Back to passion. Without passion it's not worth doing anything in life. You become a tool. A machine. The things that you do in your life become meaningless and valueless. I, for one, will never do anything if I cannot find the passion for it. It's a two-fold process for me. Passion has to be there when I decide to do something, and the passion also has to be 100 percent. Yes, when it comes to passion, it's all or nothing for me.
My passion can border on fanaticism, or at least that's what some people say of me. Take running for example. When I first started running seriously two years ago it was out of pure passion for the sports and the need to constantly challenge myself. I made a vow that it wasn't going to be just a flash in the pan, or what the Malays say "hangat-hangat tahi ayam" (loosely translated as "warm warm chicken shit"). Two years onward my passion for running still goes strong and shows no sign of slackening.
The same goes with my current vocation, teaching and researching politics. It was my activist background that brought me to academia as my passion for politics urged me to learn more about it on the theoretical level. Without this unstinting passion I don't think I will able to survive for long in the academia and fulfill my aspiration as a "scholar-activist."
On a more private side I also apply similar philosophy of passion to my romantic relationship. When I decide to be in a relationship with someone I pour all my heart and soul into it, no difference than what I do with running, politics, etc. There's not a moment of hesitation or doubt. It's either 100 percent or nada. My partner then becomes the center of my universe and I do whatever it takes within my mortal power to make the relationship lasts. Of course when the partner doesn't share the same level of passion and commitment the relationship will sooner or later destine for failure. In other words, I'm setting myself up for a huge disappointment if it fails.
Like gambling, those who gamble big will either win big or lose big. For me there's no such thing as a small win in a relationship. It's either I get all I want or I lose it all. There's no such thing as being 35.628 percent passionate in a relationship - at least for me. I guess this is why I get hurt so bad when my relationship fails. I feel like a complete failure, a total loser, utterly vulnerable. I take the rejection very personally and deeply. I crash really really bad! It takes me a long time to recover, and I'm talking years.
I guess this is the consequence of doing something with the utmost passion. If one starts with a low level of passion and expectation then the disappointment of failure will be much easier to swallow and deal with. One can either become a conservative in life and take very little risk, or one can be live life to the fullest by taking (calculated) risks and living passionately. For me there is no other way to live. Fortunately my other "relationships" with running, soccer, academia, activism provide me with equal and unconditional passion and love in return, so it means I will never ever be disappointed. Too bad the same dynamic does not apply to my romantic relationship. As the cliche goes, "you win some, you lose some."