Friday, November 02, 2007

Passion

Dalton Stevens of Bishopville, South Carolina is in the Guinness Book of World Records, has been in newspapers, and has even been on the Late Show with David Letterman. Until today I had never heard of him. I was also unaware of Don Claps of Broomfield, Colorado who also is in the Guinness Book, has been in the national media, and was on Live with Regis and Kelly. My guess is that you have never heard of them either, but they sound important right?

Dalton Stevens owned the world’s largest collection of buttons without duplicates, 439,900 of them. Dalton is an insomniac and whenever he couldn’t sleep he would sew buttons on his clothes, which later turned into a buttoned piano, which then turned into a buttoned automobile. In fact people from all around the world have sent him buttons, so many that Dalton was able to open a Button Museum which displays all of his creations, including his casket.

All that Don Claps did was do cartwheels, 1,293 in one hour to be exact. Before Don set the cartwheel record he did the Bolder Boulder 10K, not by running but by cartwheeling the whole time. With his fame Don has founded a charity, Cartwheels for Kids, where he raises money for Children’s Hospital in Broomfield.

So what is so special about these two people? Passion over hobby.

Dalton and Don have more passion than most people on this earth. Not only do they have passion, but they have the courage to pursue their passion, which is more than most of us can say about ourselves. Look up passion in the dictionary and you will see words like intense emotion, intense enthusiasm, and strong desire. These words ring true to all of us because we all have something that we are passionate about, we all have something that propels our dreams and desires, and we all have something that adds the right amount of spice to our lives. Unfortunately we don’t always have a clear sense of what our passion is and pursue our hobbies in hope that we will create a passion.

Hobbies are enjoyable activities typically done after work or on the weekends. Our hobbies include activities that enhance our lives, and in some cases consume our lives, but never fuel our lives. Hobbies are a poor mans passion because they give us satisfaction without ever having to fully commit ourselves to the action. We can turn our hobbies on and off, but our passions, when really lived are played out every day and influence our decision making process. Hobbies are played out by us, while passion is played out through us.

There are two distinct types of people that you will meet in your lifetime; those who are always looking for the next best thing and those who are living the next best thing. For Dalton his life is lived through looking for the next object he can adorn with buttons, for Don it is the pursuit of the perfect place to cartwheel. Neither are activities that I would ever contemplate, but are passions unique to them. There is something that we can all learn from Dalton and Don beyond their quirks and that is to recognize your passion and make the commitment to live it. When we can do this we no longer have to fill our schedules with activities because we will be living the life we want through our intensity and strength, this is what makes us important.

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