Great story about your "quest" for Antarctica!
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        Nov 1 2011: Your niece is so lucky, I really envy people who have overwintered.
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          Nov 1 2011: Overwintered! Now there's a term you don't hear everyday! She is one intrepid gal that is for sure! Thanks for sharing your insights here with us.
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    Nov 1 2011: Good Question.

    I was talking to interesting people with different parts of the world, with different cultures. They were also judged like myself, and that made me so sad. Their stories touched me on so many ways, and I knew that I needed to help them somehow, to inspire them. So I was watching a doc about brains on Discovery Channel, and got the idea that could change entire world if done right.
    That is how I discovered that I was passionate about helping and inspiring people all over the world, make them see them too are geniuses, but they cannot discover their passion, creativity or potential, because they allow other people to manipulate them.

    Thank you.
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      Nov 1 2011: That is so cool. help them see that they are geniuses too!
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    Nov 1 2011: "Know thy self" That's the starting point.

    We all seek happiness and purpose in our lives but to do that you need to know who you are. I discovered my passion by exploring the fundamental questions of reality and existence. I've now described my passion as anything than makes me happy and the same for my environment. By leaving it open ended I don't get to attached to any one passion. They come and go. As long as my higher passion is still intact I know I'm on the right path.
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      Nov 1 2011: Yes but isn't a passion something that is so a part of you that it stays with for a long long time?
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        Nov 1 2011: I've had many passions over the years. They were all perfect for the time. It's like a painter. He is passionate about his current piece of art yet it's the creative process that's his true passion. We sometimes forget that what we are doing now and our current passion might just be part of a great passion. I see this happen with people that start building a business. In the beginning they are passionate about their goal but to get to that goal they have to be passionate about growing their business. Then somewhere along the line they forget about the higher passion and zero in on the growth and profit.

        So yes and no is the answer to the question. There are many forms of passion and they all have their purpose. Your true passion, the one you mentioned that stays with you always, can only be found through introspection. And this can be as difficult as defining the meaning of life sometimes. Some are luck and they intuitively know but most are not that lucky.
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          Nov 2 2011: James, I think I relate but probably don't and would like to understand more about "Know thy self," as you have accomplished it.

          I want to study with the integrty necessary for understanding, then make my choice until a new viewpoint or better tools for understanding comes my way, then quickly adjust my choice if necessary.

          That policy, which seems to have always been there, even when I was in self-indoctrination into religion, has taken me through many passions.

          Paradoxically, I dread death but am ready for it (as far as just me is concerned: I want to stay alive to support my family).

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          Nov 2 2011: James,
          I agree that there are many forms, degrees and levels of passion, which all serve a purpose at different times in the life journey. My greater passion is life, and within that context, all the colors of passion manifest at different times, in different ways:>)

          If we are living in the moment, it is very much like an artist who is delightfully passionate with the latest project. I agree that passion can be part of every process we are involved with:>)
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    Nov 1 2011: By drawing connections, often "visually" in my mind, between previously unrelated pieces of information.

    The discovery I'm most passionate about was made that way, independently, by several people. One was Dr. Robert Cade of the University of Florida, who discovered that some dialysis patients who were also schizophrenic, were less schzophrenic after dialysis. Dr. Cade drew the connection, looked into what his dialysis machines had taken out of the patients' blood, and found confirmation of an old theory that the stuff we eat could be part of the problem. That discovery helped my son recover partially from autism, and it helped my stepson recover fully, through dietary intervention.

    When my son got sick, the prevalence of autism was 1:2000. Today, it's 1:110. It hits boys 4-5 times more often than girls. Have you ever wondered why 60% of college students now are female? That's another connection I'm drawing here, and that I'm passionate about. Could it be because the illness that's putting 2% of boys on the autistic spectrum, is hitting the rest of them too, just more lightly? If so, the economic implications are mind-boggling.

    Maybe I should start a separate thread about this: What's PREVENTING the Medical Authorities from discovering (or looking thoroughly into) the causes of autism? "My" discovery is only one little corner of this problem. It's an inexpensive form of treatment. It has no known or suspected side effects. It does not interfer with any other treatment option. Thousands of parents report that their kids have gotten better on it. Many, like my stepson, have recovered fully (mainly kids who got the treatment early in life). But the Authorities are still keeping their eyes firmly shut. They're ignoring the medical hypotheses and lab research confirming it. Instead they quote the lack of epidemiological studies as a reason for remaining passive and letting the autism epidemic run its course.
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      Nov 1 2011: Jorgen - what is the treatment? Sounds like your inspiration was coming up with this treatment. You passion is helping people. Agree?
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    Oct 31 2011: Read, listen, talk, do!

    Reading and listening to become aware of possibilities outside my experience. Read and talk to find out more. Do to determine whether what seems appealing has the same appeal in reality.

    It has happened that something has lingered in my subconscious for years before I got the chance to try it. And I suspect I'm always going to have a list of things I want to do.
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      Nov 1 2011: "It has happened that something has lingered in my subconscious for years before I got the chance to try it." Sounds like a good story here. Care to share?

      Your read, listen, talk, do formula is a good one. I used to dream of playing hockey when I was a kid. Then it was school, university, work, wife and kid and forgotten dream. Then divorce and meltdown. Then I started meditating just to relieve anxiety. Then all sorts of cool things started happening. One day this friend says to me out of the blue, "did you ever think of playing ice hockey." An old dream rediscovered and a new passion was born.

      Thanks Anne! Would love to hear your story.
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    Oct 31 2011: I think you are on to something about getting inspired while walking, traveling or cycling. I often get wild out there thoughts while riding my mtn bike. Some really are inspired!

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    Oct 31 2011: Beautifully expressed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and writing talents with us. This question and the responses make me realize how deaf I was to myself. I so get what you mean about basketball. Good on ya!

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    Oct 31 2011: Bill,

    I find myself passionate about many things.

    But the knowledge that i'm passionate about something seems to follow the passion itself. It seems my passions have always been there and my energies both illuminate and carry me forward with them, if that makes sense. So much so that when I've tried to resist them, I've found it daunting to.

    An easy example of this is an odd mid-life passion I've picked up: playing basketball.

    While I rather wish my exercise passions carried me into something more feminine and delicate, like, say ballet. Try as I might, my body is more drawn to the more reactive energies of basketball. Looking back, I loved hockey as a kid. And was laughed right out of the auditions for dance-line. Prescient signs, no doubt.

    A more complicated example was my reluctant acceptance of my passion for civic engagement.

    I had a mentor who continually pointed out evidence of my abilities to me. For a long time I barely recognized his points, and barely aspired to achieve them. The work just drew me in. In spite of both psychological and practical resistance on my part.

    There were times when I'd feel the excitement of the work and think "Oh, no. Here I go again." It had a seductive quality that I had little resolve against. Though I didn't know where I was going with it and/or where the work would take me and anyone else might have reasoned "Nowhere, much."

    At one point my mentor's mentor profiled an initiative I led. I was a little unclear why my mentor was so excited. The author sent me the text for fact-checking and had me speak at his book launch when it was published.

    Still, it took me a full-year of reflection to get what the work meant to me. How it was/is me and how alive I feel when fully engaged in it. When I finally put it all together I contacted the author to advise my efforts to plunge myself fully into this passion.

    Which I'm still happily learning to "swim" with and in.

  • Oct 31 2011: Hi Bill!

    Solving problems is my passion---whether it is attempting to come up with a new school of chess or geology or solving our energy dilemma or revising the tax code, it is my passion and grandiose goal of slowly moving the vast mass of humanity "forwards" to a greater understanding of truth, wisdom and knowledge.
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      Nov 1 2011: Obviously an advanced intellect with a good heart. Thanks Richard!
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    Oct 31 2011: Bill for me it's
    -Forestry in the spirit of Gifford Pinchot focusing on 'greatest good for greatest number for longest time', through selective harvesting, local processing and end-product forest management.
    -Renewable energy and conservation of energy as a holistic balance. Understanding the concept of ecological footprint.
    -Affordable housing looking at new ways of building that integrate appropriate technologies without negative consequences that go unaccounted.

    These all have roots that go back 30 years but now the inspiration is Garrison, my 2 1/2 year old grand son.
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      Oct 31 2011: You sound like a most righteous dude!

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        Oct 31 2011: No Sir, I just swim upstream.....questioning authority.
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    Oct 30 2011: Linda, If there was any whispering going on it was really soft as I didn't hear anything. Like Robert wrote, I was busy working with wife and child in a stressful industry/job then the years went by and I don't know??? I just never heard whispering. Also, I wasn't searching for it either. So. ipso facto, no search - no find.

    Then, life meltdown and lost most everything. Ended up rediscovering who I really was and re-inventing myself into who I wanted to be. Started meditating just to relieve stress and boom - all sorts of "happenings" started happening.

    So what about you?
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        Oct 31 2011: Adriaan - I applaud you accepting a spiritual approach to life and I am all for not going into debt just for things that bring fleeting satisfaction. In fact that is one of the things I teach and train is about killing debt.

        I can say that life is better with passion. I am passionate about hiking in the Grand Canyon!! Amazing.
        I LOVE playing ice hockey. I started at age 53 and I suck but it is soooooo much fun. I love speaking to groups.

        My best to you! and thanks
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      Oct 31 2011: Coincidentally, I had this conversation this morning. It struck me how those things I'm most passionate about - the things I do now because they call me - aren't new at all. They are exactly what lit me up when I was young - even if framed differently now. I've always known it, and always followed it. I couldn't conform enough to be too restricted or molded - but I did have a social conscience - enough 'diplomat's daughter' in me teling me what I was 'supposed to' do, and how it should appear. My solution was to blend my heart with what I thought was expected of me.

      Do you think our passion is inherent - just lying in wait - to be born?
  • Oct 30 2011: I stopped waiting for people to give me things to do and started to do more of the things I wanted to do, or I thought need to be done.

    Unless you know early in life what will be your passion, you often have to get past the need to do what is needed for you and your family to survive to have the luxury of doing just what you want to do. Of course there are exceptions, but there is an acceptable lifestyle aspect to this decision for most people. If you have no one else depending on you or are free of financial burden, you can be freer to take the risk of doing exactly what you want to do in hopes you can make a living at it.
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    Oct 30 2011: I'd add to this question, is it something that always whispered to you, or something you didn't even know existed? Which was it for you, Bill?
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      Oct 30 2011: I know I am not Bill, but I want to answer your add-on :)

      Of course it is inside. Whispering is some kind of advanced stage, at first it is totally silent. An external factor is necessary to take it to the surface. An inspiring teacher, a painting, or a piece of music, it can be really anything. Then the whispering starts, but also huge denying (thoughts like "it's totally insane" etc.), untill the passion takes over, and you begin your life anew, like Bill here did.
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        Oct 30 2011: Hey Jed,

        Wish it would have been a teacher or a painting but I think you are right. Silence, then whispering then life anew.