Educators often ask students to think of what they are passionate about. The idea behind this is that if a young learners can discover their true interests they may be able to better define their life goals and begin down a path that will leave them happy and fulfilled. As I progressed through my 11th year of teaching, I applied for a new job and was asked to think what I was passionate about. The firs and most obvious thing that came to mind; family. I kept thinking over a few weeks by looking at the things I really enjoy and patterns in my career. What I discovered is that I am passionate about challenges. Challenges keep me focused. They give me something to work on and think about when the monotony of the day-to-day life seems to slow me down. For me, challenges can appear in many forms. They can be physical challenges, educational challenges, or career challenges. But for me, they can all be molded into the same basic pattern. 1. They need to seem large. I once heard a graduation address where the speaker said "If someone tells you that the challenge you set for yourself is too big, you know you're on the right track." 2. They must require planning and preparation. The planning and the preparation are what makes the challenge fulfilling. 3. Failure must be an option. If not, then the challenge is not big enough. Let's be clear here. You have to assume you will meet your challenge, but if everybody can do it, it's not a challenge. Here's the cool thing...once you meet one challenge, another bunch of them open up. And the process starts all over.