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Passion by NHS England

August 18, 2015

This morning, I came across this video of a recent NHS conference. It was a gathering of Vanguards (what is the collective noun for several Vanguards? A Self Importance of Vanguards?). I have to admit that I don’t really understand a word the chap is saying but I’m sure that everyone in that room would declare themselves as being “passionate” about vanguardship.

As a purely aside issue, I wish someone had been passionate about the soft furnishings at the venue. Those curtains and carpets really don’t work. And what on earth is that frilly, valance type thing at the foot of the stage?

Anyway, back to topic.

I’m a little bit woozy about people announcing themselves as “passionate”. Profiles are full of passionate people trumpeting how passionate they feel.

One of my very first counselling clients was a man who designed the glass casings for lightbulbs. If you’d have told me that I’d have to sit with a chap for an hour as he described the most intricate detail of his work, I might have backed out before the off. But this man was fascinating. He was so passionate about his work that it was impossible not to be caught up in his enthusiasm. By the end of a session, I’d find myself sitting on the edge of my seat, wanting to know more. Passion like that is infectious. It was not possible to not be engaged by such rich, raw passion. The man was totally fulfilled by his work and was very alive. I felt quite sad when our work came to an end a few weeks later.

That’s the thing about passion. People who are passionate about something don’t announce it. They just are. It doesn’t matter what they are passionate about because it is their aliveness that really connects.

The minute you start announcing that you are passionate, the magic is gone.

My tip to the Vanguards is: Don’t claim. Be.


From → Social Care

  1. Jayne knight permalink

    I totally agree. I have met so many “passionate people” that I would never find vaguely interesting or one bit sexy! I mean the last word because really passionate people can engage me until I’m falling in love with them. Sometimes the engaging people are just so ” humble” . I’m not great at picking the right words but I mean just not up themselves.! Not getting much better at descriptions here.
    But hope I’m understood! im passionate though about the Tango but absolutely not that good but I love it!

  2. Either than or they teach Flamenco for a living. I get through huge amounts of passion.

  3. Sally permalink

    Mark thank you for a good laugh to start the day!
    “Passionate about” is meant to be one step up from “committed to” .As in “we remain committed to the highest standards of care for the disabled and are passionate about the best possible” etc .
    Passionate doesn’t actually necessarily conjure up being good at a job. Neil Armstrong wasn’t gibbering about being passionate about the Moon. He was highly skilled and able to be calm and make well informed decisions. He didn’t end up sending the rocket to Iowa while saying”I remain passionate about the moon”
    The terrible drapes are meant to coordinate with the appalling velvety chairs which I guarantee will be in there along with a series of tea and coffee urns (almost empty) and some tragic biscuits.

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