What makes the likes of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs successful? Or the likes of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi influential?
It’s not just their talents, wisdom or skill. It’s the passion they have in whatever field they belong to.
Passion is that burning fire within you. It’s an intense desire or emotion. But it’s not something that you can just bottle up inside. Passion easily shows in what you do, say, how you think, how you react. It can move people, inspire them, persuade them.
It’s what keeps us focused, energized, motivated. It’s even what can spell the difference between seeing something as simply work or play. Its presence or absence determines whether you wake up dreading to go to work or wake up every day feeling thrilled and alive. And once you’re at work, you’re totally absorbed. Time seems to cease. You’re captivated by what you’re doing and it’s not hard for others to be infected by this same enthusiasm.
So how do you discover this passion in you?
Passion is akin to what Hungarian-American psychologist Mihali Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow.” As complex-sounding as her name may seem, Mihali’s concept of flow is surprisingly simple. It’s when you’re actually enjoying yourself and feel as if you’re born for whatever you’re doing.
In order to reach this compelling state of energy, you need to explore your interests. Then build on skills surrounding these interests. When what you enjoy doing matches what you’re great at, then it’s easy to be passionate about it.
Once you find your passion, then everything else will seem to flow—motivation, energy, creativity, results. You can now start finding meaning and enjoy the journey than just the final destination.
So whatever you’re line of work is, do what you love, love what you do. For passion isn’t just about fulfilling your dreams. It’s also about growing and being happy along the way.