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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 December 10, 2019

      How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

      How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

      It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

      So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

      1. Find Your Good Reasons

      Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

      You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

      If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

      Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

      Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

      • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
      • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
      • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
      • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

      2. Make It Fun

      When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

      Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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      Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

      They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

      Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

      A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

      • How can I enjoy this task?
      • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
      • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

      As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

      Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

      However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

      3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

      When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

      You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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      That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

      If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

      Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

      My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

      4. Recognize Your Progress

      Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

      We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

      Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

      Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

      For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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      You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

      Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

      For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

      5. Reward Yourself

      This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

      Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

      Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

      For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

      For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

      For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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      Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

      The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

      Mix and Match

      Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

      Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

      Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

      Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

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      Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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