Today's post was written by James and it will provide excellent motivation and inspiration for anyone who is struggling to stay passionate about what he or she does for a living. Staying passionate is key to staying happy with the work you're doing so read on for some inspiring tips from James!
How different would your career be if you could stay consistently passionate about what you do? Passion is the lifeblood of success and fulfillment. It gives us a reason to wake up in the morning. It energizes us to accomplish the tasks and overcome the challenges of the day. And it provides us with our sweetest dreams at night. Passionate people achieve their goals; they make the most out of their careers as just one aspect of making the most of their entire lives. Indeed, how different would your life be if passion were foundational to all your endeavors? It is your decision as to whether or not you ever find out the answer. Are passionate people born, or are they made? While some fortunate folks may be blessed with more natural enthusiasm than others, I believe that passion is a cultivated character quality that anyone can develop. It begins by wanting it. To say "I want to be more passionate" demonstrates that first spark of passion that will grow into a blaze with the right fuel and proper attention. There is no mystery to the process of becoming passionate. It is no secret. The keys to becoming motivated and enthusiastic about work have been well known for centuries, even millennia. What is missing in so many is not knowledge but implementation. Let's take a few moments and examine 3 foundational tips for becoming and staying passionate about your work.
3 Tips for Being Passionate About Work
- It Takes a Decision to Become a Passionate Person: We each must first decide that we are going to be passionate people. Being precedes doing. A person for whom passion is part of their character will be passionate about their work, their relationships, their hobbies and every significant part of their lives. One of my mentors once told me, you make a decision and then you let that decision make you.When the decision to become passionate is made then you've also made a decision to reject being cynical, lazy, easily discouraged or other attitudes that snuff out the flames of passion. Instead you've decided to be cheerful and hopeful, embracing qualities of thought and attitude which feed the flames. An action step here would be to write out your decision to become passionate and list qualities to embrace that will help you become passionate along with a corresponding list of negative qualities to discard.
- It Takes the Leadership of the Will: It is easy to feel like becoming passionate about work. It is much harder to exert the will required. Yet our will is the determiner of what we become. To be sure, good feelings will assist the will. But if negative feelings override the will you can be sure that passion will be harder to achieve. Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton was nicknamed "Sweetness" for his on-field artistry. He would train in the off-season by daily running up the dunes along Lake Michigan, the sand giving way with each arduous footfall. He was asked what he did when he didn't feel like training. His response is instructive. "Walter Payton never asks Walter Payton how he feels," said the great one. Feelings are wonderful when they assist our will to achieve, but if they threaten to hinder they must be politely refused. The beautiful reality is that when we order our internal world correctly, with the will leading and the feelings submitting they will soon return to support the pursuits of the will. Let's say you've got a list of unpleasant tasks you've been avoiding because you don't feel like the hassle. Not getting them done is holding you back. Your feelings are winning. You wake up early and launch into the worst task on the list. Your emotions are complaining but you don't listen as they whine, "This is hard, leave it until later, why don't you check your email?" You know what we mean. But as you plod through the task as an act of the will you will make progress. Before you know it your feelings will jump in with a new attitude, saying, "This feels great! Good job! We bet we can knock off this whole list by lunch and won't that be awesome!" The will and feelings working in harmony is the deeply satisfying and incredibly productive. The great musician, the company CEO, the world class athlete and the millionaire entrepreneur all need passion to reach their level of success, but for each the active participation of the will is essential. It keeps whispering, "Stay passionate, don't give in, keep a motivating vision of success clearly in mind." In those moments when passion fails, as it must from time to time, the will stands in the gap until passion returns. Irish statesman Edmund Burke spoke to this point when he said, "Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair." With that attitude a new breakthrough will come and passion will again flood your soul. The action step is to cultivate the will by fostering the proper relationship between the will and the emotions. Strengthen the will every day by doing something new that you should do but don't particularly want to. Remember that emotions make wonderful servants and horrible masters.
- It Takes a Vision: Vision is a clear mental picture of a preferred future. Vision produces passion with incredible intensity. Cultivate a vision for what you want your career to be and then work each day to bring it into reality. Disney World was Walt Disney's vision. He planned it and got it rolling, but died before it was actually built. On the day the park opened someone remarked to his brother Roy Disney, "Too bad Walt isn't here to see this." Roy's response was magical; Walt did see it and that's why it's here. Vision gives you the energy to put in the hard work required to achieve your dreams and keep working hard when you feel like quitting. Your action point might be to write a "retrospective" on your career by transferring your thoughts to the future and describing the perfect career as if it has already been achieved. Limit the vision statement to one page and read it often, tweaking it as it becomes clearer and more tangible. We all must realize that to a large extent we can shape our own lives to be what we desire them to be. It takes making the choice to become a passionate person. It takes the leadership of the will. Think of Michelangelo's David, the famous marble sculpture. The raw marble was hard and not particularly attractive. But Michelangelo saw "David" in the stone before he even started. That vision gave him the passion to hone the skills and exhibit the patience required to bring it forth.
These three principles are foundational. They are not all there is to staying passionate about your work. It is important also to master things like:
- Being passionate about your current career
- Transforming your career to match your vision of the perfect career
- Becoming an expert at what you do
- Continuing to grow through training and experience
- Making a difference that matters through your work
When the foundation outlined in these principals is properly laid, then building a career you are passionate about will be much easier. The path to doing it will be stunningly clear. Reject the foundation and the building will be weak and may collapse. We see the "ruins" all around us and the lament, "what might have been" is often heard. With passion that is persistent we may at first be surprised that we truly have, to a great degree, the power to create the life and career we want. As it starts to come to fruition our passion simply grows and the realization becomes rock solid that these foundational principles work. Become passionate therefore, and prosper in all that you do.
Hard is it to believe after reading this introspective post, James is not a personal development writer. In fact, James is a technology reviewer and analyst working for a leading specialist in ink cartridges like the popular HP 300XL and other supplies to the creative industries in the UK. Along with being an ink cartridge specialist, he's also pretty great at writing inspiring pieces about how to be more passionate at work!