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What You Can Do To Fill The Missing Gap Between Passion And Success

What You Can Do To Fill The Missing Gap Between Passion And Success

Do what you love and love what you do, and success will come? Well, we wish.

Reality is not as simple as we want it to be. It takes more than just passion to succeed in anything.

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” — Walt Disney

Disney’s words echo with what I’ve recently read – an article written by Stephen Guise that talks about why you don’t need passion to succeed. Instead of needing passion to succeed, he says that you need to care about succeeding in what you want to do.[1]

Passion is just emotion; care is an action.

Wishing hard and wanting something really badly won’t give you anything.

Passion (NOUN) – “strong or barely controllable emotion.”

Care (VERB) – “Feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.”

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Passion is a “barely controllable emotion”, and emotions’ not always reliable. Care is different, it implies actions.

In today’s world where people always talk about finding your passion, it still seems vague to many. On the other hand, if you’re asked to find something you care about, it’s easier for you to name it.

You can choose to care anything at any time. When you care about something, you see that thing as really important to you and you’ll do what you can to protect it.

I know some of you may then say, “But Steve Jobs said people with passion can change the world and he really did change the world with his Apple products!”

Steve Jobs is undeniably a passionate entrepreneur, and he’s passionate about making an impact on this world. But he also had his down times when that passionate emotion would fade. What’s left in Steve Jobs when the passion’s not there suddenly? There’s definitely a lot more than passion in him.

Like it ≠ Good at it

There’s a lot of work to do besides being passionate. For example, you can be passionate about painting, but if you don’t have any art sense and painting skills, you can hardly become an expert in painting. To become an expert, you need to be always learning and improving your skills.

The perception that you’ll do it well anyway when you like it is just an illusion.

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Let’s say, I like eating and I eat quite a lot; that doesn’t mean I can just become a food guru and know how to analyze the quality of food and write good reviews for restaurants and dishes. To know how to rate foods, I have to learn the basic of what makes up good quality of food. I need to study the nature of different kinds of food like seafood, meat and vegetables etc. and understand the different types of cooking methods. I also have to learn the word usage and tone when writing a review for public to read.

Becoming an expert is one thing, becoming successful is another thing. To succeed, you need a pinch of luck too besides working hard.

What you do gotta be able to connect with what the world needs.

To be successful in anything, you need to get to the overlapped sweet spot of the three aspects: what you care, what you can do and what the world needs (where a bit of luck maybe needed).

    Don’t get turned off, luck doesn’t play everything here! When you do enough research to understand what the world needs and try to think about how you can utilize your strengths, you will meet that sweet spot. Making the seem-to-be uncontrollable factor controllable is definitely possible.

    Now you understand that merely passion is not enough to lead you to success, what to do next?

    Make what you care a Focus Foundation.

    After you’ve figured out what you care about most, make that your focus foundation.[2] Being passionate about something can be a kind of motivation to make things easier because it helps you focus on what you want and care about most.

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    Passion fuels resilience and provides you with the ambition to learn and strive to become more competent at what you do. Most importantly than anything else, it affords you the ability to focus.

    When you’re clear about the very thing you want, you know what things are actually distractions that stop you from reaching your goal.

    Learn not just what you care about, but what’s around that too.

    When you’ve got your focus, try to map out the skills you need to get better at that.

    Steve Jobs loved design so much that he took a calligraphy class just for the fun of it. He believed that the dots would connect in the future, all he did was to follow his heart to learn and let himself exposed to all the related stuff he was interested in.

    To kickstart mapping out the skills you need, try to get yourself a skill chart. This is suggested in Jon Westenberg’s framework to keep track of your skills learning progress after finding what you want to do.[3]

    It’s easy, you just have to create a table with these columns:

    • A column that lists the skills you have to learn
    • A column for Research
    • A column for Action
    • A column for Progress

    I changed the table a bit by adding one more column called “Target” to make the objective even clearer to me:

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      Research and write down the things you need to do in the “Action” column and estimate how far you are from taking up the skill in the “Progress” column.

      When you have the learning plan ready, apply that course you need, get yourself the tools required and kickstart learning and practicing.

      Aspire to make a difference in the world with your strengths.

      When you’ve become really good at what you care about, you can start to think about the connection between your strengths and the world’s needs.

      You’re good at something and you need the world to know. The best way to do that is to find out what the world wants and needs most at the moment and connect that with your strengths.

      Steve Jobs thought the world needed some different technology to make life easier. Technology used to be so inconvenient, everything was too big to carry around. So he created ipod-nano, ipod touch and ipad.

      Success is way to go, but you can start right now.

      Passion alone doesn’t guarantee success. But if you’ve already got your passion, that’s good enough to make that your foundation and motivation to keep moving.

      Start mapping out the skills you need and take actions. Instead of passively letting your passion wander around, be proactive and do something that will push you forward.

      Reference

      More by this author

      Anna Chui

      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

      Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

      Do you like making mistakes?

      I certainly don’t.

      Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

      Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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      Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

      Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

      • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
      • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
      • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
      • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

      We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

      If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

      Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

      Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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      When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

      Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

      We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

      It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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      Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

      Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

      Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

      1. Point us to something we did not know.
      2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
      3. Deepen our knowledge.
      4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
      5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
      6. Inform us more about our values.
      7. Teach us more about others.
      8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
      9. Show us when someone else has changed.
      10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
      11. Remind us of our humanity.
      12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
      13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
      14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
      15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
      16. Invite us to better choices.
      17. Can teach us how to experiment.
      18. Can reveal a new insight.
      19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
      20. Can serve as a warning.
      21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
      22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
      23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
      24. Remind us how we are like others.
      25. Make us more humble.
      26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
      27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
      28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
      29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
      30. Expose our true feelings.
      31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
      32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
      33. Point us in a more creative direction.
      34. Show us when we are not listening.
      35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
      36. Can create distance with someone else.
      37. Slow us down when we need to.
      38. Can hasten change.
      39. Reveal our blind spots.
      40. Are the invisible made visible.

      Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

      The secret to handling mistakes is to:

      • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
      • Have an experimental mindset.
      • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

      When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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      When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

      It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

      When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

      Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

      Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

      More About Success and Failures

      Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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