Passion can be defined as any powerful or compelling emotion. This can be either positive or negative and wars have been fought due to the level of negative emotion. So, what does passion mean in a work context?
4 ways in which passion is important at work
- Passion is strongly correlated with motivation. If people are passionate about what they are doing then they will be motivated. Motivation and passion will keep you going and developing
“The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” – Malcolm Gladwell
- Passion can be likened to life’s purpose. Having a purpose in life gives direction. Working hard on its own will not necessarily provide a direction. Passion in this sense can also be likened to having a vision. As passion is important in finding one’s life purpose then identifying your passion is an essential part of career success.
‘Without purpose as the compass to guide you, your goals and action plans
may not ultimately fulfill you. You don’t want to get to the top of the ladder
only to find out you had it leaning up against the wrong wall.’ Jack Canfield from the Success Principles
- Passion according to Ken Robinson in his book The element ( 2009), is about doing something that you love and take a great pleasure in. He describes passion in this quote: ‘The element is the meeting between natural aptitudes and personal passion’. Passion is not enough in itself. In order to be in your element, or flow as described by, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi you also need skills and an environment that matches your values.
Passion, as I have written before is a crucial part of creativity. It provides the intrinsic motivation to keep going. Without passion we soon become frustrated and disillusioned in our work. Passion can be seen in the works of all innovators and inventors.
- The presence of passion provides motivation, purpose, direction, creativity and love. All important elements for success!
- For leaders, the implications are very important. For teams and organisations to succeed, identifying the passion that people could bring into their work and inspiring them through vision is crucial
- Individuals need to get in touch with what they are passionate about and seek ways to build this into their lives at work and outside. So defining your passion is the first step in identifying who and where you want to be in the future to be your very best.
A simple way in which to define your passion:
- Reflect upon times when you worked in a sense of flow, when time ‘stood still’. What were you doing then?
- If you had a million dollars and didn’t have to work, what would you do?
- What are you really curious about? What absorbs you and would take up much of your time if you allowed it?
Answering these questions will help you to get in touch with your passion.
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