by Anne-Mria Yritys, Featured Contributor
Passion is contagious. Find your passion. Live it, share it, and exude it. Then watch it inspire passion in others” (Jaime Vandergrift)
MANY OF US glide through life and career without ever really questioning the purpose of if what we actually do makes any sense. Going with the flow is perfectly fine – at least as long as you feel all right with what you are contributing to the world, and when you keep growing as an individual.
Sometimes, however, life forces us to slow down, or even stop for a while, unless we are otherwise personally capable of doing so. Many times we develop our greatest talents and strengths through tough life experiences, and suffering. If not personal suffering, then through empathizing with those around us, be it family, friends, or even complete strangers.
“The moment we stop learning and developing, we stop living”.
Personally I had always more or less rushed throughout life and work, neglecting the philosopher in me. Life was running more or less smoothly. Until I reached a point both in my personal life and career forcing me to stop, and to slow down – something that never has been easy for an action-packed individual like me.
Years of work, the meaning of which I had increasingly started questioning, followed by some major events in personal life, forced me to rediscover my true values and put them into a completely new perspective. I had never forgotten about them, but they were increasingly in dissonance with how I was living my life.
I was working full time in the financial services sector, studying for, and about to finish my MBA. There had been major changes in my life throughout the years, including relocation back to Finland from Switzerland, changes in career sector, demanding studies, and draining myself out in too many directions. At the same time, my mother was seriously ill – she was suffering from renal failure, and had to be treated in hospital regularly.
Renal failure is a medical condition where the kidneys fail to filter waste products from the blood. Therefore, she had to undergo dialyze in hospital thrice a week for several hours at once. Her name was on a transplant list, and she was waiting for a suitable kidney donor. Needless to say, her condition made me suffer too. I had dreamt of an international career after having finished my MBA, but I knew I could never leave the country as long as my mother was in treatment. Her condition brought up in me extreme feelings of guilt for not being capable of helping her, and probably for having no control at all over the situation.
Our family lived in uncertainty however lucky and grateful we were knowledgeable about the fact that she was in good hands in terms of medical care and treatment here in Finland, where we have one of the best healthcare and social security systems in the whole world. But her suffering was a reality that we had to live with every day, without knowing when she would possibly receive a new kidney.
Despite of her strength we all knew how frustrating it was for her, being obliged to heavy treatment in hospital many times a week. It had a huge influence not only upon her life, but on our whole family. We all shared her pain, knowing that dialysis is a heavy procedure for an individual both physically and mentally. To learn more about dialysis, please go to this website: (National Kidney Foundation)
The time before, during, and long after her transplantation started in me a huge process of personal transformation and growth – a story which will be continued in my upcoming posts.
In the meanwhile, feel free to read and download Leadership Lessons Learned, a product I created together with other MBA´s while processing my experiences, thoughts and feelings during the transformation period that affected, and still continues to affects my life and my core values. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing.
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one that you are capable of living” (Nelson Mandela)
“Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way”.
“Finding your passion is not only about careers and money. It is about finding your authentic self. The one you have buried beneath other people´s needs”. (Kristin Hannah)
“If you cannot figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose”.
“Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion”.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful”.
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become”. (Buddha)
“Finding your passion and purpose is never too late”.
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you do not need to escape from” (Seth Godin)
Before leaving the human life upon Earth, I would hope not have a single bit of talent left, and could say “I used everything that was given to me”.