Although it is difficult to describe, we all know it when we see it, whether in ourselves or in others. Passion is what gives you endless energy, intense, almost single-minded attention, and the determination to conquer even the most formidable challenges. It is also what keeps us involved in our work, even though we may not like it at first, or find it rewarding without being paid for it. Passion is about putting yourself out there, taking risks, and believing in yourself.
Passion is a great driver of success, but it can also be a dangerous thing if used improperly. We can fall into passion traps, such as jealousy, anger, and obsession, which are ways of dealing with failure or loss that damage rather than help achieve our goals. However, despite these dangers, passion is still widely regarded as an important trait in leaders. Studies have shown that people who are excited by their work enjoy it more and thus perform better. Leaders who inspire their teams by example show them how to pursue their dreams with passion and drive them toward achieving greater things together.
Passion is often used in adjectival form: passionate, the person is described as having a deep love or interest in something; passionate enough to fight for. It can also be used as a noun, to refer to someone who has this quality, such as a passionate player on a sports team.
Passion is the fuel that motivates and inspires individuals to achieve certain goals, no matter how implausible or difficult they may seem. It instills the zeal required to conquer the most difficult difficulties. It promotes loyalty, teamwork, hard effort, and, ultimately, success. The word "passion" comes from the Latin passio, meaning "to suffer," and this definition reflects its role as a driving force behind many achievements. Without passion, there would be no Christopher Columbus, Michael Jordan, Elvis Presley, Marie Antoinette, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, or Bill Gates.
Passion also has many negative effects. Excessive passions can lead to violence, which is why some religions (such as Christianity) believe that man was created with a desire to love and serve God but that this ability was given to him by God in the form of strong emotions. At other times, however, religion itself can be seen as a way for people to satisfy their passions. For example, during religious wars millions of people have been killed in conflicts over beliefs about what should drive human behavior: whether it is possible to earn salvation through good works or if it is necessary to accept Jesus Christ as one's savior; whether it is possible to resist political authority with violence or not.
The link between passion and creativity has long been noted by artists and poets.
Passion is unique among the characteristics and talents that contribute to success. Passion, unlike skills, knowledge, or other characteristics, is innate: it cannot be taught or gained, but it is always present. The one quality that binds all successful people in equal proportion is passion, or an intense desire to attain one's goals. Without it, any number of finely tuned abilities or vast stores of information are useless.
Passion also gives rise to a great desire to succeed at whatever you do. It is this burning need to achieve greatness that drives some people to take enormous risks in order to realize their dreams. While others stay home instead and watch television. The only difference between these two types of people is that those who go after their dreams are more passionate than those who don't.
Finally, passion is what separates ordinary people from extraordinary ones. If you have it, you use it. If not, you lose it. There is no middle ground with passion: it must be either fully engaged or completely lost.
In essence, passion is a state of mind. It is something that every person possesses to some degree or another. Some people just know how to harness it better than others.
The question remains, however, why some people seem to get ahead despite lacking any particular talent or ability. The answer is simple: they manage to get things done. They find a way, any way, to make things happen.
Passion is about feelings, motivation, and doing what we like, i.e., "do what you love." Purpose is the reason or why we do what we do, primarily for the benefit of others, i.e., "do what contributes." Whereas emotion may be erratic, unpredictable, and exhilarating, purpose is considerably more concentrated. It is focused, determined, and often persistent.
For example, if I told you that I loved writing and didn't have any purpose behind it, you might think I was crazy. But if I said that I wrote as a means to an end -- such as to make money or to tell people about my beliefs -- then you might understand where I was coming from. Purpose gives life direction and meaning; it isn't something that just anyone can give voice to. Only those who find their purpose in life will ever truly feel fulfilled.
It's not easy finding one's purpose in life, which is why so many people get stuck trying to figure it out. However, when you do, it is everything and anything you could hope for. It is the key to happiness and success. It is also the difference between being a successful person and a happy person.
So go ahead and find your passion. Just don't expect to feel great all the time. In fact, you're likely to feel even worse before feeling better. That's normal. But once you find your purpose, it will provide you with a reason to get up every day.