We now arrive at the 12th and most important principle of wellness: live with passion. Instead of giving you my usual wellness tips, I thought I would share a story about two people who truly embody this principle. And as luck would have it, they happen to be my parents, who after 40 plus years have shared quite the adventure together.  They’re still as crazy about each other as they were the day my father made a fraternity pledge drive his date home so he could court my beautiful mother. But beyond their admirable relationship, they each foster their own personal passions.

My father grew up on Chicago’s Southside and worked endlessly to put himself through college and law school. He then founded his own law firm and grew it into one of the City’s elite. Throughout his groundbreaking career he has defended the less fortunate and those without a voice with vigor, confidence and grace.  He often expresses that he feels like the luckiest man in the world to love what he does every day.

My mother devoted herself to our family and was always reinventing herself, whether it was volunteering, coaching or even owning her own travel agency.  Now she is the chair of the Goodman Theater Board of Trustees and works tirelessly in defense of the arts, a cause dear to her heart. She also sits with my father on the board of the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which through its annual Winter Wine Festival, raises millions of dollars for Collier County’s underprivileged youths.

Point being, my parents have built a passionate life together filled with love, mission and service.  Now take a moment to ponder: What are your passions in life? Who are you passionate about?  Life is way too short not to be excited about your endeavors both big and small. And always remember:

  • love what you do every day;
  • spend time with the people that are your own kind of crazy;
  • don’t be afraid to take chances, be fearless;
  • and most importantly, live your life for you.

It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. – Mae Jemison

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain

I would rather die of passion than of boredom. – Vincent van Gogh

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do. – Georgia O’Keefe