I entered the ice-blue and transparent Apple store. The openness and clean lines felt more refreshing than cold. There were plenty of i-products to play with, each subtly leashed to a simple table and pleasingly surrounded by free space. I glanced around and noticed the store was busy. At 6pm the afterwork crowd was present but speaking in pleasant, moderate tones. As I ran my fingers over the smooth surface of a sleek Mac Air, a tall bald man in his fifties popped up and asked if I needed help.
I told him I was interested in a laptop and was curious about the Macbook Pro and the Mac Air. With the enthusiasm of a kid showing off his prized rock collection, John described the key differences between the two slim, somehow pretty machines. John entertained me as he shared the support options for the products. He made their help desk sound like a juice bar; a healthy stimulating place to hang out. Of course, John wanted to know how I intended to use the laptop. I told him primarily to run my little introversion is beautiful website. He quickly pronounced himself (no surprise) a raging extrovert. Although the way he smiled when he said it made him more likeable than in your face. Despite our temperament differences I felt a great connection with John. He got me excited about exploring Apple’s website developing software. He visualized out loud me giving presentations about the website that included cinematic videos and other vivid image good stuff. He was pumped. I was pumped.
When was the last time you spoke with a passionate person?
Until my encounter with Apple John, I hadn’t realized how much I missed the two-way spark that occurs when inspired people co-mingle. I had been isolated for the last three months. The kids had been home from school and we were in the midst of a home improvement project. I thought limiting extracurricular activities would give me more energy for family life. Instead, my spirit had been held hostage by sibling rivalry and constant disruption. I went to bed tired and woke up with little to no enthusiasm. I felt cut off from my writing group and inspirational tribe. I missed the flow of ideas and the subsequent light that surrounds everyone involved.
Where the Passion Is
My trip to the Apple store seemed to start something. The next morning I went to my favorite cardio- kickboxing/hip hop class and re-connected with Connie, the most creative and vibrant hip/hop dance instructor ever. Her classes are better than therapy. Everyone leaves a little lighter than when they came in. Later in the afternoon I listened to the cadence quicken in my guitar teacher’s voice as he described his latest experiments with the tonal output of his six-stringed companion. Soft notes rose from the strings he plucked as he shared the obvious joy. I was on a roll. The icing on the passion cake was driving into the city and meeting with Roxanne, my friend and intuitive writing guide. I had not seen her for months. We filled pages about what we had been doing since we saw each other last, then shared their content. I told her about the one-day freelancing workshop I attended in July. I described the tingly, high feeling I got when learning about writing profile stories. Roxanne’s face lit up as she told me she used to do interviews before she became a thereapist. She had so much fun choosing interviewees based on people she wanted to meet. She called profiles the great equalizers. I took that to mean that under all stardom or success is a human who eats Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast and sends his mom flowers on Mother’s Day, but Rox may have meant that all people are fascinating. She told me of a writing assignment she received in Seattle where she had to interview a man who operated drawbridges in the area. She dreaded the interview because she thought it would be dry material but the gentleman turned out to be extremely passionate about his work and his excitement came through in his words and story. By the end she was enchanted.
As Roxanne and I wound down for the evening, she wisely imparted, You need to be around passionate people. A light-bulb went off.
More to Passion Than Talking a Lot
An introvert or sensitive person can smell a PR blow-hard a mile away and would rather take up weekly colonics than have to listen to empty self-promotion. But we are all intimately drawn to genuinely enthusiastic and charismatic people, people who love what they do and ooze authenticity. Passionate people are not doing things solely for their own self-interest. They are doing things because they are fascinated. That’s the energy that is emitted. There’s relief and freedom in inspiring conversations. No one is competing.
For two days after the Apple encounter and my reunion with Roxanne I had energy to spare. I woke up early with my imagination in high gear. I highly recommend finding a passionate person or tribe to hang with. One afternoon together is like a wheatgrass smoothie (that tastes like a strawberry shake) with a super mega-scoop of energizer powder. For introverts it’s the best alternative to being alone. Energy is not zapped. It is created.
Are you neglecting passionate friends? Do you make time to energize with enthusiastic people or do you just get through the day?
P.S. I am not a spokesperson for Apple products. I am promoting passion. That said, you still might find me bellied up to the Genius Bar at the Apple store.:) Oh! and by the way, Apple employees do not work on commission. Nice.
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