It often seems that each year goes by faster than the one before. Frequently I find myself reflecting and contemplating on where the time has gone. I know that there are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. Yet sometimes I struggle to believe it. How have the leaves started to change color and the symphony of crickets, bees, grasshoppers and cicadas so suddenly faded? As I conceptualize time, I focus more on the way I wish to spend my days.

I imagine days where I wish I could press the “replay” button and relive them time after time. I imagine feelings that I could press “pause” and preserve. I image times that will always be “recorded” in my mind. Perhaps every second of the day is not like my description above. As I identify themes in my daily life that make certain times worth replaying and recording, I have found that passion is a common denominator.

Passion drives and motivates us; it holds a part of our happiness. We will persevere, perhaps tackle our fears, do the unexpected and live in a state of contentment and gratification. Passion is our fuel. Days occupied with passion are days worth reliving, feelings worth pausing and memories worth recording. Passion may even provide the answer to that mysterious question, “how and why do we feel that there are less than 24 hours in a day?”

Passion is my answer to how my two-month internship in India ended up feeling like two weeks. Which is a bit odd, considering I tell people that I constantly had a headache. Yes, working in India made a couple of hairs turn gray. As frustrating as it was some days, I would not change one of them. Challenging situations forced me into undiscovered environments of which I had no knowledge. Those where the experiences I ended up thanking for personal growth.

Without it there is no opportunity for maturation; without passion my aged hair would be meaningless. In fact, with a lack of passion the two months would have felt like two years. With an absence of passion, so much of the summer would have been considered a waste. Living in a world where 24 hours feels like 12, there’s no wiggle room to waste time. Whether it’s purpose we find, the success that follows us, or the potential we realize, a passionate life is one of living rather than existing.

After spending this past summer working on a tourism project called “Explore India and Hinduism” and doing non-profit and village development consulting I now intend to lead, learn and live through passion. I think part of the process for maximizing our individual humanity is developing our purpose. When we live from a place of deep authenticity, our passion is at the forefront. In other words, in order to live a life of many days that are worthy of replaying, passion is essential.

If you’d like a loop-hole for “pausing” time, I’d recommend living with passion everyday. You will continuously preserve that feeling. When our lives are passionate, other people will then be eager to “record” our own success and happiness. Passion is the building blocks of greatness, achievement and reason.