PhotographyYour Shot Photos of the Week

Your best photos of the week, February 8, 2019

Each week, our editors choose stunning photos submitted by members of Your Shot, National Geographic's photo community.

Passion drives us. It motivates our decisions about how we spend our time, which causes we donate our hard-earned dollars to and can even get us out of bed in the morning. Passion can awaken creativity, provide purpose and develop our intelligence as human beings.

Your passion might not always be your career and that’s okay because your passions shine through in spare time, as well. A psychology professor suggests that we don’t find our passions but rather develop them. We build relationships around our passions and sometimes are fortunate to find communities we fit into. The Your Shot photo community prides itself on a warm welcome to photographers of all skill levels, backgrounds all for our shared passion of photography.

I think it’s crucial to the human experience to find something we have passion for in order to have a balanced life. It’s not a requirement, of course, but I’m betting it contributes to our happiness…at least a little, ha. What we must keep in mind is that what we deeply care about can consume us so we must be vigilant to maintain balance.

It’s a beautiful thing to find passion in your career but it can be difficult to strike a balance when you have to find ways to unplug, especially in careers that rely on technology, social media and being “on,” so to speak.

Stay passionate, find balance and treat everything as a learning experience as you continue developing your passions.

Associate Photo Editor Kristen McNicholas looks at daily uploads from Your Shot, starting each day by sifting through thousands of photographs. This series is a selection of her favorites from the past week.