Passion can guide you, not just to live, but to live with
purpose. Throughout my professional career, I've had most
fortunate opportunities to associate with numerous high
profile individuals and organizations, including Forbes 400
successes, politicians, celebrity entertainers and athletes.
And I’ve learned to recognize that people who live with
passion exude alluring energies from within themselves
that seem to "magnetize" great people, situations and
circumstances into their lives.
Three years ago, I encountered a young man on my way to a
banquet. As a valet attendant pulled my car away, around
the corner, near the building I was about to enter I saw a
young man sitting next to a saxophone. He was dressed
completely unlike the pedestrians passing by, who all wore
attire betraying the casual elegance of luxury tailoring. I
realized that, dressed for the banquet, I was also cut from
the same refined sort of cloth. So as I approached the
young man with the sax, I hoped my upscale appearance
wouldn’t make him uncomfortable.
As I came closer to him, I noticed he looked like he hadn’t
showered for days, and he’d buried a sad face in his hands.
I understood sadness and confusion and how they can
sometimes seem unbearable; I’ve been there, as we all
have. But I’ve also learned that feelings of dissatisfaction
like these can be opportunities disguised as obstacles, that
force us to grow, transform and become better than we once
So I stopped and knelt down next to this young man. I
smiled, said hello and introduced myself. I politely asked
him if he’d play a song of his choice for me and the other
passers-by, and I placed a five dollar bill by his side. He
slowly lifted his head from his hands and said, "Thank you,"
and tried to smile back at me. He rose to his feet and
began to play his saxophone -- to my surprise, the old song,
Pennies from Heaven -- (Penny was my first name).
Soon his talent was filling the air with enchanting notes that
kept the valet attendant company, greeted the guests who
arrived at the event and pleased the many people passing
by -- adding a little more jazz to everyone’s night. Spectators
complimented the young saxophonist with their smiles and
applause, and they also rewarded him with some bills and
Soon after, I turned to attend my function, arriving
"fashionably late." And since that day, I made it a point to
visit that very spot as often as I could, to watch and hear the
young man play his saxophone. I noticed soon that he’d
even trimmed his hair, and he wore a tie to his sidewalk
But six months later, the young man seemed nowhere to be
found, and my heart sank.
Then, over a year ago, while I was at the House of Blues in
Los Angeles, California, I saw a familiar face appear on
stage to perform with a band: that same young man I’d
encountered three years before. He was still playing his
saxophone -- now better than ever! I thought maybe I’d say
hello to him during a break in the music, but my intuition
whispered, "No, that won’t be necessary." I quietly left after
the band’s performance ended. And as I slipped out, I
sighed blissfully, because I was certain this young man was
well on his way to successfully exploring his passion for a
life in music.
Just as for that young man, living with passion can guide
you to express your unique talents and use them to serve
humanity. And by doing so, you can create abundance in
your life that can positively affect everyone around you. You
see, living with passion will not only fulfill your longings, it
will also remind you to love unconditionally and perform
random acts of kindness for others. I’ve experienced
countless moments, like those I spent with the young man
with the saxophone, that prove this concept to be positively
life-altering. For when you live with passion, you’ll realize
the joy and magic that lie beyond what you know through
your mere human senses.