I discovered an excellent book that you'd be wise to…
I haven’t been feeling well this past week, so in that awful state, something seemed to be pushing me to feel better — the word passion. Perhaps I’ve let my flame die out and it needs to be relit and I should follow. One thing about being ambitious, is that there will be those times when you burn out or get lost. That’s when we need to review our goals and purpose.
There’s been lots of drama movies and novels about the tragedy of settling for a lesser life, where the protagonist gives up and settles for substitutes. So this post is the reverse — a why and how to guide to a new philosophy of passion. Of course, there’s much more to read on the topic.
And I read several articles about how following your passion is the worst advice ever. In fact Google reports negative articles about the topic. The authors suggest it leads you on a path to ruin. Well, that’s a reflection of how our culture distrusts the power of self-directed living.
Why is Passion Important?
Let’s define passion shall we? We’re actually not referring to romantic passion, although there is a clear line between that and life passion. Romantic passion certainly helps drive the point home nicely:)
A passionate life is one where you’re open to discovering your most powerful emotional forces and letting them guide your decisions. And it’s where you become an inspiration and a compelling person in other people’s lives .
Since it’s common to “run out of gas” so to speak at many times in your life, you might need a little lift or reminder. Sometimes it’s a serious wakeup call — that you’ve let your life seriously decay.
Benefits of Reconnecting to Your Personal Passions
- a better job with the right rewards
- the right marriage partner or improvement of your marriage
- better friendships with more fun and meaning
- self-esteem and contentment
- better health
- higher productivity and commitment to work
- diminishment of worry and depression
- improvement of intelligence and skill
- faster learning
- add more value to others lives
You’ve Got Plenty of Options
Once you find your passion and feel it, there are many paths/choices you can make. Your passion may be fulfilled by 100 different career paths or personal paths. There’s no one single track. There’s choices and better decisions.
For Creative Higher Intelligence
What if you made choices based not on intellect, but instead by what you loved? Yes, I’ve read 2000 books and written two myself, but I only did it because it made me feel good. Intellect can get in the way, but it doesn’t have to if you’re aware of what’s going on.
When you follow your heart as opposed to your head, you can feel a difference in confidence, energy, clarity and happiness. The common belief says differently — that passions are fleeting, foolish, and time-wasting. People don’t follow their real passions because they’re scared to death of them. They choose anything but their real passion — mostly out of fear.
Full Sail to your Destination — You!
I’m making a case here for passion/desire as the correct rudder and sail of your ship and that it’s a better source of good decisions than discipline, systems, concepts, prejudice, or drive. I’m reminded of a saying: “The heart knows today what the mind will discover tomorrow.”
I’m just saying, keep it in mind as you go about your daily duties, obligations, and drudgery.
I’m not suggesting we abandon data and analytics as a guide, but use that rich data as an additional guide to find our true passion. And in business, that might be in discovering and attracting the right customer and offering the right product. In life, it might be in discovering and attracting the right marriage partner and friends. Go against your passions, and it’s guaranteed misery.
Energy, Enthusiasm, and Authenticity
Passion unleashes tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and drive, and acts as a natural compass to guide the mind to the right decisions. The magnetism off of passionate people can power others. We respect them because they seem authentic and well put together – by the glue of passion.
The industrial era values of hard work, discipline, drive, persistence, credentials, and sacrifice continues to shape business decision making today. The new entrant, data, is being added to the mix for long term results that are actually short sighted. Did all the analytical, data rich, financial experts foresee the Saudi’s choice to let the price of oil drop in the last 4 months? Did any investors lose millions? Was anyone prepared? Are there businesses and cities in dire straits now? What did data do for anyone back in 2008?
That’s trillions of dollars in business education, intelligence gathering, computers, software, and business decision making capabilities, yet they didn’t see it coming and are now dealing with crisis. A heart driven industry may have been more aware of how the Saudis felt and what they believed.
When I think of heart in business, I think of Richard Branson, who never bellows out in Tony Robbins stadium fashion, nor proclaims with an angry snarl of a Donald Trump. He doesn’t have the educational credentials and actually suffers from dyslexia. Who would hire him to run an empire? His dyslexia may be his gift from the heavens, protecting him from being paralyzed by common attitudes. He is closer to his passion and makes people-friendly decisions for his companies.
Discovering Your True Passions isn’t Easy
Pursuing inner passion takes courage. Your intellect is being tossed into the back seat and only be asked for back seat driver advice. But, using passion as a guide, you’ll be making good decisions soon enough. There are no barriers or challenges too difficult because that part of your brain doesn’t recognize them. It stays focused on an adaptive path to your desire, whatever that is. It’s all about magnetism and a childlike faith that you will capture what you’re after.
Smart people fail a lot. They’re crippled by barriers, processes, incompatibilities, requirements, and even tradition.
How do you let passion guide and drive you and your business? Here’s some thoughts:
- Quietly meditate/reflect on what your strongest/deepest desires are. These are your goals.
- Think about what it is specifically that’s your passion: freedom, expression, helping, security, mastery, love…
- What is it you feel when you picture the things you want? There are certainly images you are seeing right now. Write them down. Don’t block, let them out.
- What are the specific emotions you are feeling and what causes them? When you see exactly what you want, what is getting in your way? Write it down quickly.
- What are the specific fears that are getting in the way of getting what you want? Why do you not deserve it, or why do you believe you’re not smart enough and committed enough
- What is the first step you can take to unleash your passion and get where you need to go
- Do others objections stop you in your tracks or are you oblivious to them?
- Is working with a personal life coach a great idea? (assuming you can you afford it)
If you do have the courage to follow your passion as a guide, you’ll be butting heads with the system for sure. But you can’t stop passion. It can be resisted, suppressed, and vilified only so long before it wins. So, here’s to you finding your personal passions and meaning and greatly improving your life. Good Luck!
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