Continuing a theme here! Last week was all about love so this week is all about... PASSION!

Is there a difference? YES!

‘Maybe I should have lumped this in with love, but I didn’t, and deliberately so. I wanted to keep it separate because passion can be felt without love. Love can be passive and gentle, but passion is strong and fierce. When we feel passion, in its positive sense, it brings energy and creates change. It ignites others with its contagious nature and drives vision. It’s an unstoppable force of nature, and we must go with the flow and see where it leads us.’ Web to Success – Jo Bird.

With my hand on my heart I can’t say I’m passionate about all the activities in my life, all of the time. If I was I’m not sure I’d ever get anything done. My passion for things ebbs and flows depending on the moment. I have moments of passion for creating art, but, when the creativity has been assuaged, the passion dies back down again. I get passionate about some books I read, some I feel so strongly about the characters and plots that I have to share with others. But there are books where my passion has been directed towards dislike particularly for certain messages I don’t agree with. In particular I get passionate when I see injustice or unfairness and when it’s directed at my friends I find I’m often ‘on a mission’ to try and put it right or limit the damage. When in the throes of passion I won’t be easily distracted until I’ve burnt it out of my system. When I’m not feeling passionate about something I have to admit to feeling rather numb, as though something is missing. I suppose that could point to me being a user of passion, I treat it a bit like a drug and it’s a huge motivator for me.

This is one of my favourite articles on the subject of Passion. I have précised it here but the link is to the full article.
Pursuing Passion

By John Hagel III. Read the full article here...

We often talk about passion, but we tend to use it very loosely. We usually refer to passion in passing – it is rarely the primary focus of discussion or analysis. Passion has an infinite variety of meanings.

One view of passion. So, what is meant by passion? For many, it simply means strong emotions of any kind. In this context, we perceive it to mean that clear and rational thinking becomes overwhelmed by intense emotions. In fact, for many it is viewed as a sign of shiftlessness – passions coming and going with the blink of an eye. For others, passion simply means happiness – pursuing activities that make us happy in the moment. In other contexts, it is used to mean loss of control – we surrender to passion.

Passion comes from within each of us; it cannot be imposed or mandated from outside. At the same time, it compels us to move outside, to engage with the world around us.

Passion orients us; it provides us with focus and direction. From this perspective, passion is long-lived. It may be ignited quickly but, once ignited, it endures and even grows as we discover how much potential there really is. Passionate people are rarely distracted for long. Passion is about perseverance.

Passion is also about pursuit. It is not passive. People with passion are driven to pursue and create. They may read books and observe others, but they are not content being bystanders. They feel an overwhelming urge to engage, to experience for themselves and to test their own capabilities. Passion compels us to act.

Passion is certainly not the same as happiness, unless we move beyond the transitory happiness of the moment and seek out a much deeper happiness that ultimately comes from achieving our potential. We forego a lot when we pursue our passions; significant sacrifice is often required. We are often deeply frustrated – we have an intense desire to move faster and deeper. The unhappiness does not discourage us – it is a natural consequence of desiring something so deeply that we are motivated to confront any obstacle and persist until we find away over, around or under it.

Passion is about performance. People pursuing their passion have a clear sense of measurement that help them keep track of their own performance on a continuing basis and identify performance gaps. Passion is ultimately driven by intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic rewards. External rewards like recognition and cash compensation are certainly welcome, but they do not drive passionate people.

Passion is about progression – passionate people constantly seek new challenges and opportunities to drive their performance to new levels. For passionate people, achieving their full potential has little meaning. They see that their potential is constantly being expanded by new possibilities. In fact, passion brings with it a willingness to fail repeatedly in the quest for improvement. Passionate people see that progression demands failure – if we are not failing, we are not taking enough risk and learning fast enough.

Passion is about connecting. We all know stories about lone inventors who are deeply passionate about their quest and spend much of their lives locked away in their basement workshops tinkering and experimenting with new approaches to driving performance. These stories are the exception rather than the rule. More generally, passion leads us to seek out and connect with others sharing our passion.

Passion pulls. Passionate people are deeply creative in seeking out and pulling in resources that will help them to pursue their passion. But passion also pulls in another dimension as well. People who pursue their passions inevitably create beacons that attract others who share their passion. Passionate people share their passions and creations widely.

Passion is not predictable. Because it comes from within and drives people to embrace unexpected opportunities and explore uncharted territories, it does not deal well with prescribed routines and scripts. Passion is also about urgency – passionate people have limited patience. They are driven to move forward.

Passion is about risk-taking. Passion diminishes perceptions of risk and amplifies perceptions of reward. In a curious way, risk becomes reward for passionate people. For this reason, passionate people thrive in times of high uncertainty and disruption. Passionate people embrace the edge in order to get an edge on their performance.

Passion is about authenticity. Passionate people have little patience with pretence. They present themselves as they really are because they intuitively understand that is the only way to explore and discover. Their identity is not about consumption; it is about shared creation.

Why it matters at a personal level. Passion is becoming increasingly important for our professional success. If we have not found a way to make our passion our profession we will very quickly succumb to the growing economic and competitive pressures. Without passion, we will increasingly experience stress, our energy will be steadily drained and we will ultimately burn out under the mounting pressure.

Thought provoking questions about passion. A précis from...

Sometimes there’s a problem that can stop us from pursuing bold challenges and ambitious goals: not knowing which challenges or goals to pursue. These days, you're urged to "follow your passions" but what if you’re not sure where your particular passion lies?

This can be an issue not only for those starting out in life, but also for some who are established, even highly-successful, yet unfulfilled. It’s easy to find oneself on a path determined by others, or by circumstance Whether you’re starting out or considering a possible change in direction, asking yourself the right questions is critical.

What is your tennis ball? This question is a good place to start because it cuts to the chase. "The most successful people are obsessed with solving an important problem, something that matters to them. They remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball." To increase your chances of happiness and success you must "find your tennis ball—the thing that pulls you."

What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on? This question is designed to do two things: help you figure out what you care about and also determine whether it’s worth pursuing, based on uniqueness. "Originality is deceptively hard," But if you can find a problem or challenge no one else is tackling, you can carve your own niche and create value.

What are your superpowers? The idea behind this question is to "unpack the combination of personality traits and aptitudes you bring effortlessly to any situation." If we can identify our inherent character strengths and build on them, we can lead happier, more successful lives.

So what did you enjoy doing at age 10? "The things we loved as a child are probably still the things we love." Draw up a list of favorite activities and interests from childhood—"and see what still resonates with you today. And then it’s a process of updating those loves. You may have loved something that doesn’t even exist now, or doesn’t make sense in your life now—but you may be able to find a new version of that."

What are you willing to try now? One of the best ways to find your purpose and passion is through experimentation. For many people, this is counter-intuitive. There is a tendency to devote extensive time, research, and planning to figuring out the ideal path before taking any action. We learn who we are—in practice, not in theory.

Looking back on your career, 20 or 30 years from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished? "You’d be amazed how many people I meet who don’t have the answer to the question,". So here’s your chance to answer it. What would you include on your list of hoped-for achievements? Or, even better than compiling a laundry list, why not figure out…In the end, simplicity is best.

What is your sentence? A single sentence that sums up who you are and what, above all, you aim to achieve. Your sentence might be, "He raised four kids who became happy, healthy adults," or "She invented a device that made people’s lives easier." If your sentence is a goal not yet achieved, then you also must ask: How might I begin to live up to my own sentence?

4 truths found in fighting for passion. A precis from...

The reason that so many people miss out on living life with a deep passion is that they only focus on finding it in their careers. But the problem with this mentality is that every area of life impacts another. Passion then isn’t only for your work, but passion is a way of life. This being said, please stop using passion as a thoughtless buzzword, because it deserves much more heartfelt attention than that. You need passion more than you could ever imagine, as it is the very thing that will drive you to find success with your huge ideas.

Here are four truths found in fighting for passion:

1. When outside circumstances try to negatively influence your perception, you can still fight for passion. Allowing negativity to be an influence is the number one cause for a lack of passion. When someone doesn’t have passion for life as a whole, anything and everything can sway their level of passion. It doesn’t have to be this way. The odds are in your favor when passion fills your entire being, because it will change the way you see the world. When something is bad, you can use your newfound passion as a driver to produce better work. Passion is always a choice, but it does require a perception shift for passion to take flight. You will have times in life where things don’t go as planned. Plans are great to have, but very rarely do they go exactly as you think they will. Expect difficult, but hope for amazing. A shoot for the stars and land on the moon mentality. You need passion to keep going strong.

2. Fight for passion because it will better your internal and external health. This is true because passion is tied to our emotions. While it is important to change our perception of external circumstances, it is also important to live in complete internal health, too. If you are so engulfed in your work that your health doesn’t matter, then it is time to reassess your priorities. When you fight for better health, you can then passionately look for opportunities to take care of others along the way.

3. To fight for passion you must see that your mission is bigger than yourself. So, what is your why? It’s knowing why you do what you do, it’s knowing that life is about other people, and it’s knowing that you were put on this earth for a reason. If you don’t know your why yet, it’s time to fight for it. Making money is great and all, but there has to more to life. When people say they have lost their passion, it is usually due to selfishness. However, you can switch from only thinking about yourself to thinking about others when you realize that your mission in life is to impact other people. That’s what produces passion.

4. Fighting for passion doesn’t mean that you need to yell from the rooftops, but rather, it is an internal drive to succeed. Most people stop pursuing passion because of their preconceived idea of what passion is. It doesn’t mean that you need to yell at the top of your lungs with excitement all day, every day. In fact, that’s called being crazy, not passionate. According to Merriam-Webster, passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. Passion is and always will be the force that pushes you forward to find success -- nothing more, nothing less. Passion gets you excited, keeps you curious and helps you produce your best work. Passion is your best answer to do more in life. What are you waiting for? Go fight for passion, today.

Quotes from mark mansons blog – interesting read! Full article can be found here... (Warning contains bad language!)

‘The common complaint among a lot of these people is that they need to ‘find their passion.’

I call bullshit. You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time?’

‘Because here’s another point that might make a few people salty: If you have to look for what you’re passionate about, then you’re probably not passionate about it at all.’

This article is a good one... Full article can be found here...

‘...We all know that finding your passion doesn't happen in a day. It takes time, serious thought and effort, and some trial and error. But you have to begin somewhere! Lucky for you, the best way to start only requires 30 minutes--say, the length of your lunch break--and all you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself. "The biggest thing is to remember is that it's OK to not always know what you're passionate about, and that constantly asking yourself questions daily is important. I find many people forget that they actually did things they enjoyed when they aren't totally happy in their role, so constantly reminding yourself of that is super important! Whether you love to crunch the data or create a strategic plan, pay attention to the small things that make your heart sing--and do more of that." Ultimately, the reward of this hard work is huge--if you can just get out of your own head. "It's never going to get easier, but it will get less scary as soon as you take that first step."

So take it--today....’

And this one... Full article can be found here...

‘...Discover your passion by discovering your motivation and energy.

  • What energizes me to take action and motivates me to make a difference?

  • Where do I invest most of my time, resources, and money?

  • What matters to me deeply?...’

Quotes about Passion...

  • Never, never, never give up. — Winston Churchill.

  • A person can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm. Charles M. Schwab.

  • I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”— Albert Einstein.

  • A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.— John Maxwell.

  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.— Winston Churchill

  • Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  • If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.— Benjamin Franklin,

  • Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.— Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  • If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.— T. Alan Armstrong

  • One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.— E. M. Forster, Purpose may point you in the right direction but it’s passion that propels you.— Travis McAshan.

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