When was the last time you witnessed true passion? The kind that brings forth the heart and soul of an individual engaged in a work of achievement. It’s the rare person that embraces a goal with all their focus. To witness such an event is to witness success in motion, for if nothing else drives success it’s the passion with which one shows up.
It’s not the nature of the task that yields passion, but the nature of the person that brings it to the task. The most mundane of matters (and let’s face it, life is full of them) will largely be determined by the amount of zest we bring to them. If our world view is one of drudgery and tedium, then no matter the task our chances for success decline. If small deeds surrender no enthusiasm (see Make the Right Small Decisions & the Big Ones Take Care of Themselves…), then how do bigger ones woe us that cross our path?
To have passion is to love life. It’s living in the present and embracing it with everything we can. It’s recognition that existence is temporal and that what’s here today can be gone tomorrow. When we salute every breathing moment as a gift, we salute the essence of our core. We show gratitude and it’s this gratitude that drives passion (see Gratitude: And Why It Matters…), and where there’s no gratitude, there can be no passion. To think otherwise is to mistake obsession for it, and the two are far apart.
Obsession is the unfettered channeling of energy, while passion is energy with a conscious. Passion enjoys the journey, obsession preys upon it. The obsessed person trounces everything in its path, while the passionate one moves forward with awareness. Passion breeds enthusiasm and fun; obsession spells alienation and misery. The former is long term, while the latter is shortsighted.
If our goal is to live a healthy, loving and prosperous life (and I’m not sure who wouldn’t want that), then gratitude is a prerequisite in everything we do. With gratitude comes the passion that derives the spring in our step, the perch in our soul, and the love in our heart. It’s the arbiter of things to come and it’s the determinant of how our lives unfold. Without it we’re adrift in an aimless current, but with it we can command the seas.
German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) stated almost two hundred years ago that “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
It’s this observation that pays heed to the countless men and women who passionately live their lives to make the world a better place. Their determination and dedication is what makes the unachievable achievable in whatever field they choose. It’s their passion that makes the difference.
And so we must ask ourselves: will we make passion our driver to success?
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