Mike Giordano

You know it when you see it.
Passion, I’m talking about! You can feel when someone is passionate—about another person, an idea, their work.

This past weekend I could feel that passion while talking with filmmakers at the Reedy Reels Film Festival. They LOVE their work. The joy they feel from the process is contagious. It’s motivating.

And, consider this: these filmmakers are not joyful because they live the movie star life. They’re not passionate because they’re rich, famous and getting set for another massive payday. No, their films are not getting a Hollywood premiere. They’re not getting million-dollar advances. In fact, many of these films won’t make it beyond the festival circuit. Of course, the hope is someday the big movie studios will discover their work and launch them alongside the likes of Spielberg or Scorsese.

But, that’s not why they do it. Talk to any of these artists and they’ll tell you it’s the joy of telling a great story–one that moves people—that’s the ultimate reward. So much so, they’ll grind along, cobbling together the crew and the cash necessary to do it again and again and again. They’re fully alive in their work. And, it’s a great lesson for all of us.

Today’s environment gives us infinite possibilities for how we work and where we work. We can work in a cubicle or in a coffee shop. We can look out on a meadow or the mountains. And, we can bring creativity to all aspects of what we do.

So, if you’re frustrated by the work life you’re living, I encourage you to see beyond today’s struggles. Yes, infinite possibilities can be overwhelming, even debilitating. Uncertainty can be scary.

“Where do I start?” “Am I sure this is the best path?”

So, before you make any major adjustments, take time to clear the canvas. Open your mind and start fresh.  Forget about job titles and focus on the activities that make you feel most alive, the most joyful.

Is it writing?


Solving difficult math problems?

Do you like to be in large teams or by yourself?

Do you enjoy working normal hours or have a more open-ended schedule?

Take notes as you go along so this running conversation with yourself can start to take shape. Eventually, you’ll reverse engineer your way into the work life you’ve always wanted. Maybe you’ll find a more exciting way to do your current work and no other adjustment is needed. Maybe you’ll discover major changes are necessary. Either way, the goal is to find more passion at the end of the process. The goal is to be wholeheartedly alive in your work.

And, maybe just maybe, your journey will create such a great story, some future filmmaker will feel passionately compelled to share it on the big screen.