Passion – A Definition

6/11/2011

Tim Davis Why do people do what they do ? I am reading a fascinating book at the moment that I encourage everyone to go out and read to really discover what they want to do with their lives. It’s a book by Carmine Gallo called The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success – and it’s a fantastic read. I suggest you definitely check it out. One of the people the book mentions is a person called Bill Strickland – who is the author of Make the Impossible Possible [who also, in my opinion, looks like Denzel Washington] – and has a inspiring story. After doing a bit more research about Bill, he has a quote that I think is amazing and something that everyone who reads this blog should paste up on their wall.

“Passion is the emotional fuel that drives your vision. It’s what you hold onto when your ideas are challenged and people turn you down, when you are rejected by experts and the people cloest to you. It’s the fuel that keeps you going, working hard, giving more than you can possibly give when there is simply no validation of your dream. Passions are irresistible. If you’re paying attention to your life at all, the things you are passionate about won’t leave you alone. They’re the ideas, hope and possibilities your mind gravitates to, the things you focus all your time, attention and dreams upon and nothing else but doing these things truly feels right.”

What’s truly awesome about both the book and Bill’s Story – is that in some sense it focuses entirely on KAH Conceputalization (at least in my opinion) – but perhaps most fundamentally – the message is simply one of doing what you love – that is, the concept of attraction. It’s amazing that the most successful people in life – and increasingly as a function of their success – are doing what they absolutely love and are passionate about it. Many people live their entire lives in a job they ‘like’ or ‘they enjoy’ but never ‘truly love’. While I completely understand that many people do this for the ‘safety’ of a job and providing for their family – unfortunately they are missing the obvious – nobody ever said that doing what you love would be easy. The truth of the matter is that doing what you love is entirely related to how much effort you are willing to put in, how much you want it to succeed and how much you are willing to do anything to ensure that your passion exceeds the odds. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you the same story – from Bill Gates, to Warren Buffet, to Steve Jobs to Bill Strickland. Money was never the end goal – simply being passionate about changing peoples lives and doing something that each of these entrepreneurs absolutely loved is consistently the message. I have read each of these entrepreneurs official and unofficial biographies and it’s always the same outcome – do what you love and you’ll always be better off in life.

I have absolutely no idea whether our company and startup will succeed – but it’s what our team absolutely loves and we’re committed to it and passionate about it. So we already have at least one building block in place – passion. The rest is entirely dependent on how much we are willing to give and how much we want it to succeed above other options in our lives. Reading the stories, following in the footsteps of thousands of other successful entrepreneurs always comes back to passion, drive and how much you are willing to give. Following a dream isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. Many people complain of how hard life is – but the realistic and unfortunate truth is someone has done it harder, done more with less, been less fortunate from the ‘get-go’ and still become successful. Will Smith immortalized the tail of Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness – a true story about Chris who was homeless, lived many nights in a train substation toilet with his son and still managed to become a hugely successful stockbroker. Chris wanted it – more than anything in the world and despite all the odds – he achieved it. The same story is told over and over by many entrepreneurs around the world when everyone told them they would fail – and they may have failed, over and over – but persistence, passion, drive and love for what they were doing always came through in the end.

This leads to the obvious question – if you could do anything in the world tomorrow, what would it be ? Of course, the next step is to simply ask yourself why you cannot do it ? You’ll come up with 100x reasons as to why you can’t and frankly this is exactly why you are currently working in a job you ‘like’ but don’t ‘love’. Indeed, if you love your job – then you will be entirely satisfied and you will be ‘driven’ and ‘passionate’ about it – I congratulate you that you are really doing what you love. But to all those readers who don’t have this, I would suggest that achieving your dream is not about ‘liking’ something or being ‘comfortable’ – it’s about being uncomfortable, it’s about testing your limits but knowing that you are doing it because it’s what you love and what you want to do with your life. I’ve spent many years studying and done many different courses with many different twists and turns – the end outcome ? I now know what I really want to do. Some would argue this has been a long journey (perhaps too long I am told) – but I’ve finally discovered what I want and discovering this now – is better than spending 30 years in career only to discover it later. You’re never too old, it’s never too late, it’s never too hard, it’s never the wrong time.

The point is that passion is infectious. If you show this passion – others will want to join you. How you communicate this passion, how you achieve this passion, the story you tell, the goals you want to achieve – this is what will draw the best people to you and around you and with you. If you want to be a musician, a professor, a teacher, a social worker, a lawyer, a doctor or any other type of career and you want this more than anything in the world – nothing will stop you. It’s been documented and shown over and over throughout time through thousands, if not millions, of people.

There isn’t anything stopping you from achieving a dream but yourself. The real question you need to ask yourself – how much do you want it ?

tim@timdavis.com.au
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