Fire. Passion. Desire.

Fire Passion Desire

“It’s midnight.”

“I know.”

“I thought you said you were tired.”

“I am.”

“Come to bed.”

“Not yet. I have to finish this.”

When I finally stagger into bed at 4 a.m., I have a new definition for passion: the thing that keeps you awake while others sleep.

Is this passion?

I used to go to bed at midnight and then wake up at 3 a.m., to watch The Australian Open, while everyone else slept. I love loved tennis. I kept abreast of rankings; I rearranged players’ bios in my head. I tracked live scores on my iPhone during sermons on Sundays.

I put my definition to the test. I ask friends, “Does this mean I was passionate about tennis?”

“Nah, you are were passionate about Rafa Nadal’s biceps!”

Never mind my friends they are goofy like that.


I attended a meeting, where the speaker’s call rang true: we should be passionate about life. He didn’t tell us where to find passion, but I have a thought or two, and maybe you do too.

Passion- Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer’1.

Pati, to suffer. How true in the sense that we willingly suffer pain to gain the thing we love. But the word has evolved.


Is passion duty?

I think of the nights in secondary school, when I read a small book called Calculations in Modern Chemistry—the bane of my fourteen-year-old existence. I couldn’t tell an atom from a molecule, those minuscule things unseen by the naked eye. Forged on I did, cramming formulas, until I decided I’d make my parents proud some other way.

“You want to drop chemistry from your electives? You won’t be able to study aeronautical engineering?” my teacher queried.

“Mmmm,” I replied, grateful that I would never speak of covalent bonds again.

Can Passion die?

“What happened to you?”

“I gave birth to the most beautiful boy in the world.”

“But . . . I don’t understand. You were going to go to LSE, you wanted to work for the World Bank—”

“When I cradled him in my arms; I can’t explain the feeling . . .”

“And now that you don’t anymore?”

“I don’t know, I mean, I have no desire . . .”

“Your degree?”

“Yeah, so what?”

Where does passion come from? Is it innate?

I stumbled on my love for writing, drawing, and music before I was eight. I experimented, my parents indulged. Books, art lessons, cassettes, and karaoke, kept me indoors and out of trouble, but I learnt they were not the path to wealth and security. So I chose another path, an acceptable one.

I remember watching planes land and take-off at the airport and the exhilaration that filled my young heart. Giant birds, what makes them fly, I wondered. Watching planes gives me a rush to this day. I know a little about lift and the law of motion. I know also that this thrill is not passion to study engineering. It is desire to fly and be free.

Passion is not the romantic word I once imagined it was. For me, it is natural ability honed by attention, repetition, focus, discipline, excellence, tenacity, and commitment. It grows, it dies, it resurrects, and it changes, as I evolve.

The desire to be a good mother, a loyal friend, a mentor, coach, teacher, the desire to tell stories, to influence lives, and to blaze trails have stayed. The how changes and control of the when slips from my hands when I clench my fist, but these desires, they are like liquid fire in my bones.


P.S. Aha! You thought this was some witty post about sex romance, so you kept reading waiting for the twist—gotcha! Maybe I like Rafa Nadal’s biceps, but that is a part-time obsession passion. What keeps you awake when the world sleeps?


©Timi Yeseibo 2014


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1. Definition of passion at Oxford

48 thoughts on “Fire. Passion. Desire.

    1. Hi Marie, wow, thanks for nominating me for this award. I read your acceptance post and I’m glad you’ve come a long way. I wish you all the best for the future. Time does not allow me participate in receiving awards, but I appreciate the gesture! 🙂


  1. My facebook page I named MA’s passions, hmm I have them plenty and I keep adding and am blessed to sort of juggle them all. Sure different degrees every now and them, sacrifices, tough choices and all. Yet I can’t see how I will do anything well if I wasn’t convincingly passionate about it – gone the days when I just absorbed what was taught me… I need to feel fire on the mountain and that desire to still get to the top of that mountain… and who knows, a livelytwist may await me there…


    1. @livelytwist, who knows indeed 🙂
      Fire is a necessary force to achieving anything worthwhile, keeps you going when others quit. You’re one tough cookie to juggle several passions. The longer I live, the more streamlined I become. I have many interests, but know I can only pursue a few, and make them count. All the best Marie, here’s toasting to your success on all fronts!


  2. Me I am tired of passion oo. In fact, I ran out of fire wood three weeks ago. Could it be the cold? Hmm me I no know o. All I fit talk be say my body no dey ginger me to do anything.

    Sure, the embers of creativity are still there– I can still feel ’em. But my body just hard like rock; my head is a blank slate, and I can’t fan ’em for now.

    Wetin I dey talk be say too much multitasking dey kill passion, desire, flame etc. That angry black woman wears too many hats and she’s choking beneath the weight. That guy isn’t helping either; he calls at the wrong time, doesn’t call on time, calls to ramble about how special the day is, then calls to give you the dreaded one-worded replies in a flat tone. You wanna please your boss, constantly trying to prove a point. People must catch spirit when you lead worship on Sunday so you gotta be on point. Everywhere you go na motivational speaker this or that. But the weight still remains.

    Passion ko, passion ni. You see, a burning/thriving passion is a function of good decision-making skills o. Put too much food on your plate and your stomach will turn against you. Have a good grasp on your “musts,” “shoulds,” and “would love tos” and your fire wood will burn for a long time. Grit…separation…and cut! The key charms sure look pretty. But they’re distracting and responsible for excessive jingles in your purse. (lol??)

    So what’s my passion these days? Jejely eating my rice and chicken stew and refueling, figuring out what “More” means to me. Sorry for my rant, livelytwist. Lol 😀


    1. Nah, loved the rant 🙂 I hear you, over-commitment leads to physical exhaustion; no strength, no passion. Passion requires focus, and focusing on too many things negates the definition of focus! It takes time and discipline to develop your passion and be excellent at it (them). This means some activities must fall by the wayside. Thank you for reminding us.


  3. Passion, hmmmm…

    I’m the boy that ran after an engineering degree because mathematics was a bit difficult. I felt some joy solving difficult mathematical problems that was absent in conquering other subjects. Now I question the sense in that choice.

    I spent most of my childhood dabbling in all sorts of things, soccer, music, even origami.I never became a virtuoso in any of them. It sometimes feel like I’ve been stricken by a ‘penultimate affliction’ – always leaving at the cusp of greatness (This does not apply to my love for Startrek, a collection of over 60 novels and still trekking).

    But there’s always been one constant love of mine. I don’t know if this qualifies as passion but I find books irresistible. It’s that thing that keeps me up at night, curled up on my bed, alternating between different positions to ensure the pain caused by the grotesqueness of my posture is evenly distributed without ebbing the flow of my reading.

    I recently found out that a lot of folks that love books write too, so now I’m adding it to my long list of near-passions. I hope one day I’ll rid myself of this ‘affliction’ and write with the same verve that I direct to reading.


    Biko Timi, it is not fair to toy with mental associations they way you did with the passion-romance connection. There are mothers, aunties and friends who are banking on the revival of the connection in some of us. Brilliant articles – like the one above, that disturb the process do not help matters. Thank you.


    1. Origami huh? 🙂
      Not all readers become writers, many are critical thinkers, have a wider vocabulary, and an extensive knowledge bank.

      I think all your “cusp of greatness” adventures have added to the person you are and are becoming. You’ll probably find a way to use engineering, books, writing, and Star Trek, to make this world a better place.

      Gotcha! 🙂 Passion, hmmmm…


  4. #tapping temple thoughtfully with index finger# Hmm….two (virtual) ladies passionately asking to be swept off their feet. #shrugs like a gent# Perhaps an aged yet evergreen piece from my cache of poems would do the trick on the 14th. Let Facebook be the rendezvous, Ma’ams. #still wondering who Lizzieebunoluwa is#


    1. *chuckles heartily* ….
      We would be holding our breaths, won’t we Timi? 😀

      Don’t sweat it Bunmi, we didn’t move in close circles, but we share mutual friends, in addition to the fame your expressive prowess brought you on campus. #Superbowl.
      You just might recognize my face though,from one of them mutual friend meets, its the kind you don’t forget in a crowd. *wink*


  5. I’m feeling short of passion for things than normally drive me and form my identity, but I think that has something to do with this RELENTLESS SNOW AND ICE AND COLD. DIE, WINTER! DIE! DIE! DIE!

    I’m sorry, did I just have a weather-related meltdown in your comments section? How embarrrassing!



  6. Fire…Passion…Desire

    You were right to put the Passion in the middle of the two words. To me, Passion produces the Fire and the Desire.

    You can’t have Passion for something and the fire would consume you that you can’t even find what’s left of you.
    That kind of fire to me…comes from God alone. I mean, sometimes, it eats up who you are and you’re left with nothing else. I read Paul’s letters in the Bible and I see Passion, Fire, Desire. The Desire for his Saviour has consumed him so much that he could say, For me to live is Christ, For me to die is gain!
    I mean what kind of fire is that?

    I guess that was what God intended doing with mankind’s relationship with him. I read one of Francine’s books and I got to understand that intimacy(sex) between a man and a woman is just a hint of what it’s gonna be like when we are finally transformed and in his presence.

    Can it get any better?

    Coming back to myself, I’ve had passions for many things in life but sometimes, conditions way beyond us happen, reality sets in and you try to put reason ahead of Desire and do what you have to do.

    I’ve always imagined myself singing. Yup(lol) back in school, I used to croon Disney songs in the bathroom while doing my laundry and then people would often stop by or drop a compliment. Gosh, I was glad my head didn’t burst. The Desire filled me so much that whenever I plug an earpiece into my ears, I imagine myself flying away…, just like Kelly Clarkson’s breakaway. Sometimes I listen to some artists and I feel what they feel, I feel the passion, I feel the love and I feel the fire burning and I just know they couldn’t have done better.

    Sometimes, this passion driven goals take a back seat most especially in the times of depression, whereas they take charge of some humans so much that nothing else matters to them anymore. They forfeit all.

    Passion has suddenly turned to Obsession. And then, the person gets to live a miserable life at the end of it all.

    The best thing to do. Tame it. This Passion, this fire, this desire, commit it into the hands of the one who knows how to handle it best and he’ll nurture it just like you watch an eaglet rise from the shield of it’s mother to the sky.

    It’s ready to fly. And at the right time.

    Omg!!! What have I done to your blog? Another post? lool

    Another good one by Timi aka livelytwist.


    And no, you didn’t catch me unawares with the topic #stickstongueout.
    The little I know about you gives me that confidence that you will always find a way to turn a topic around because you don’t just give it to us bland like black coffee. You add sugar, milk and whatever it is you wanna. 😀


    1. Oh my word! Glowingscenes O: you certainly upped the ante with the dimension you took.
      A whole new insight and the interesting emotions they elicited. I’m holding my breath for Timi’s response.

      Bless your heart dear! Keep glowing.


    2. Life is a journey of discovery as you allude to. Whatever happened to your singing? Any vlogs on YouTube you’d like to share? 🙂

      I think that a man or woman with passion stemming from deep-seated conviction is a force to be reckoned with. People that made positive or negative impact in the world had strong convictions and their natural (and supernatural) abilities provided the platform to express the fire burning in them- from Adolf Hitler to Albert Einstein to Paul that you mentioned.

      Thank you so much for your comment, which adds another dimension to this many-sided topic. You’ve given us food for thought and I don’t mind that it is long. No, not at all. Your passion shines through!


  7. From a childhood obsession with someday becoming an aeronautic engineer cum pilot (till ‘too excellent’ an aptitude for arithmetic stifled my aeronautic plus every other engineering dream) then arose a teenage passion for cardmaking and art, sketching everything in and out of sight, a post sec. school mania for honing musical skills by learning all instruments there are, Boy! I’ve been around! Funny thing, I’ve enjoyed an appreciable dose of success in them all – the very bit that made me presuppose each one was my purpose….until the next one came around. I guess some were just misguided energies courtesy of a surfeit of glucose in a youngster’s veins.
    I won’t be too surprised if tomorrow I evolve into some different line of passion.
    Call me a dilettante, but I’ll sure prefer “adventurer” Bunmi, enough about yourself!

    Fickle as passion can be I think our vagrant pursuits eventually help us crystallize where our TRUE passion lies using the tools of maturity and reality. We progressively get schooled at defining what is truly worth spending time – a lifetime – on, as well as what won’t change about us, wealth and security regardless. For me, (not again!) being a writer fittingly falls in that mould. And that’s one passion I won’t stop keeping late nights and early mornings over.

    Timi, don’t mind my lengthy epistle; the subject is just what defines me, sorta.

    And can I stop being passionate about how you ink? akintundeaiki couldn’t have been more correct.


    1. So I’m not the only one whose passion for aeronautical engineering was cut short by a dose of reality, ha ha! I don’t mind your lengthy epistle because it helps me understand the topic better. Yes, the vagrant pursuits enrich our lives and I’m glad you’ve identified one thing that won’t change for you- being a writer.

      Happy are those who find their defining passion early. Happier are those who get paid handsomely for pursuing it 🙂 And for those of us who get a second chance to pursue our passion, we marvel & are grateful!

      Thank you Bunmi. I’m pleased that you enjoy how I write.


    2. *sighs*. Who shall save us from Bunmi’s lethal combination of intellect&depth? 😦
      *swoons from extreme sapiosexual provocation*…

      Livelytwist, did I mention I know Bunmi? And yes, i’m famzing. 😀 Success has many children jare…Besides I’ve got significant proof of our n̶o̶n̶e̶x̶i̶s̶t̶e̶n̶t̶ relationship… Same uni…


  8. *sighs* Maami, the unusual but profound take you shared on this subject thrills me to no end…. Trust me.

    I like that Passion, beyond leisurely dance steps to drumbeats from our source is a burning commitment to unravel&harness the gifts&talents that make for a life lived wholly…and no, its not straight-jacketed, it evolves. How reassuring!

    Keep sharing ma’am! Your depth is exhilarating.


    1. Lizzie, your depth is exhilarating too! I love the way you put it, especially the part about burning commitment. Sometimes life causes our fire to wane. When this happens, it is good to know how to ignite it.


  9. True talk, I was in the middle of something when I read the first bit. Yes, you got me because I immediately closed it saying I”ll save it for later, devour it slowly during me-time.
    Anyway, a great read. Key take-away, passion is so easily confused. I enjoy lots of things but do I eat, live, sleep those things? Besides, as you said you may be passionate about planes and altitude, that alone does not a pilot make. The way we throw around “passion” ehhh if it was live flame many of us would be toast by now. Thank you for saying it like it is. Passion is a discipline, it goes and comes, and evolves and grows with you.


    1. Gotcha! Lol@ devour it slowly.

      I would’ve been toast by now too- how I’ve wavered. But it’s all good because discovering passion is a journey and when you find it, you’ve got to work at it. Btw, I’m working on something for next Sunday that you can devour quickly 🙂


  10. Never knew I could be THIS more enlightened on the quite over-beaten (for me) concept of passion. Timi, you are just…awesome. Need to start telling more people to read livelytwist o.


    1. Glad you got something out of this post. I’ve been turning this subject over and over in my mind, seeing how my passions changed, and noting the things that are central to my core. Let’s journey together . . .

      @awesome, you are too kind, thanks! Tell dem o! 🙂


  11. This was a delightful read. I like your definition of passion. I think that understanding will help some people put things in the right perspective.
    Sometimes, this overflogged school of thought-“do what you have a passion for” has misled some people. This write up gives more meaning to that thinking.


    1. Thank you ‘Dare. Y’know, if I only do what I have “passion” for, I may not be able to pay my house rent! I have to be ready for seasons of preparation & doing what I’m not so enthusiastic about so I can finance my passion.


  12. “…it is natural ability honed by attention, repetition, focus, discipline,
    excellence, tenacity, and commitment.”… I guess its passion that makes me forget I’m hungry when I have the opportunity to speak on Purpose and potential…Very thoughtful… Thanks for sharing


    1. I should add that I believe the Creator has put in all of us passions that point to the “why” of our existence. Our life assignments usually has a lot to do with the things our hearts beat for…


      1. Yes, being engrossed in something that consumes you, can make you forget to eat. These things, as you pointed out, should lead us to discover the problems we were put on earth to solve.

        If you didn’t add to what you’d already said, I would’ve been surprised. I have visited your blog and noted how purpose seems to be a recurring theme with you. Thanks so much for lending your insight.


  13. LOL at your PS.
    Well, even though my hopes were raised by the setting of the opening scene I still enjoyed reading till the end.
    What keeps me awake in the night? I am yet to find that out. Not football nor movies, but a lot drive me during the day–still too varied to make a focus on one.


    1. Gotcha! So glad you didn’t quit half way through 🙂
      Yeah, sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes the main drivers in our lives are money & security, which are very valid I must add, so we can’t throw all our energies into one passion. Especially if that passion is like a hobby.


  14. I love this passion that you have! This way of examining a word and its meaning, is just up my alley! I am enthusiastic about the Olympics for the moment! I also am a family and friends ‘passionate’ lover! I enjoy blogging, but am relieved when I can walk away from where I am blogging, set it aside! Take care, enjoy the tennis matches and the Open! Smiles, Robin


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