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Passion: It's What Drives Us to Excellence

March 10, 2010 - Phyllis Sigal

One of the early blogs I wrote was about a couple of women I met, who were following their dreams, and doing what they were passionate about. One opened up a bead shop in the Edgewood neighborhood of Wheeling; the other, a gift shop in the Centre Market area.

I've been thinking a lot lately about people who have passion for what they do.

I believe that if you have passion, you are happy. If you get up each day and are truly participating in what you are passionate about, you are lucky. You are leading the life you want to lead.

People who are passionate about what they do, also are usually good at what they do. Their passion drives them to excellence.

Take for example, those who won Oscar Awards the other night.

When I listened to Oscar-winners Sandra Bullock or Jeff Bridges or Monique talking about their lives, their award, their craft, there was no question in my mind that they care about what they do. They want to be the best. They put their heart and soul into their jobs. And they are rewarded for that.

When I see the Tony Award winners talking about why they do what they do, I feel their passion, too.

I see it in our everyday lives, too: reporters so excited to tell the story they're working on, they're bursting; children, just plain passionate about life in general; friends, passionate about relationships in their lives; my children, passionate about their goals.

And Wheeling is lucky to have some people who are passionate about what they are trying to accomplish.

Here are a few examples who come to my mind:

• Kathleen McDermott, executive director of Oglebay Institute; she's passionate about the arts in Wheeling and the state of W.Va.;

• Jeremy Morris, project manager for the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp.; he's passionate about preserving Wheeling's past and taking it into the future;

• Bob Villamagna, professor at West Liberty University, assemblage artist; he's passionate about art;

• Bruce Wheeler, executive director of the Wheeling Symphony, producer of Heritage Music BluesFest; he's passionate about providing entertainment in Wheeling;

• Kathy Shapell, founder and executive director of the Augusta Levy Learning Center; she's passionate about kids, and helping those with autism live wonderfully full lives;

• Pat Garrett, music teacher extraordinaire at Wheeling Park High School; he's passionate about teaching kids to love music;

• Tim Thompson, children's theater director, Oglebay Institute; his passion for sharing his love of theater with children is over the top;

• Lisa Allen, CEO  and president of Ziegenfelder Co.; she's passionate about keeping her dad's business alive and thriving in the Ohio Valley;    

Betsy Bethel, editor of Ohio Valley Parent; she's truly passionate about diseminating helpful information to other parents

There are more, of course. (Feel free to mention ones who come to your mind.)

No matter what it is we're passionate about, it sends us to a deeper level. We all need to wake up feeling passionate about something: our family, our day, our job, our goals, our future  ...

And if not? We need to do something about it.



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