Lucille Ball is an example of a woman who found and followed her passion to become one of the most successful people in the entertainment business -– in television, films, stage, and radio — during a career, which spanned six decades. She was brave, glamorous, and attractive and excelled as an actress, comedienne, singer, and dancer. Even more importantly, she succeeded as a director and producer and became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which produced several popular television series -–I Love Lucy, Mission Impossible, and Star Trek.
Although she became enthralled with acting when she was 12 years old, she didn’t achieve real stardom until she was in her 40s. So I think one lesson to be learned from her is that it’s never too early or too late to find and work at your passion.
She recognized that she loved audiences, “I am a real ham. I love an audience. I work better with an audience. I am dead, in fact, without one.” And she knew that her passion made her happy, “It’s a helluva a start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
Another example of a person who is finding and recognizing his passion is my 12-year-old son, John Robert.
At the end of August, he was cast as Donkey, played by Eddie Murphy in the movie, in the play Shrek Jr. The number of lines he memorized was second only to the number memorized by Shrek. John Robert’s role required that he sing and dance, as well as act.
I’ve heard him sing in chorus recitals, seen him dance in dance recitals, and seen and heard him act in dramas. But I had never seen him do all three in one performance. He was amazing – his best performance bar none to date. I had tears of pride and joy for my son.
The brief plot: Once upon a time in a far away swamp lived a grumpy ogre, Shrek, who enjoyed his solitude, until it was shattered by an invasion of annoying fairytale creatures – Pinocchio, the Three Little Bears, the Ugly Duckling, the Gingerbread man and many more. An evil, scheming, semi-dwarf, Lord Farquaad, is responsible for this invasion. Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad, whereby he, Shrek, will rescue Princess Fiona, who is to be Farquaad’s Bride.
On this serious mission to rescue the Princess, Shrek travels with the Donkey, who plays the comic relief. The quest results in Shrek falling in love with the Princess, primarily because of the wiles and antics of Donkey. Everything that Donkey said was hysterical.
John Robert is musical, creative, and works hard. He took private singing lessons to prepare for Donkey’s two solo songs. At one point when Shrek and Donkey were telling the Princess about Lord Farquaad, John Robert got on his knees to imitate Farquaad, the dwarf. This was completely adlibbed. He just felt the need to be on his knees and he did it.
He is passionate about acting and has been since he started drama classes at five. He loves it and is a natural on the stage. He has come a long way from his start in the Wide Mouth Frog in 2013. He definitely has the bug.
What about you? What is your passion? What can you do better than most people can? What activities do you easily get lost in that give you a natural high? Take time to get in touch with your passion. See if and how you can pursue it.
So long story, short: No matter what your age, recognize your passion and pursue it.You might be surprised to see where it leads. What musical, event, match, or adventure is inside of you and just waiting to be unleashed?
And if you want some assistance in identifying your passion, working out a plan to achieve your goals, and devising a plan to counter obstacles, you might want to look for the perfect coach for you.
With gratitude and best wishes,
Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach & Motivational Speaker