The strategy meeting I was leading brought up the most important question of the day.

OK then,” I said “If I am the client, why should I hire you?”
Because. We are passionate about what we do” he replied

Sounds good except for the fact that this statement somewhat infers that the 200 other architectural firms in San Diego are not as passionate about their profession. An argument mind you that is deeply flawed as architecture is not one of those professions you take up just for the glory of it. Architects are generally underpaid, overworked, and hardly recognized for their accomplishments unless your name is Frank Lloyd Wright, or Frank Gehry for that matter. Architects do it for the love and passion of the profession, which hardly makes it a point of differentiation.

Why should I hire you?” I asked again, hoping for a different answer.
We are passionate about serving our clients,” he said.

Ahhhh, now you are on to something. Passion for serving people adds a new dimension to the professional services that define our careers. It is a different approach that can mean the difference between a successful project for all parties, and a bankruptcy lawsuit due to the lack of attention given to the client’s needs. It is the combination of the passion for the profession and the desire to use that passion to service others that differentiates our firm.

I bring all of this up because last week I had a friend come up to me and tell me that he really admired how passionate I was about everything in my life. From my work, to my friendships, my relationship with Christ, and my sports, you could easily define me as a ‘passionate’ individual. While I was appreciative of the compliment, I couldn’t help but think of my other friends and how they have their own passions in life which were no less admirable than my own. Ultimate Frisbee, golf, sailing, music, baseball, you name it. Why did I stand out to my friend as a ‘passionate’ person, when everyone on the planet is passionate in some aspect?

This morning on the way into work, I began thinking about this. While I have had an eclectic group of ‘passions’ in my life, I have never approached any of them with less enthusiasm. I love to communicate my excitement, and help motivate others to experience the joy I feel from certain things in life. God placed ‘passion’ in my life. It’s a beautiful thing, but passion alone is not enough to make a difference.

This is when it hit me. I am convinced that it is the communication and desire to help others is what makes my personal passions stand out in the crowd. Whether at work, or at play, I try to use my passions in life to serve and motivate others. The combination of our God given passions and the passion to serve others is where the Holy Spirit lives. This is where people begin to recognize that there is something different in your approach. Your life begins to bear fruit, and it is contagious.

This week, I encourage you to think about your passions. Are you using those passions to make a difference in people around you? While your passions begin to define your personality, it is the outside application of these passions that will truly reflect our Creator.