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January 2020

passion girl playing guitar

Passion and Your Kids

By Passion No Comments

This past Christmas I was given a gift that I could not unwrap... but it ended up unwrapping ME!

In the weeks prior to the holiday my daughter and son-in-law teased me by telling me, “dad this year you are going to score big time at Christmas!

I watched as my grandchildren tore through their gifts like a pirate searching for buried treasure.  I received a black t-shirt with the word, “Fender” (as in guitars) on the front.  That was the gift from my kids.

So after all the gifts were opened, I sat there with my inner dialog asking, “so is this t-shirt my big win?”  – I admit sometimes my expectation is higher than my gratitude.

The next thing I know my daughter is sitting next to me with her guitar playing a song that I wrote back in 1972!  She unwrapped me with her gift.


Several years ago when I was working on my book, “The Passion Centered Person my daughter walked into my office and asked me why I never asked what her passions were? Great question!

Because a big part of passion discovery is to write down 50 things that mean most to you, I gave that assignment to my daughter. She reappeared 2 hours later with her “passion list”.

Passion #3 on her list:  I want my dad to teach me to play guitar so we can play a song together”.

I had no idea about Passion #3.  I didn’t know it was something she cared about so deeply! Like most parents, I assumed that my kid’s gifts, talents, and natural ability defined what they loved.  Maybe… but not always! Just because someone is good at what they do doesn’t mean it’s what the love to do.  So of course… I taught her to play the guitar.


The Passion Cycle clearly defines my daughter’s journey!

Gary's daughter plugged into the passion cycle


Passion: Discovery: She wrote down her passions. Passions must be written.

Productivity: Act: She took the time and made the effort to learn to play guitar.

Profitability: Results and rewards: She was able to show me how much value she placed in our relationship.

Pleasure: Happiness: She opened the door to my deepest emotions and filled it with joy.


The best gift

The song that she played for me was a song I wrote back in 1972 intitled, “I Believe in Love”.   I had forgotten about it. Little did I know that my daughter had been taking advanced guitar lessons and had my song transcribed into sheet music.

No wonder she played it so much better than I ever did.

Discovering your passion doesn’t have an age limit.  Do you know the passions of your child(ren)?


Action Exercise: The Passions of My Children… What do they truly value?

Ask your kids to write out their passion lists.

Note: Keep it simple and fun! Passion cannot be demanded it must be discovered!

Let’s face it most kids don’t like the idea of their parents/adults telling them what they must do so here are a few things to consider:

  • Simply ask your child to write down 10 things they love doing on a piece of paper not digital.
  • Do not attempt to define passion for them. If they ask why simply say you really want to know what they care about.
  • Make sure your approach is unique as each child. (bribes are welcomed)
  • Timing is everything! Choose the right time and place when you ask them.
  • Be sure to put a timeline for completion.

Parent… do not overthink this.   Just keep it simple and have fun!

Use this exercise with people of any age!  It’s great for the business environment too.