For introverts, passion is a source of transformative strength.

For Introverts, Passion Is as Powerful as Popeye’s Spinach

When you’re an introvert, passion can to turn you into the Energizer Bunny. Go ahead and harness that supercharged energy!

Passion is to an introvert what spinach is to Popeye.

It’s a source of transformational strength, and its effects are often plainly visible to the people around you.

When you’re really fired up about something as an introvert, you can almost feel your muscles bulging and your energy soaring in Popeye’s cartoonish way.

What normally might drain your battery suddenly supercharges it.

What normally might evoke anxiety or even fear in you produces excitement and confidence instead.

Surely you’ve experienced this phenomenon yourself—when you’ve talked to someone about your love of fly-fishing, for example, or motorcycling or photography or knitting or whatever it is that you love to do for its own sake.

Why, then, are we introverts so prone to overlooking what passion does to us and for us?

Why do we so often forget that when we’re passionate about something, we tend to become the Energizer Bunny?

Obsession Can Be a Strength

We have to do a better job, for our own sake and ultimately for the sake of others as well, of recognizing that as introverts, “one of our biggest strengths is our ability to become obsessed with something,” says personal development expert Thibaut Meurisse, in his book The Thriving Introvert.

As Meurisse puts it:

“When we find something we love and that gives us meaning, we can move mountains.”

Susan Cain echoes Meurisse’s insight in her bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

When, as an introvert, “you’re focused on a project you care about,” she writes, “you probably find that your energy is boundless.”


But there’s more.

What you’ll also likely find is that you can do things you thought you couldn’t and enjoy things you thought you wouldn’t—temporarily, at least, and all because it’s for a good cause.

The chance to somehow engage with your passion.

Passion Brings Out the Popeye in You

A while back, I was interviewed via Zoom by a former colleague of mine who now works for a nonprofit career development organization.

I was on live with her and several of her agency’s clients for about an hour, delivering what amounted to a short crash course on introverts and introversion.

Looking back on the event now, I’m fascinated by how I felt—before, during, and after.

Normally, before and during such an experience, I would be nervous. Not debilitatingly so, but nervous just the same.

In this case, though, 
I felt no anxiety whatsoever.

Normally, after such an experience, I would be spent.

In this case, however, I felt like I could have gone on talking for hours.

That’s the Popeye-like power of passion in an introvert’s life.

Harness the Power of Passion

Now, when you hear someone like Meurisse talk about being “obsessed” with something, you might be a little put off at first.

Meurisse himself gets it, acknowledging that obsession “can be a negative thing” in some circumstances.

But as he looks at what he calls his own obsessions, both previous and ongoing (among them books, video games, table tennis, and now personal development), he says he’s come to ask himself a counterintuitive question:

“What if my obsession is actually my biggest strength?”

“The point is that your desire to delve deeper and your need to find meaning in what you do can be an extremely powerful driver,” he concludes.

“In fact, it could very well be one of your greatest strengths as an introvert.”

So as you go about your life each day, don’t overlook or, worse, ignore your passions.

Prioritize them, and do so consciously and purposefully.

Think of them as the can of spinach in your pocket that you can pull out and open anytime, with the mere squeeze of your hand, so that you can unleash your unique contributions and share the best of yourself with the world around you.

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