Passion is a word that gets used a lot these days, particularly in business. I recently saw a keynote speaker deliver a passionless speech regarding passion. We hear, this person is passionate about their idea, or that company has a passion for customer service. My personal favorite is “do what you love and the money will come…” What!? As if there was an army of money/opportunity faeries waiting anxiously outside my door for the exact moment I produced enough passion juice to propel them to knock. It doesn't happen that way folks…
The Urban Dictionary describes passion thusly: When you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.
YES! Passion requires action. It demands more of us than just a “love of” something. In order to succeed, you must be passionate about your passion and it's hard damn work. No one is going door-to-door passing out success cookies. Passion alone will not get you where you want to go. The world is full of passionate, talented people who live lives of quiet desperation. What you can do is use your passion. Build on it. Incorporate these traits into your journey and you can materialize your ambition:
1. The Willingness to Fail: If you haven’t failed in your pursuits, you’re not doing it right and you’re not trying hard enough. We must constantly find what works and what doesn’t work. It’s only through this process of trial and error, or rehearsal and auditing that we can discern the diamonds from the coal. We must be willing to evolve with our failures. The playwright, Samuel Beckett says, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
2. The Willingness to Learn: This isn’t just in reference to what may be gleaned from a failure (see above), but to actively seek out knowledge as it pertains to our field. The world changes every day, every minute of every day. There is always something to be learned, even if you are the foremost expert in your field. To believe that the universe has given up all it’s secrets to you is preposterous. Professional dancers continue to take classes. Construction companies develop new ways to build. Even professional poets use a thesaurus. Education assures us of forward movement. “Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them.” – Henry Steele Commager
3. The Ability to Communicate: You may be brilliant. You may have a mind comparable to Stephen Hawking or a product more astounding than the wheel, but if you cannot convey your idea or describe your product, you’ve got nothing. Think of yourself as a gushing oil well. There are untold riches to be had if you can get that oil from the rig to the consumer but ONLY if you have a pipeline. The pipeline is your mode of conveyance and if you can’t move the oil, it’s worthless. That is the essence of communication. If you can’t talk about, describe, interest, cajole and show people what you’ve got, then it’s worthless. You must constantly hone your communication skills, create your networks and forge connections. Your passion depends on it.
‘Till next time.
LB Adams is the Owner of Pragmatic Dramatics based out of Charleston SC. Her company uses basic acting techniques and theatre games to train business professionals to communicate more effectively.
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