Running low on passion? You can always recharge. And it’s free.
Strong word. So strong it should have the right to claim it’s the mother of all words.
Some use it interchangeably with “enthusiasm”. Others simplify it as “positive attitude”. Modern psychologists label it “learned optimism”. But I like it just as it is – passion.
Passion is immeasurable, like it ought to be. But, even though it cannot be quantified, one can say that it diminishes. You just feel it when it wanes, just as you can when there’s a surge of passion in your veins or heart or brain. Generally, we feel the height of passion somewhere between the start and early stages of an activity, and as the euphoria or novelty or excitement of that thing fades, so does our passion for it.
And while it is not a sin, – after all, it is as human a tendency as getting bored – it wouldn’t hurt to be able to maintain one’s passion at something from beginning to end.
There is no magic pill that keeps a person passionately going and going and going and going. Scientists believe it is simply the power of the mind. Fortunately, all of us have minds. The trick is training the mind.
It’s a “mind” thing
If you’re not a positive thinker, if you don’t have a positive attitude, forget about passion.
Without this quality or passion, life and whatever you do with it become quite dull. Things become a chore, a “have to” instead of an opportunity, or a “get to.” For example, the person who doesn’t have passion says such things as: “I have to go to work today … I have to go to the gym … I have to clean the house … or … I have to pay my bills.”
By contrast, a person with passion says, “I get to go to work today,” because he knows that work is so much better than not having any work. A person with passion says, “I get to go to the gym,” because it’s better than being physically incapable to do anything. A person with passion… you get the picture.
Clearly, if you’re not a positive thinker, if you don’t have a positive attitude, there will never be a morsel of passion to start with. And there simply is no substitute for a positive attitude.
Bottom line? A positive attitude translates to passion, and passion is the difference maker.
Don’t let emotions dictate your actions
A writer shares this story in a blogpost:
One day at the gym, there was a coach visiting who had worked with thousands of athletes over his long career, including some nationally-ranked athletes and Olympians.
Because he was popular, he was asked all sorts of questions, among which was, “What’s the difference between the best athletes and everyone else? What do the really successful people do that ordinary people don’t?”
He mentioned the things that you might expect: genes, luck, talent. But the next thing he said surprised the gym-goers around him.
“At some point,” he said, “it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same routines over and over and over again.”
It sure was a different way of looking into things, but it made perfect sense.
Most of the time people talk about getting motivated and excited to work on their goals. Whether it’s business or sports or just trying to get to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you will commonly hear people say things like, “it all comes down to having enough passion.”
Life and views can be so different for empowered people who possessed such passion that inspires other to be passionate too.
As a result, many people get depressed when they lose focus or motivation because they think that successful people have some unstoppable passion and willpower that they seem to be missing. But that’s exactly the opposite of what the coach in the anecdote was saying.
The fact is, even successful people feel the same boredom and the same lack of motivation that everyone else feels.
They are not immune to feeling lethargic or to distraction. But the difference is that the people who stick with their goals don’t let their emotions determine their actions.
The best of the best in any field always finds a way to show up, to work through the boredom, and to embrace the daily practice that is required to achieve their goals.
Flashback to the “firsts”
We’ve established earlier that passion is highest at the beginning and/or during the early stages of an activity. Who doesn’t get thrilled during a “first”? Want to bring back the passion that fizzled? All it takes is a trip down memory lane.
Remember your first day on your first job? How you spent the night tossing and turning practicing in your mind what kind of smile you’ll bring to the office, or what one-liners you’ll throw at the guys, or what shirt you’ll wear? And how, when you arrived, you can’t wait to get things started and get things done?
How about the first time you received your first paycheck? Remember the afterglow that the feeling of (finally) becoming a useful citizen gave you? How can you forget how early you came to work the day after you received your first paycheck and how you finished your report two days ahead of the deadline?
How about the first few weeks (or months) of being in a romantic relationship? Ah, there was always that spring in your step, the sparkle in your eye, a musical tone to that voice, and that pleasant disposition. You never seemed to run out of sweet nothings to say cute little romantic gestures to do to your significant other, either. It’s amazing what passion can do.
Now, if you can remember how passionate you were that time, chances are, you can bring it back to the same level today and sustain it, be it in love, in business, or in life in general.
Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning, and happiness, and excitement, and anticipation. Passion is a powerful force in accomplishing anything you set your mind to, and in experiencing work and life to the fullest extent possible. Yes, passion is the driving force behind success and happiness that allows us all to live better lives.
Remember, passion is all in the mind: think positive thoughts, never allow your emotions to control your actions, and remind yourself how passionate you have always been.
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