How many people do you know, if any, who enjoys small talk?
"Hi, how are you?"
"I'm good. How are you?"
"I'm good as well."
Then you would ask about each others' week, maybe double-check what each other do for a living, then throw in a current event like, "This coronavirus is crazy stuff, hey?"
These banal autopilot exchanges might have their place in society, but what if we focused on conversations that make people come alive? Moreso, what if we created a place where these effervescent stories can be heard?
I first met Lauren through our curly-haired mutual friend back at TWU. At that time, Lauren was a third-year transfer student from Douglas College. She also shifted her major from a focus on kinesiology and science to studying fitness and leadership. After getting her bachelor's degree, she pivoted further by seeking more schooling and attained a Marketing certificate at RED Academy.
One could say this is a classic story of a university Millennial who didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. To that, Lauren would say now, she knows what she wants to do because she knows what she doesn't want to do. And she knows what she doesn't want to do because she tried different things.
Eventually, this path led Lauren towards social media and content creation. This helped her realize what she is passionate about. Lauren is passionate about hearing people's stories and their passions.
I agree with Lauren that answering the question, "What are you passionate about?" can feel daunting. Let's face it: if we all knew what we were passionate about, we would all be working towards our dream jobs and feeling absolutely fulfilled and happy. Yet, that isn't the case. Why is that?
Perhaps it's because people often don't know the answer to, "What are you most passionate about?" We live in a world where personal opinions are openly shared on social media. But it would appear that photos, tweets, memes, and trolls are not sufficient in shedding light on what deeply motivates us to feel fulfilled and purposeful. And when you know what your passions are, it feels scary and unacceptable to announce it to the public unless you have a masterplan in place to turn your desires into reality.
Despite these hurdles, or perhaps because of them, it's rewarding for Lauren when someone shares their passion. When people go from having small talk to describing their deepest dreams, their entire demeanour changes. Their eyes light up, and a genuine smile appears on their face. Their words carry more charisma as the speaker gains more confidence, explaining why this subject matter is meaningful.
Ultimately, this is what drives Lauren towards hearing people talk about their passions. These life-giving exchanges need to occur more often. Exploring your passion isn't about creating a life plan you have to commit to for the rest of your life. It's simply resonating with your heart's deepest desires and knowing there is a reason for being alive.
I don't know what would happen if everyone knew and pursued their passions. Would the world be a happier place? Is it even possible in our capitalistic societies? Let's save these questions for another time. For now, join Lauren and The Passion Collective in creating a space to listen and share what makes people come alive.
To contact Lauren and learn more about this story, follow @laurenmkan on Instagram.