What fires you up?

I have the opportunity to listen to a lot of podcasts at work and they tend to fall into two categories — business/entrepreneurship and personal development.  One key topic to both categories is to be your authentic self do what you love.

I’ve never wanted to be anyone but me, an impressive feat for an introvert, but I have trouble with the second part.  I live life on a very even keel.  I don’t get too high and I don’t get too low.  Do I have hobbies and interests?  Of course, I do.  Am I passionate about them?  Do they fire me up?  Well, no, not really.

I’ve been asked many times by many people what fires me up.  I don’t really have an answer.  The only times I can recall being fired up, it isn’t in a good way.  It’s all anger.  If this is true for me, it’s probably true for others and  it begs the question:  Is “What fires you up?” the wrong question to ask an introvert?  There are plenty of things that I could see myself happily doing day in and day out and never think twice about whether it was the right thing to do.  Does that make me passionate about it?  I don’t think so.

I recently read the results of a study that challenges the results of several others that say extroverts tend to be happier than introverts.  This new study basically indicates that extroverts are far more likely to choose answers at the extremes of a particular question.  Introverts tend to save the extreme answers for the extreme situations.  For example, you will probably never hear me say “This is the best ice cream in the world!”  The odds are pretty good that some ice cream somewhere is better than this stuff.  Good or bad, the experiences of my life fall on a continuum of satisfaction/happiness/joy/fun/etc. and they all get compared to previous events and hopes of the future.  The extroverts seemed to get some satisfaction from answering on the outer reaches.  Oddly enough, the introverts were as likely to avoid the extreme answers as the extroverts were likely to choose them.  As long as that’s the case, I guess extroverts will always appear happier.

Is there a better question for introverts to ask themselves to find their core purpose in life than “What fires you up?”  Does this concept strike a chord with you?  Is it totally foreign?  Leave your comments below!

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • http://twitter.com/NikiEntertains Niki Entertains

    Visiting from your Stuff Christians Like link.  As an extrovert, I really thought this was the best post ever!!!  hahaha!  No, I really did enjoy it.  It is something I think about often, as I am very interested in “minds” and how they work.  My husband (an introvert) and I face this all the time…”Honey, should I wear my hair like this or down?”,  “Sure, looks fine like that.”, “maybe I’ll pull it down…you don’t seem to like it too much.”.  He often says, “You know, I’m just not a jump up and down in excitement kind of person”.  AND that’s why we work so well.  If he were like me, we would be pretty mixed up. :)  Thanks for the food for thought!!

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    Niki — Thanks for your thoughts.  If I ever jump up and down in excitement, there’s probably something seriously wrong with me, so I can relate to your husband.  I find the differences in how people think to be fascinating.  I wonder what your husband would have to say in response to this post…

  • Brett Traudt

    Really like what you shared. I am a fellow introvert and I get fired up, but just like a fire… I tend to die rather quickly if I don’t add more fuel. Usually for me I move onto something else, get sidetracked, or just talk myself out of an idea pretty quickly. However, I do smile more when I am working with my hands whether it is working with redwood, making soap or gardening. Thinks I have the tools for and dive into when I need some peace and can’t get away from the city. Sometimes for an introvert like me, I have to get out of my electrical paradise just to clear my head. Keep of the great work… introverts seem to think deeply as well!

  • http://www.backyardlifeblog.com Raun Lauterbach

    Fantastic input, Brett!  Thanks for sharing!  I often make the mistake of doing the easy instead of doing the important.  As you can imagine, this keeps me from reaching my goals.  That’s why I decided to join the Hard Work Network (link in the right sidebar).  It forces me to put my goals out there and keeps me honest about my progress.  Come back anytime!