We’ve all been excited about things – it could be the thrill of finding a new hobby or finally getting down to starting a new blog. But excitement has typically been relatively short-lived – how often have we taken up a novel activity and then lost interest along the way? Maybe you took guitar lessons at one point and thought you wanted to be a musician, but with no real passion, excitement – as with many novel undertakings – can easily die out.
While excitement is fleeting, passion makes itself felt day in and day out. Passion fuels your actions, it motivates you to go the extra mile in making something a reality, and it shapes a vision that you work towards. Passion, when nurtured, has led people to do some amazing things. Think about how Mary Jackson fought the courts and fought racial and gender discrimination to join advanced courses that would eventually allow her to become NASA’s first black female engineer. That is passion.
Sure, passionate people find excitement in the things that they do. But they also understand that it is sustained enthusiasm in their respective fields that enables them to continue finding meaning in their chosen pursuits.
What Does Passion Bring?
Being passionate about things is never just about reaching an end goal – it gives you more than just results.
Firstly, passion begets passion. When you're passionate, excitement and energy build. It was through working in his family’s small reptile park that zookeeper and conservationist Steve Irwin found his passion for animals. Steve may be gone, but his legacy continues to live on and inspire others.
Passion also generates discipline – probably the biggest difference between passion and excitement. When you're passionate about something, you love it even when you hate it. When thinking of passionate greats, one perhaps cannot leave out 28-time Olympic medalist, Michael Phelps. He has one of the most intense workout regimens ever recorded, swimming 80,000 metres a week and consuming 12,000 calories a day. His passion for swimming pushed him through difficult times and spurred him to be even more disciplined.
So yes, while the end result is nice, remember that passion is also about the process. And we promise you when you’re passionate and you find yourself with more discipline and energy, you’ll be better off for trying.
Finding Your Passion
We’ve all struggled to find our passion, dealt with insecurities and faced indecision – and that’s okay! The closest fix for this is focus.
When you channel your energy into focusing on realising a dream, that’s when the passion begins. Consider FedEx founder Fred Smith – in business school, he got a low grade for pitching a courier service at a time when the US Postal Service enjoyed a monopoly over the mail industry. But he returned to the idea developed in university anyway, even if he could only deliver seven packages (five of which were to himself). He was so focused on achieving his dream that he managed to raise a then-spectacular $91 million in venture capital to finally found FedEx in 1971.
It'll take time, but you’ll find your passion once you find yourself working in the tiniest ways to actualising your dreams. That’s how you’ll know you’re on the right track.
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