What Is Your Passion?

When asked the question, “What do you do at the Y?” we all should try to think beyond the tasks and day to day activities and say, “I am a cause-driven leader who helps to change lives and strengthen my community and that's a great feeling.” It doesn’t matter what tasks we have, we are all doing something as part of the greater good for the movement as a whole and we each are here because of our passion for the work.             

At the Y as an employee or - especially as a member or volunteer - you can truly love what you do and do what you love.  It is a great feeling to be a part of the greater good in strengthening community. This, I could not say in my previous career and what better way to spend so much of your time doing work you are proud of and know you are making a difference with. 

It is important to connect and find your passion.  Always work on your weaknesses, build your strengths, share your talents with others and never stop learning and growing.  Take on challenges with a positive attitude and be a team player.  Never let someone tell you cannot do something or you've reached your fullest potential because there is always more you can do, learn and achieve.  Work with integrity and your heart; if you do this you will be fulfilled and your path will lead you to where you should be. 

It is very important to find people who you truly connect with and can trust.  Trust isn't easy because everyone looks out for themselves in one way or another. Rely on yourself to know who you are, what you have to offer and are capable of.  Have several mentors, coaches and friends you know you can trust and rely on for good advice and to talk when you need it. Always move forward and keep a consistent positive energy because it is contagious. Tell yourself that you are given this life, this one life to do good things and ask yourself what you want your legacy to be. 

There are many uncertainties in this world but one things is for certain and that is change.  Whether it is our Y journey or just our life's journey, change is constant. It is always important to work hard, learn from "mistakes" and do your best no matter how big or small the task. 

To me, it is important to be humble in your work, be a team player and always help each other.  Do not expect, assume, boast or brag; I believe reward comes in many forms regardless.  Do not point out the flaws or the mistakes of others.  No one is perfect; you are not perfect.  Making mistakes is ok, you learn from them and improve upon systems and processes because of them.  Real leaders suggest helpful ways to correct an issue instead as team players to help them without calling someone out.  Always tell others your story and inspire like-minded people to do good work. Your path is your choice and will lead you where you are meant to be if you always follow what your heart tells you.  

After an 8 year career in the for profit sector working for a large investment firm, I decided to follow my passion and come work for the YMCA, a Cause-Driven organization. My career began in April of 2008 at the Capital District YMCA.


Currently, I lead Living Our Cause for the association, am a Y-USA trainer for several courses, lead trainings and employee initiatives, assist our President/CEO and take on several special projects.  

Tags: This Week in Young Leaders, passion, motivation, careers, the y, YMCA, Millennials, Generation Y, Generation X, Leadership

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