The Right Way to Follow Your Passion

Jeff Skilling, of Enron, in addition to also Elizabeth Holmes, of Theranos, oversaw two of the biggest corporate frauds in recent American history. Before the scandal-ridden downfalls of their companies, both were widely celebrated for their passion in addition to also obsessive drive, something Ms. Holmes said was a most important asset. Alex Rodriguez in addition to also Lance Armstrong, two of the most notorious cheaters in sports, were also two of the most passionate competitors. When asked by Forbes for his top three pieces of career advice, No. 1 on Rodriguez’s list was “find your passion.” What all of these individuals have in common is actually of which their passions went awry because of an incessant focus on results, results, results. When the results weren’t meeting their exceedingly high expectations, they turned to unethical behavior to close the gap.

Even if you experience legitimate success, as each of these entrepreneurs in addition to also sports heroes initially did, if the success is actually the outcome of obsessive passion — fueled by a longing for external results, recognition in addition to also rewards — trouble lies ahead. of which’s because people typically crave more. More money. More fame. More medals. More followers. Once you become passionate about external validation, dopamine, the neurochemical associated with striving in addition to also addiction, floods your system in addition to also makes of which nearly impossible for you to feel content. You get sucked into a vicious cycle of striving, your well-being at the whims of your most recent result. Long before psychologists defined obsessive passion, the Buddha called This particular suffering.

Unless you contain the perfect genetics, vast mental training or years of spiritual guidance, completely disregarding external results isn’t realistic. Every athlete gets a jolt by winning. Every writer feels not bad when books sell. Every salesperson loves closing a deal. Even Facebook in addition to also Twitter users get a slight tingle upon receiving a completely new friend, follower or “like.” The key is actually to recognize these emotions when they arise in addition to also to keep them at bay, to prevent them by becoming the predominant forces underlying your passion.

When you sit down to write, sit down to write, not to sell books. When you show up to work, show up to make a meaningful contribution, not to get promoted or earn bonuses. When you train in addition to also compete, do so to get better, to master your body, not to win awards or improve within the rankings. When you love — be of which a partner or a child — do so to nurture a special relationship between yourself in addition to also the object of your affection, not because you want to chronicle your relationship on social media for all to see. In additional words, your passion should not come by the outside. of which should come by within.

This particular kind of passion, the harmonious kind, is actually associated with health, happiness in addition to also overall life satisfaction. Harmonious passion doesn’t happen automatically, especially in today’s hyper-connected, comparison-oriented culture. Rather, of which requires viewing passion as an ongoing practice, as a force of which must be handled with care.