Why Passion alone is not enough to Overcome Inertia.

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Do you really think Passion alone will let you live an extraordinary life?

“Following your Passion” is one of the most popular topics in the blogosphere right now. I published a post about the pitfalls of it  Boldly Brave or Stupidly Suicidal. a few days ago.

Passion is important, it is the driving force that fuels most entrepreneurs, pioneers, missionaries (religious or other), crusaders, visionaries, small business owners and other solo-flyers striving to achieve their goals. Even when logic, common sense, well-meaning friends and family all predict failure.

It is possible and common for all of us to achieve huge goals in areas that we are not necessarily passionate about. Interested in, attached to, intrigued by them, we may even like what we are doing very much, but not have a burning passion for it.

When I look back at some of my past business and other successes, I was passionate about being master of my own destiny, but not always that attached to the actual business. At times, I could have cheerfully walked away from some things, but commitment and determination outweighed a lack of passion.

At other times, to keep things moving, I had to put myself in extreme physical danger, not the exhilarating kind like competing in extreme sports, but the gut wrenching, terrifying kind that comes from dealing with immoral, brutal people in lawless countries. Hard to be too passionate about that. Resilience, commitment, strong nerves and a thick skin came to the rescue.

We are not all in the fluid situation with youth on our side, where we can set off to travel the world with all our belongings in a back pack. Although age should be the last thing to stop us. Many of us already have businesses, professions, or careers that provide us with both an income and a purpose for getting out of bed in the morning.

Unless we absolutely detest what we already have, it might not be the best idea to throw it all away and look for a new direction to be passionate about. Maybe we can keep the basic foundation of our lives and build a new part where we can uncover the passion. Perhaps start a sideline, a second business activity that we are more passionate about and grow that until it is strong enough for us to discard the original.

When, where and how we find the passion is only a start, passion can only get us to where we want to go when coupled with action.

Can passion be a by-product of action?

Do we discover the intensity of our passion for a goal, cause, message or service  to others only after we have taken the first few steps on our chosen road?

Like the chicken or egg conundrum, what comes first, a passion for something that we don’t have a plan to achieve or a plan to achieve something that we become passionate about?Passion

Passion without action will falter and eventually sputter and die like a candle in the wind.

Action with passion will get some results and move us forward.

Action with commitment, determination, perseverance and passion is where the magic is, the driving force to achieve our goals.

If it is that simple, why do so many of us stumble over the action part? Why do millions of people just exist, make no effort to find the passion or take the action that would help uncover it?

In Walden, Henry D.Thoreau wrote ” The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. Not “most men’ as is frequently misquoted and he made no reference to “with the song still in them”. Poetic as the second half of the misquote might be, it is incorrect.

Why do millions of us lead those lives of quiet desperation, die with the song still in us?

Many reasons, procrastination being the chief culprit. Procrastination feeds off fear, indecision, lack of confidence, self-doubt, sensitivity to criticism. All these factors combine to create inertia. Both in objects at rest and a procrastinating mind, inertia is a difficult state to overcome.

Come back soon to read the next post about inertia.

What are your thoughts? Is passion the secret to success that it is made out to be? Can we be successful without a burning passion? What comes first, passion or action?

Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Wishing you success.

Peter Wright




Chicken image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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