Over the past several months, as I’ve managed a variety of challenging client matters and Joe has been out counting down the 100 greatest baseball players for The Athletic (a list I have strong disagreements with, by the way), we took a bit of a hiatus from the Passion project. We wanted to rethink some things. We wanted to consider so new angles.
I’m pleased to say the pause is over and we are relaunching this redesigned website (and, soon, the Passions in America podcast) with renewed enthusiasm and fresh perspective.
We originally planned our relaunch for early March, but when COVID-19 hit, we held off. Like everyone else, we have found ourselves adjusting to our new reality. And we worried that with so much pain and fear surrounding us, people might not have much appetite for talk about hobbies and pastimes and those small but potent pursuits that bring joy and balance and, yes, meaning to our lives.
Interestingly – and somewhat to our surprise — we both have heard from a number of people that the current environment made them even more interested in our passion stories. Any number of friends, neighbors, and colleagues reached out to us searching for the latest stories and insights.
In different ways, they made the same point: we still need moments during the day when we aren’t thinking about the virus and the economy. We long for experiences that bring us joy and a sense of inner calm. We hunger for those happy things that bring us together and animate our minds and bodies and take us away.
These simple ideas have always been at the heart of the Passion project.
As we look back over the last year or so, we’ve had amazing experiences with any number of people – we sat in General Colin Powell’s garage and talked cars, took a wild boat ride with Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris across a lake in Missouri, went to church with President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia, and visited Will Shortz, NY Times Crossword Puzzle Editor, at his table tennis center.
We also spent endless hours talking with everyday folks about their love of everything from gardening and travel to judging barbecue contests and going to karaoke clubs.
And now, we are relaunching the project with a special focus on how we can engage in our passions even as we combat COVID-19. We hope that these stories will offer you some hope, some laughter, some inspiration. We hope that they will help you see people in a whole different way.
And we hope to hear from you – we want to hear and tell your story too.
In many ways, my life as a crisis manager has been about handling stress. My clients through the years have dealt with some of the most complicated and trying challenges imaginable. The strain and anxiety is overwhelming. There seems no way to handle it all. Now, we are all dealing with that sort of stress in our lives. We are afraid and lonely and worried about so many things.
We are certainly not here to say that finding time to do something you love makes that go away. But we do believe it can help.