“Passion is our fuel.”
About 29 years ago, I started what I thought was going to be a career at Ford Motor Company. I was assigned to work the assembly line, and I was promised that if I just worked hard for 30 years and showed up every day, they would allow me to retire at that point and pay me a pension to not work for the rest of my life.
It all sounded great, and my parents and friends had me convinced that I should be happy, so I guess going into it, I was. I also knew that the pay and benefits were pretty good, so I was excited about that. Really, I started out pretty passionate about my new career. I was passionate about the pension, my benefits, my pay, and my PTO time.
Then I started working there, and things started to change. Working on the assembly line was hard, of course, and boring! After a few weeks, I realized 30 years was going to be a long time! My passion for the pension started to fade soon after. My benefits were great, too, but when I realized that my friends were paying 50 dollars to go to the doctor and I was paying 20, it did not seem like the 30-dollar savings were worth it. My passion for the benefits faded.
My parents, family, and friends had me convinced that I was living the American dream, so that had me pretty passionate in the beginning. As the weeks and months and even years went by, I realized it was their dream, not mine. Overall, my passion for the job started to fade, especially when I realized I had very little chance of merit-based advancement in the company since everything was seniority-based only.
I was still holding onto a passion for making money, though, and that kept me going for a while. But eventually, I realized that working for an hourly wage was limiting me as well. There were not enough hours in the day for my dreams to be realized. My passion for money started to fade, too.
All of this loss of passion led me to get tired and disinterested in my career, but somehow, I made it almost 20 years because one passion remained. It fueled me for all those years, and it had nothing to do with anything I wrote about above. It was family!
I had a beautiful wife and two beautiful children, and I can tell you that I am just as passionate about them today as I was back then. They are what fueled me to go to that factory every day. There was little passion for me in that factory, but in my heart, there was plenty.
I would wake up at 4:15 a.m. every day with almost zero desire to show up for Ford. I would sit at the edge of my bed, and I would remind myself that my girls needed me to go in, and that was what I did every day. There were many times I tried talking myself out of it, but the quick reminder of my passion for them gave me the physical and mental strength I needed. This continued day after day. It was my fuel.
Ladies and gentlemen, passion is a must! Sometimes we are looking for passion where our body is every day and can’t see it. If you search for it in your mind or your heart (like I did), you might find it there. It may be the fuel you need to keep going and make a difference, so please reflect on what you’re doing today that helps people you love instead of just thinking about what it does for you.
It might just keep you going for 20 years like it did for me!
There is lots of debate these days about what fuel is best for cars. Is it gasoline or diesel? Some also say it’s electric or hydrogen. I’m not sure which one is best overall, but for humans, I am convinced that passion is the best fuel for us. We just have to look in different places to harness it sometimes! Open your mind, open your heart, and find your passion, my friends!
Thank you for reading and God bless you! Stay passionate!