Passion Is Not What You Think It Is!

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By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

“If passion is simply what makes you happy, you’ll quit doing it when it gets tough, when it becomes too risky, when you’re ignored and mocked.”

- Stephen Palmer, Author & Coach

We all know that passion is important - a vital ingredient in any legend’s success. It’s almost a ‘magical’ ingredient… that’s why I was absolutely blown away when I was shown this article below. It is a fascinating insight from author, coach and speaker Stephen Palmer. Check it out...

"The word “passion” has been hijacked.

Misused and abused.

Emasculated by a feel-good culture of moral relativism. Prostituted by personal development gurus.

Passion today is understood as what excites you. What puts the sparkle in your eyes, the twinkle in your toes.

Internet definitions include:

  • Strong and barely controllable emotion
  • A state or outburst of such emotion
  • Intense sexual love
  • An intense desire or enthusiasm for something
  • A thing arousing enthusiasm

The word has become candy for frivolous children when, at its roots, it is meat for dedicated adults.

Coined by 12th century religious scholars, “passion” means to suffer.

In his excellent book, Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words, Kevin Hall describes a meeting he had with Arthur, a retired 40-year Stanford linguistics professor, who taught him the meaning of passion.

Kevin writes:

After educating me about the word’s etymology, Arthur added, "Passion doesn’t mean just suffering for suffering’s sake; it must be pure and willing suffering".

It’s one thing to suffer and be a victim; it’s an entirely different thing to be willing to suffer for a cause and become a victor.

“Even though it has become popular to define passion as deep or romantic love, the real meaning is being willing to suffer for what you love. When we discover what we are willing to pay a price for, we discover our life’s mission and purpose.”

If passion is simply what makes you happy, you’ll quit doing it when it gets tough, when it becomes too risky, when you’re ignored and mocked.

Your true passion is what you’re willing to do if it kills you.

What you stick with even when it’s excruciating. When it’s risky.

The things you do because you know they’re right. Because you know they’ll make a profound difference.

The things that simmer in the deepest parts of your soul — far beyond what’s fun or what feels good."

Working on our true passion is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication to finding the answers. That’s why it’s all the more important to persevere and find ways of uncovering your passion as much as possible, even if this is a long process. Give it a go, what are you really passionate about? What inspires you and moves you? Feel free to share below.

Share your realisations and thoughts in the comments below...

Image courtesy of Oleg Brovko @Flickr