Following up on “Passions, you create,” which I recommend rereading, where I wrote about passion not being something you happen to find, like if you just turned over enough rocks you’d find it…
Everyone has the same potential to develop passions, as far as I can tell. If all you do is turn over rocks but never dig in—that is, look at what others do and think about those things without trying yourself—you can convince yourself you don’t have passions, that somehow you’re different and unlucky compared to those. That’s just your opinion.
They worked hard and persevered through challenges that if you did you’d find as much passion within you as they did. You’ll try things you end up not liking and give them up. You’ll also have to make difficult decisions and sacrifice but you’ll consider it worth it for what you get, which is meaning, value, importance, and purpose from within, based on self-awareness.
Saying you have no passion because nothing seems to appeal to you when you haven’t tried is like saying you have no love because you haven’t fallen in love when you haven’t gone on a date. You can tell someone you might like at first meeting but only through time together you enjoy as well as resolving arguments can you reach love. Passion is the same. You can tell you might like some activity from watching it but only by doing it can you find out if you’ll feel passion for it.
Emotions don’t emerge randomly or from nothing. They both motivate and result from behavior, among other things. Some emotions and motivations you can get passively, like hunger, thirst, tiredness, and other basic ones like that. Others you only get through actively putting in effort. If you think you’ll get passion by watching others, you’re confused about how passion works, as much as if you thought you could fall in love without talking to someone or could get skilled at a sport or playing a musical instrument by just watching others play.
I just finished doing my morning workout. It feels great. Anyone who knows me knows I feel passionate about my twice-daily quick workouts, among my other passions. Before I do my twenty-six burpees I don’t feel great about them. I’m scared of them. I don’t imagine anyone reading about them cares much about them. Before I started doing them habitually, I didn’t care about them at all. But doing them makes me feel great—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Only by doing them can I create that great feeling, rooted in exhaustion, the kind I like. And doing them every day for years creates different great feelings—accomplishment, confidence, integrity.
Same with posting to my blog. Or writing my book. Or teaching. Or coaching. Or sports. Or cooking. Etc. I’m passionate about them now, but none of them started as passions. They all started as forays into the unknown among countless other forays that didn’t pan out but so what? I don’t consider that wasted time.
My current passions for exercising, writing, and such are nothing compared to when I played ultimate. Almost nothing compares to the depth and magnitude of passion I felt after a weekend in the cold rain, bloody, sore, and knowing the pain and soreness I’d feel the next day, or when the shower water went over the scrapes.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book