Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#22 The Passion of Life

October 29th 2009

The Passion of Life

The word passion gets thrown around all too liberally. If I were to ask a person off the street what they are really and truly passionate about, the answers would probably take a minute or two. They might name their interests first; things like football or music and then would struggle to think of the other things. How many of us are truly passionate about what we do for a living? I would venture to say, sadly, a small percentage. Why? I think because we have been trained to believe that only the lucky few get to do what they are passionate about for a job. Either the lucky or the brave.

Often times it may depend on how money motivated someone is. Truth be told, not all passions will be able to make someone a lot of money. But then you see those people who are incredibly successful and are passionate about what they do and it makes me think. Are they passionate about publishing, fund management, recruitment, manufacturing, or are they passionate about being successful and making a good life for themselves and their families? A few will be both, but I think the vast majority will be the latter. Passion about success will take you very far. In fact, I think it can take someone as far as being passionate about both, as it is not as limiting in the occupations or industries you can be involved in. People who are passionate about being successful would most likely be successful in any industry they put their hand to.
So why are more of us not pushed in that direction from a young age? Instilling passion about being the best, or at least being very good. It seems these days’ parents and institutions don’t even want to hand out grades, lest the underachieving kids feel bad about themselves. It is completely unrealistic preparation for the real world, where clearly we are not all made equal. People tend to like and be passionate about things they are good at. If you are not good at something, chances are it’s not your favourite thing to do, especially if it’s a job. You are sitting there watching, while everyone else understands something that you don’t, everyone else seems to be doing well while you are struggling, and your boss is on your case everyday and you can see it in their eyes that they are already interviewing for your replacement. It would be very difficult to have that same excitement and passion about going to work every day if that was your situation. On the flip side, when you are good at something, then it all comes so much easier. You are naturally understanding of how things work, you instinctively know how to do something without being told 10 times, you are focussed and aware and excited to learn the next thing. Why? Because if you are good at something, it builds confidence and confidence helps build success. It allows you to make good decisions without second guessing yourself every step of the way; it makes you feel good about yourself which in turn makes other people feel good about you as well, and helps in business and life in endless ways.

So back to passion. I am passionate about a lot of things, but not all of them would I necessarily want to do for a living. I love to travel, but wouldn’t want to travel full time for a living as I am also a bit of a homebody and would miss my boyfriend, dog and friends too much. But there are others things that I am passionate about that I could do for a living. But regardless of what I do, I will still want to be the best. Or if not the best, than at least somewhere very near the top. Why? Because I have learned about myself, that ultimately I am passionate about success, winning and being good. It’s why I have been successful in school, sports, and work. Even if I was playing a game of cards with someone, I would want to win. I am not obsessive about it and have not lost friends or anything ridiculous over it, but I hate to lose. I’ve always said, “I hate losing as much as I love winning.” They are equals.

It is likely that we are all good at a number of things, which means that it should not be that difficult to find one that we like doing and that can take us where we want to go. The only thing that stands in the way is the fear of something. I’ve already tackled the art and fear of failure, but there are many fears. But if we can always go back to whatever it is we do that we are not passionate about... we know exactly what we are missing. So if that’s the case, then why not take a leap of faith? You already know that you would be missing, but still have no idea what you are actually missing. The grass isn’t always greener, it’s just a change from the grass you are walking on now.

Also check out The Ride featured in Here is the City

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