Does Passion Really Count?

Does Passion Really Count?

What’s the big fuss about passion? Is it impossible to succeed without? Can passion be developed for something one is currently involved in? I’ve read a countless number of articles and books and listened to many giving “secrets” to success. There are quite a number of common keys they agree on and one of the most common is passion. “Be passionate about what you do”, they say. Not to dismiss it as one of the key contributors to success, but is passion really is as big an issue as it is portrayed to be? I recently read a book titled “Africa’s Billionaires”. This book is a collection of very brief biographies (so to say) of some of the billionaires and multimillionaires of Africa. There is no doubt that these people have had great success in their endeavours. They are hard-core entrepreneurs who have made quite a dent in the business space, different businesses in multiple industries. Some of them were involved in more than 1 industry. My question was: Are they all passionate about what they do? I wondered if Aliko Dangote was passionate about cement…or rice, if Narendra Raval is passionate about steel, if Mohammed Dewji about coal, iron, soap, salt, sugar, textile, edible oil, fruit juice and motorcycles? If not, then where lies the passion? Or was passion ever a part of it? With a closer look into the lives of the successful, paying much attention to what makes them tick we note that passion is a driving force behind why they do what they do. In other words, what they do is a means of achieving what they’re passionate about.  So it’s not so much the passion of what you do but why you do it. A photographer may not necessarily be passionate about taking pictures, but preserving memories.  An author’s passion may not lie in the writing, but in sharing his knowledge and ideas. The passion is in educating someone and one of the means to do that is through writing. The passion, therefore, for why you do something is what wakes you up, what sustains you in hard times, what motivates you to perform at your best. You do not necessarily need to be as passionate about WHAT you do as much as you are about WHY you do it. Being passionate about both (what you do and why you do it) is what I call the sweet spot of passion. If you are not as passionate about what you do yet love the end results, explore other methods you are passionate about that will help you achieve your “why”. My personal conclusion; you may be able to get by doing the things you don’t really love. You may survive working on projects you dislike. However, the chances of you thriving and excelling in any endeavour without the passion for it is close to zero. It is a waste of your energy, time and other resources which could have been invested elsewhere, producing better results.  Therefore, passion is a big deal if you want to be in the top 10% in your field.

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