Impact Insights Blog

Progressing with Passion

March 21, 2018

Passion fuels people into action. It’s where deep desire and opportunity come together, often with resounding results. Indeed, passion is credited for the successes of top athletes, business people, community leaders, artists and other prominent standouts.

Well, sure it is.

Being passionate about an ideal motivates people to move forward with their aims, whether it’s a business venture, athletic achievement, artistic goal, community enterprise or something else. Passion feeds people’s quest to find ways to reach their aspirations and drives their progress through difficult, time-consuming and even costly stages along the way. It steadies their focus and spurs them to use their best skills and know-how to realize their objectives.

And, when their efforts result in positive outcomes, the subsequent high isn’t merely satisfying. It’s also empowering. Success confirms to those that are passionate about their work, that the achievement was worth the effort, trying as it may have been. It validates that they’re doing what they’re meant to do and pushes them to keep going; to aim higher next time. Powerful stuff, that passion.

But is it possible to realize success without such passion? That depends. For real, marked success, like the notable advancement of a cause, impressive financial gains, or the attainment of an elevated standing within an industry or community, probably not.

As Calvin Coolidge is credited for saying: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

If experience serves, such persistence and determination are difficult, perhaps impossible, to maintain when they’re not steeped in passion. Surely, having a talent for, knowledge of or skill at something is likely to bring about a measure of success in the endeavor, but it’s the truly rare bird that achieves the remarkable without committing to it, heart and soul. Passion makes all the difference.

To be clear, while passion feeds many positives, obsession doesn’t. As an article on “The Thin Line Between Passion and Obsession” in Psychology Today noted: Just like falling in love with a person can turn into an obsession, so can falling in love with what you do. Your passions can cross the line into obsessions, and instead of becoming a source of joy they turn into a source of misery.

So, keep your passion in check and if it has you pining for a pursuit, go for it. Put in the long hours, network your heart out, take a course or two, sacrifice a bit of family time and otherwise move forward to make your mark. Your soul will appreciate it. So will your work’s benefactors.