So this #PassionPlayers feature is neat in that it was actually this series that introduced me to Ms. Leggio. She thought it was a cool series and enjoyed some of the other profiles I posted, so I invited her to play, and here we are 🙂 Jennifer put a lot of thought into these answers – check ’em out!
1. How do you define “passion”?
Passion is not something that you do; passion is something that is. Passion isn’t an endless love, or a surefire success. It’s something that’s deep within you, and it’s a commitment that you honor regardless of how challenging it is, or how much it might hurt. It requires bravery, and a keen understanding of the blissful line between love and hate. It never stops. It’s never satisfied. It moves you forward, and it keeps you alive.
2. What is your passion?
I have two core passions, and they are of equal intensity.
The first is music, which has been my lifeblood since my youth. I have a modicum of talent, but I am not passionate about creating music. Music can change my emotional state, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad, and it can create “quiet” when I need it. That quiet is actually the sound of whatever music I choose at the moment. It’s such a part of me that it could never be considered noise. If I’m not presently engaged in a conversation, a movie, or a book, you can almost guarantee that I have music playing — especially while I write or I work.
The second is supporting technology innovation, specifically in the area of computer security. Protecting users and organizations is critical, and everyone should be educated on risk, threats, and protection resources. It’s not something I do; it’s something I believe in and choose to action with my talent. This also includes fostering and empowering innovators, by pushing them toward their desired successes, helping them to grow their companies, or using my network and marketing prowess to spread the word about new tools and technologies that can provide better digital privacy or security.
3. How did you know that this was a passion and not just a passing interest?
Oh, that’s an easy one. Because I’ve never been satisfied with any of my passions, and I’ve always wanted more. And even when I’ve had to step away from focusing on them for a short time, I’ve always taken great comfort in the fact that they will always be there.
4. How do you make sure you follow your passion and nurture it?
Simply: I’m honest with myself about who I am and what makes me who I am, and I just live it. I had a talk recently with a brilliant man who emphasized the importance of staying true to one’s “mission.” Sure, we all need and want to make money and pay the bills, but if you stay true to why you do something, you’ll always be successful. Never forget the mission.
5. What is your advice to other people who are trying to find or follow their passion?
Listen to yourself before anyone else. Take the steps to form a level of self-awareness that can indicate your passion, and don’t let your fear stand in the way of you engaging with it, or hinder your benefitting from the potential success of pursuing it. Don’t let others cloud your judgment; no one will ever know your passion better than you do. And there is rarely a passion that is “wrong.”
6. Anything else you want to say?
For some reason while answering these questions, a quote from Elizabeth Taylor popped into my head: “Now is the time for guts and guile.” Guts are required to stay true to your passions and truly live them; guile is required for actively pursuing them in a way that complements and even better fuels your life. I think now is always the time, and the rewards are sweet.