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Underwhelmed. I`d be willing to bet that`s how you`re feeling right now, having just read the title of this piece. Passion. Hmmm… I must admit, it was with great reluctance that I used that word in the heading because it just feels so hackneyed and threadbare nowadays, as though it has been everybody`s go-to word du jour over the past decade, sadly rendering it ineffective. My sympathies go out to all the HR recruiters who, with glazed eyes and feigned interest no doubt, have had to listen to the word “passion” being churned out ad nauseam in every single interview by every last wide-eyed candidate.
But for all that, this piece is a nod to passion and a recent experience I had of its fabulous power to elevate an otherwise humdrum enquiry to a place without limits. It was a typical Friday afternoon with the usual palpable, lighthearted buzz building in the air ahead of knock off time. I`d decided to drop into the Telstra shop at Telstra House in the CBD and my very ordinary run-of-the-mill question about my Broadband dongle was about to take me somewhere extraordinary. So I`m directed to the young guy at the Tech Bar and what a rare gem he was, providing expansive, verbose explanations and generous answers to even just my basic questions. He was a total tech fanatic, this guy, and his clear love of that world swept me along on an eye-popping ride because his enthusiasm was my passport – his obsession gave me entreé into the super-cool wonderland of IT. Suddenly I had vicarious access! For a brief moment I was privy to his big wide world of knowledge and expertise, a field that has always felt intimidating and foreign to me, and most unwelcoming. But with his every sentence I was catching a free ride on derivative experience, albeit fleetingly and how exhilarating it was. I`ve never before felt like I belonged in the tech realm because when it comes to electronic technology I`m afraid I sit just a hair`s breadth outside illiteracy, somehow muddling through and sort of figuring things out as I go. But that Friday afternoon in the Telstra shop I was taken somewhere and what an educational ride it was!
Fascinating insights and morsels of information were dished up to me as I was taken on the scenic route, skirting round operating systems, cruising past 4G firewall bubbles, zipping into internet security and anti-virus protection, passing by Norton and Bit Defender and anti-virus performance rankings, turning briefly into gaming, accelerating down payment portals and finally coasting round the sweeping bend of 5G. How enlightening it all was and for a short time afterwards I romanced myself with thoughts of what might have been, pondering possibilities of computer science studies and whether I should have, and if I still could, venture down the path of the computer geek. Enthusiasm is a transmissible energy and the fire of his fervour had warmed me right through on a cold August day. It felt as though my interaction with this guy had given me wings because it was based in total presence and mindfulness and it was creative.
Passion is intentional and deliberate. It is purpose and focus. It is love and joy and pleasure. This young guy did the very special thing of taking the ho-hum everyday and lifting it to a magical, stratospheric place. Imagine what our world might look like if more zest imbued the ordinary.
To Scott, the Tech Specialist at Telstra, Elizabeth Street, Sydney …thank you for a fun and really cool exchange.
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