Each of us has a river of passion inside. This is your passion This river produces a flow where we find our sense of purpose and the drive that empowers our motivation. The root word for motivation is motive and today the word motive generally has a negative connotation, but we all have motives. Motive is the strength behind motivation, and without a motive there is no passion.
Your passion is discerned by determining what is important to you, what excites you. It is dictated by your personal values. And we all have them. Think about it. Spend a few moments in casual conversation with just about anybody and you will hear their passions overflowing out of their heart. It is an expression of what is important to them, what they value.
You will never discover your purpose without defining your passion. Successful people are driven by something. How do you discern your God given passion? How do you develop your purpose and release the power these create to energize a life of significance?
Everyone wants to be significant, to find the meaning in life. Since the dawn of humanity it has been our pursuit. A life without purpose creates a sense of hopelessness and despair. Knowing and understanding your passion is critical to understanding your purpose in life and in producing the motivation that drives your life. Your passion is a key to joy!
Hear The Scripture in Matthew 12:34, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus also said in Matthew 6:21 that, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The cares of life are filled with unimportant things and they will try to convince us that we must surrender to the demands they make on our lives. This causes us to focus on the timely instead of the timeless.
When we do this we can sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the immediate and wind up living a life that has little or no lasting impact on our world or those in it. Living in the important stream, the meaningful stream of personal values, will produce a flow of power in your life and the lives of those with whom you come into contact. So then we can say…
Passion will reveal your purpose, and your purpose when discovered and developed will release a power for living that is fueled by internal perpetual motivation. I believe that this passion is a gift of God, that it was deposited in you by your Creator. It is your God given purpose, the reason for which you were born, the gift that God deposited in you and meant for you to share, and the gift for which you will give an account to Him. The secret to a life of significance is to learn to live for a purpose greater than oneself. Discovering and fulfilling your purpose is a key to living a life of satisfaction.
Whether an individual is considering starting a small business or changing career paths, it is important that passion is factored into the equation. While characteristics such as strong values, talent, ambition, intellect, discipline, persistence, and luck all contribute to business and career success, following your passion can often make the biggest difference of all.
Success is better defined as an achievement of a desired aim or purpose. More than money or fame, most people desire to align their own passions with their work, while making a sustainable income. Money brings diminishing returns the more you make, which makes it an elusive definition of success.
For most people, success means being proud of their achievements and being part of something that matters. In fact, if an individual decides to follow their passion, there is a greater likelihood that money and traditional success will follow, because the time and effort invested in the venture come with enthusiasm and zeal.
If enthusiasm and passion are present, people tend to be more resilient when they encounter obstacles. People who are passionate about what they do, rather than just “in it for the money,” tend to be people who have more positive outlooks and able to overcome difficulty through problem-solving.
Also, the more passionate someone is about their job, the more inclined they are to work hard on self-improvement, increasing their chances of success.
And, there are numerous examples to this. One of the most successful companies in the world is Apple. Apple’s founder and most notable leader was the late Steve Jobs. In an article titled, “The Seven Success Principles of Steve Jobs,” writer Carmine Gallo outlines seven factors responsible for Jobs’ success. The first principle? “Do what you love.”1 Steve Jobs believed in the power of passion and once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.”2 Jobs claimed that the passion he had for his work made all the difference.
Chris Gardner, the once homeless man turned multi-millionaire stockbroker and featured in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness expressed what he believes is the secret to success. According to Gardner, the secret is to “find something you love to do so much you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.”3 He explains that the most inspiring leaders are those who do not simply work but pursue a calling.
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has changed the world in which we live. In David Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting The World, Kirkpatrick lists what he believes are Zuckerberg’s characteristics that led to his success.4 One of these characteristics is following his passion, not money. Zuckerberg suggests “following your happiness” when at a crossroads, using the logic that even if you do not end up making a fortune, you will at least be doing what you love.
Warren Buffet, known as “the Oracle of Omaha,” is probably one of the greatest investors of all time. But even Buffett knows there is more to success than money. In an interview with Parade Magazine, Buffett outlined ten ways to get rich. He concluded his list of advice with, “Know what success really means.”5 He explains the importance of finding what it is that brings true meaning and what makes each day important. This should be the focus of an individual’s efforts.
It’s really never too late to work in your passion area. The need for a steady income is the reason that many Africans feel compelled to stay where they are. However, if there is a way for a person to navigate the financial hurdles and pursue their passion in a niche area, hard work and success might come easier than assumed. Enjoying the work you do, in some ways, is more important than having a large bank account.
In his works, Gibran Kahlil, Lebanese writer, provides some illumination to the search for a meaning of life, through passion. In his words, in ‘Living Arrows:’
“Life is indeed darkness, save where there is urge (enthusiasm); and, all urge is blind save where there is knowledge; and, all knowledge is vain save where there is work; and, all work is empty save where there is love; and, when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”
“To work with love is to charge all things you fashion with a breadth of your own spirit.”
Think of it this way. You have, let’s say, 80 years to live on Earth. Most of that time will be spent working. You must truly chose the work you want to do. If you find no joy in it, then you’ve only condemned yourself to about 62 years of torture.
And you can find the joy only if you do your work in the best way possible to you. But the best way is a matter of standards – and you must set your own standards.
You truly inherit nothing – including standards – if you work in passion. You must see yourself as standing at the end of no tradition. You may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.