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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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      Published on April 16, 2019

      How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

      How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

      When was the last time you did something for yourself?

      Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

      Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

      However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

      And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

      So how can you make that happen?

      Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

      Listen to Yourself

      The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

      This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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      What is your purpose?

      Have you ever thought about this question?

      Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

      In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

      Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

      All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

      If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

      But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

      For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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      If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

      How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

      Seek Out Continuous Education

      Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

      It’s Super Practical

      Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

      You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

      When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

      Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

      You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

      You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

      You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

      Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

      With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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      In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

      Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

      People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

      We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

      “Knowledge is choice.”

      Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

      Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

      Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

      Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

      Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

      Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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      When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

      Habits Make Your Time a Priority

      How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

      It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

      This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

      Your Well Being Comes First

      We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

      If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

      The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

      Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

      Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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