Monday Manna

Passion At Work and Life: Loving What You Do

By jmathis
• January 28, 2013

Some time ago I came across a poster containing what is called the “Holstee Manifesto,” a provocative challenge by leaders from Holstee, a company that seeks to promote entrepreneurship, especially for individuals living in areas of extreme poverty, through goods it designs and produces.

Perhaps you have seen this intriguing statement. Since I encountered it for the first time, my wife and I have essentially adapted it as our own because it says what we have always believed. 

The Manifesto is too lengthy to present here in its entirety, but from its start, the declaration emphasizes the importance of pursuing passion in life. Here are excerpts: 

“This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love…. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”

If you have not seen the Holstee Manifesto before, I would encourage you to Google it and read through it. It captures in simple fashion a way for experiencing a fulfilling life without making it complicated. The statement does not reference God or spirituality, but as I have read it and pondered what it says, I realized it finds agreement with principles in the Bible. 

In fact, a more spiritual expression of the Holstee Manifesto could be, “Don’t try to find God’s plan for your life; find our what makes you come alive, because God wants people who have come alive.”

Legendary singer and songwriter Bob Dylan said, “If you are not busy living, you are busy dying.” To put it another way, there must be more to living than simply existing. 

This is what I have discovered, especially as years have passed. If you cannot pursue things you love –things that ignite your enthusiasm and fill you with energy and motivation – you are shortchanging yourself. We are all uniquely created with different gifts, talents, skills and interests. The question is how to leverage our uniqueness and differences not only to achieve self-fulfillment, but also to make the greatest contribution to the world around us. Here is some advice from the Bible:

It must start with God. God created each of us, giving us the unique blend of traits that help to make us who we are and what we do. By getting to know Him, we become equipped to better know ourselves. “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:3-4).

The focal point should be God. A fulfilling life involves not only what we do, but also why we are doing it – our motives. There can be no higher motivation than to serve and honor God. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). 

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and operates a school of photography. Jim is the author of High Performance Cameras for Ordinary People, a book on digital photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager, and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

1.  What are your reactions to the Holstee Manifesto, at least the portion of it reprinted in this “Monday Manna”?

2.  Do you agree with the Bob Dylan statement, “If you are not busy living, you are busy dying”? How, in your opinion, can we engage more actively in the process of being “busy living”?

3.  If someone were to ask you what you feel great passion about, what things you love to be doing the most, how would you respond? Do you feel you have the opportunity to pursue your passions today? Why or why not?

4.  At the close of this “Monday Manna,” it is suggested that we should include God in the process of striving to achieve a satisfying, fulfilling life. Do you agree? Explain your answer.

If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages:

 Proverbs 22:29; Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Colossians 3:23-24