Rediscover—or discover for the first time—the things that make you passionate in life
Vital Signs is about what inspires passion and what defeats it. How we lose it and how we get it back. And ultimately it’s about the endless yet endlessly fruitful tug-of-war between freedom and domestication, the wild in us and the tame, our natural selves and our conditioned selves. Each chapter in Vital Signs will contain a core sample, an intimate biography of one of the strategies we employ to gain or regain our passion. The book also affirms the importance of courageous inquiry into dispassion—where we’re numb, depressed, stuck, bored—so the reader can recognize and change these tendencies in themselves.
A passionate life might, for some people, be synonymous with a successful life but how does one find passion and retain it throughout an entire lifetime? Levoy (Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life) takes on the art of creating passion. The text begins by looking at how the constraints of civilization require us to simultaneously work with and against our natures. As such, people find themselves trying to maintain their innate sense of discovery, connection to nature, and introspection while leading existences that are sedentary, reliant on technology, and work centered. Levoy draws examples of people dealing with difficult situations from popular culture, history, and everyday life, ranging from the struggle of the movie Papillon's title character to survive captivity to an event planner's need to control every facet of her life. The narrative allows readers to linger on each story and come away with new ways of looking at the world, but feels unstructured. The topic is stimulating, however, and Levoy's faith that we can all find passion in our lives is genuinely stirring.