Sustaining Passion


When you reflect on the years gone by – how has your passion flowed ?Chances are , when you began your career, the passion was so high that  you wanted to win the Nobel prize and plant  flag on the moon. However, by the tenth year of your career your passion has hit the rock bottom of an empty beer bottle! You feel like a drifting coracle on a waterfall, flowing with the tide sometimes, banging against the rocks or maybe even have periods of smooth non eventful flow.

How do you therefore sustain passion ? You know that it forms the  core of success. I’ve rarely come across people who have been extremely successful with no passion at all. There always are surprises though. But for the majority, sustaining a career without passion is tough no matter what the extenuating circumstances are. Finding passion, nurturing it and getting paid for it is a tough ask in todays world.

Most people land up choosing a job that pays more….rather than that fuels more passion. My view is, if we invested more time in finding passion in the right job then money would automatically follow. Passion draws money and not the other way round. More money does not always translate to more passion. But more passion has a high chance to monetize.

A note of caution though : passion can also come across as being emotional, or unrealistic or unreasonable to some. It is therefore important to tag logic and objectivity to passion. Bringing in objectivity to passion might sound like an oxymoron to some. But the point remains, what good is passion if it is illogical or emotionally swayed? Therefore it is critical that the foundation of passion has to be objectivity, logic and clarity of thought.

Once you have these tenets in place, the job then focusses on articulation , communication and simplification of that thought for mass consumption. If you manage to do that then your passion becomes someone else’s passion as well. That in turn fuels and sustains your passion. Needless to say, when you start out on this journey, the torque will be the highest, just like the pressure you exert when you ride a bicycle, the first push is the hardest. Your inherent passion has to sustain that time period on its own. It will also test your resolve, clarity of thought, intent and execution capability  Remember what you put in your resume? Hard-working, self starter etc. Well that’s where it gets tested.

This distributed passion frees up your time to find a new bell curve for you to sustain and grow. Most successful leaders will tell you that sustained passion made them what they are today. The question to ask is where is your passion and what are you doing about it today?

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4 thoughts on “Sustaining Passion

  1. Pingback: Sustaining Passion | The Gyan Ban Times
  2. Interesting post, Aayan.

    I totally agree that ‘just passion’ is not enough. To be able to make money at your passion, you should have a certain aptitude for the ‘business side’ of your passion. Taking my own example, to be able to monetize writing, I had to understand how the business of writing worked in the real world. This is IN ADDITION to practicing my craft and getting ‘better’ at it bit by bit.

    This goes for most ‘passions’. There is the bit that feeds your soul and gives you joy. Then there is the bit where hard numbers come in and you have to make them work. Understanding the latter gives you the best chance of succeeding in the former.

    A certain amount of natural curiosity helps 🙂

    As for sustaining passion, I’ve always thought that success is the best motivator. It doesn’t have to be success as defined by the world. If you set some goals for yourself and achieve them over the time you set for yourself, I think it will kick you a little further down the road. The trick is to keep coming up with goals and parameters so that the kicks keep coming at regular intervals.

    It’s not so important that the world sees you as successful. But it’s vital that you see yourself as being successful. Then, sustaining passion is easy.

  3. Er, I posted a comment and it disappeared. Not sure if you got it, but just in case you didn’t, I’m re-typing it from memory.

    I agree that in order to make a living out of your passion, you have to have a deep enough knowledge of how the business side of the passion works. In my own example, I had to understand how the business side of writing (i.e. publishing) worked before I could make money from writing novels. Even today, a year after I’ve turned freelancer, I find that I have to keep my business knowledge up to date to stay in the game.

    So there is one part of your work that feeds your soul and gives you joy (in my case writing), but there is the other part – the ‘real world’ – that I have to figure out and keep figuring out in order to continue pursuing my passion for a living.

    It’s easier for some, harder for others. A certain amount of natural curiosity helps.

    As for sustaining passion, I firmly believe that success gives you sustenance. This doesn’t have to be wealth or fame or anything tangible. It could be a goal that you set yourself and achieved. Every ‘win’ of this sort kicks you a little further down the road. The trick is then to keep designing these goals and achieving enough of them so that those ‘kicks’ keep coming, and you keep stumbling down that path.

    You don’t have to be successful in the world’s eyes. But you do have to be successful in your own eyes. That will sustain your passion.

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