Thought Leadership Essays

Find Your Passion and Bring It Forth

June 23, 2012

Vikas Narula

Have you ever checked out Yahoo’s Second Act stories? It is a webby-award winning, growing collection of short (5 minute) video stories, chronicling the reinvention of everyday people, through passion and purpose.

I don’t watch much TV, but I do eagerly await the newest installment of “Second Act” stories. There are about 150 of them (so far) and I have watched every single one.

I love these videos because they reveal what is possible when people follow their heart – when ordinary citizens buck conventional wisdom and take up their deepest interests purely for the purpose of being true to themselves. These folks don’t care about what other people think or whether it will make lots of money. They do stuff for the love of doing it.  And, many times in the process, they end up making good money and having a very satisfying and fulfilling career.

One of my favorite stories is about Roderick Romero. He is a 46 year old tree nest designer and builder. In 1997 a women invited him to be part of a 100 acre art show. Although he was in a band at the time, on a whim, he said he would build her a nest. “The words just floated out of my mouth, but what was I talking about?” He had never built a tree-house before.  9 months later he was building a nest for the art show.

And from there things grew “naturally”. Soon he was building a couple of tree houses a year. “One thing morphed into another” and “all of a sudden he had a career before he had a thought that he needed to have a career.” Wouldn’t it be nice if all professional decisions happened that way? Through word of mouth he was soon building tree nests for the likes of Sting, Val Kilmer and Julianne Moore. Now he’s on Yahoo.

“I’m still doing it for the love”, he says. “It is for the joy I get out of the experience and the stories I gather from the kids and how the adults become kids again when they get up in the tree house….that’s like, c’mon that’s precious.”

What started out as a random thought, evolved into a unique and beautiful craft. With patience and commitment, Roderick turned a hobby into an envious career and life-long passion.

Can you find a better feel-good story?

Whether you are fresh out of school, an entrepreneur or a seasoned business executive, it is easy to get caught up in style points. As we launch or build our careers, we often put a higher value on what others will think, how it will look on the resume or how much money it will pay.  Do we give enough thought to the most important questions, the most critical pre-requisites to having a truly satisfying and successful livelihood – does it ignite my passion, do I love doing it and does it give me a sense of purpose?

I spent the first 15 years of my career putting off these questions. I did not realize how enriching a job could be if I took time (even for just 15 minutes a day) to feed the callings of my soul. The beauty of the Vitality videos is they teach us that it is never too late to reinvent, rediscover and re-launch who we are meant to be.

Vikas Narula (@NarulaTweets) is Creator and Co-Founder of Keyhubs (@Keyhubs) – a software and services company specializing in workplace social analytics. He is also Founder of Neighborhood Forest – a social venture dedicated to giving free trees to kids every Earth Day.

Image Courtesy of


  1. Sunil Kumar |
    11 Years Ago

    An eye opening article, one can really do wonders if one follows one’s passion. Rightly said by Jim Collins of Good to Great fame is:

    1. Find out what you are passionate about.
    2. Is your passion running your economic engine?
    3. Are you in the top three?

    • Vikas Narula |
      11 Years Ago

      Hi Sunil,

      Thanks for your note – Collins has it right – passion is so key. I find that when I pursue things out of passion, the outcome (fruits of my actions) matters less, if at all. It is in that space that I do my best work and increase the chances of hitting the ball out of the park.


  2. Carl Hipp |
    11 Years Ago

    Awesome article. Love the inspirational stories. Shows the best side of society/humanity.

    Got to find what drives you!

    • Vikas Narula |
      11 Years Ago

      Thanks Carl!

  3. Jon Wittmayer |
    11 Years Ago

    “As we launch or build our careers, we often put a higher value on what others will think, how it will look on the resume or how much money it will pay.”

    I have struggled with almost my entire career, I still struggle with it today as I work as an entrepreneur launching MY first business. I let it guide me rather than think about how do I find fulfillment in life.

    I have a feeling that if I can let this go I will be much more successful.

    There is something to be said for trust so you can let go of one hand in hopes that the other will be there to grab on.

    • Vikas Narula |
      11 Years Ago


      Thank you for sharing. Great thoughts and reflections!

      Like I said, I spent 15 years struggling with “style points”. Once I threw those out the window (as the entrepreneurial journey naturally does), I finally enjoyed myself like never before.

      You are on the cusp of doing the same.

      Go for it!


Leave a Reply

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.