We often heard people said that if we want to create remarkable results and produce outstanding success in life, we must have a passion for what we do. Passion is subjective and it is a very a personal preference. Everyone’s passion is different, so how can you tell when you have found your passion? This article will provide you some guidance.
When he was 20, Steve Jobs started Apple computer with his good friends in his parent’s garage. They worked hard, and in 10 years time, Apple grew into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. And then, things happened. Jobs was fired by Apple’s board of directors.
At age 30, Jobs was publicly out. He thought that his entire adult life was done for. He lost his focus and was devastated. A few months later, something began to dawn on him. Jobs discovered that he still loved what he did. He said in the commencement speech at Stanford University, “I had been rejected, but I was still in love.”
And so Jobs decided to start over again. With a fresh new start, he felt liberated, no pressure, and it freed him to enter one of the most creative periods in his life.
Within the next 5 years, Steve Jobs started a company named NeXT and also acquired Pixar. Pixar then went on to create the world’s first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and it was a big hit.
In a twist of event, Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple as the “interim” CEO. And the rest, they said, was history.
In 2017, Apple’s revenue totaled $229 billion and the company has been repeatedly ranked as the world’s most valuable brand.
So what can we learn from Steve Jobs’ story? A lot. And here’s what he said:
“I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
You can watch the commencement speech by Steve Jobs at Stanford University from the video clip below:
If you haven’t watched it, I strongly recommend you do so. It is very inspiring and insightful.
Do You Really Need Passion to be Successful?
When you study all the great success stories of remarkable people like Jobs, Richard Branson, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Elon Musk, Thomas Edison, etc., you will find that all of them shared one thing in common, and that is passion.
Highly successful people are extremely passionate about what they do. And because they love what they do, they are willing to pour in more time and effort to do it better than ordinary people.
They are willing to do it even when they are not getting paid or when things are tough. They continue to strive forward because they are not doing it for the money, fame, or power, they do it because they love doing it.
Ever wonder why successful people seem to have unlimited motivation and energy to work on their dreams?
This is why it is crucial to align your passion with what you do in your life, especially in your career.
Over the past many years, I have started many websites. Some are e-commerce websites selling stuff like jewelry and outdoor apparels. And I have also started websites promoting products listed on Amazon as an affiliate.
At the end of the day, I found that the ones that I can truly pour my heart and work on are the ones that I’m passionate about, such as this blog, Stunning Motivation.
When I’m doing the e-commerce website to sell jewelry, I find it extremely difficult to come up with ideas and motivation to write the description, to tweak the product page, and to spend time consistently on it each day.
On the other hand, when it comes to personal development, I can write super long-form articles and I have no problem doing it consistently, each day.
And this is the reason why I believe that passion is extremely important when it comes to creating remarkable success in life.
Without passion, you don’t love what you do. And if you don’t love what you do, you’ll never put in a better effort than others. You’ll find it extremely difficult to come up with the drive to persist over the long-term.
And if you’re struggling to find your passion right now, don’t worry.
Some people are lucky because they discovered what they love to do early in life. While others struggle their whole life never figure it out.
I believe that finding your passion is more like an awakening. It is not like reading a book to acquire new knowledge or skill. It is an awakening you found deep in your heart that you say to yourself, “This is it. This is what I love to do. This is my passion, my calling.”
You knew it when you’re passionate about something. Here are the 7 clear signs that you should keep an eye on. When you have found your passion in life or at work, these are the signs that glow…
1. It always comes back to you
Well, when it comes to the things that you’re passionate, love to do, or your callings, it seems that it will always come back to you, no matter how much you try to ignore it.
Your passions, purpose, and callings may just be some “inner voice” you tell yourself, but the true ones always stay and come back to you.
Perhaps, you love music. You thought that it is just a hobby, so you ignore it. After a couple of years, in a twist of event, you somehow get in touch with music again.
In my case, I love computers, building websites, and creating inspirational contents that drive people.
After I graduated from the university, I thought that my dream of building successful websites and earning passive income are just some silly dreams.
Hence, I started to look for jobs and ended up being a real estate negotiator. Many years down the road, a lot has happened, but look where I am right now. I’m back building websites and creating content to inspire people.
It has always come back to me. I’m not saying that I don’t like real estate. I do enjoy and love selling properties around, but I prefer being a successful internet entrepreneur more than a successful realtor.
Perhaps, it is my calling to inspire people. I love it when I see people comment or email me about how much the content I shared have helped and inspired them.
Therefore, don’t worry. Your true passion will always come back to you.
2. You’re excited when talk or think about it
This is very common sign of passion, yet, most people never really notice about it. When you’re talking or thinking about doing the work that you love, you feel excited.
What do you love talking about? What do you talk about most of the time? What makes you so excited that you can talk about the entire day?
For travel enthusiasts, they can talk about traveling all the day. For passionate internet marketers, they can talk about running their business and how to promote their business the whole day.
So, how about you?
I can spend my day in front of my computer doing things related to this blog. I’m able to write 5,000 words a day if I want to.
But don’t get me wrong though. I do feel tired and sleepy at times, but I love to do it. I’m willing to read books when others are enjoying or sleeping. I’m willing to exchange my leisure time with writing an article like this one when others are partying.
What are the activities that drive you? Take a little time to ponder and do a reflection on your life right now. What makes you feel excited?
Malcolm Gladwell writes about the 10,000-Hour Rule in his best-selling book, Outliers, where he shows that remarkable people who are able to accomplish extraordinary results are those who have practiced over 10,000 hours in their lifetime.
If you spend just 90 minutes a day into mastering a skill, it will take you 20 years to reach 10,000 hours. High performers are willing to practice consistently each day to hit their 10,000 hours even if it takes them so many years.
The question you should ask yourself right now is, are you willing to do the work for the next 10 to 20 years? If your answer is a no, maybe the work is not your true passion.
However, if your answer is a yes without thinking twice, you know that you’re onto something.
3. You’re willing to do it even when you don’t have to
One of the key signs that show your passion is your willingness to do the work. Think about it, when it comes to doing the things that you love, you are willing to do it even when nobody wants you to.
If you love swimming, you’ll be the one to ask your friends to join you rather than waiting for him or her to invite you.
Les Brown, one of the top motivational speakers, when he was young, he was obsessed with being a DJ. He wanted to become a DJ so much that he asked for advice from his teacher how he can join the radio station. And his teacher asked him to prepare himself as a DJ by saying:
“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
So every night, young Les prepared himself as a DJ. He created an imaginary radio station in his tiny room with its torn vinyl flooring. A hairbrush served as his microphone as he practiced his patter, introducing records to his ghost listeners.
His mother and brother could hear him through the thin walls and would shout at him to quit flapping his jaws and go to sleep. But Les didn’t listen to them. He was wrapped up in his own world, living a dream.
One day, Les summed up his courage and went to a local radio station. He went to see the manager there and told the manager that he wanted to be a DJ.
The manager eyed this disheveled young man in overalls and a straw hat and inquired, “Do you have any background in broadcasting?”
Les replied, “No sir, I don’t.”
“Well, son, I’m afraid we don’t have a job for you then.”
Les thanked him politely and left. The station manager assumed that he had seen the last of this young man. But he underestimated the depth of Les Brown’s commitment to his goal.
The next day, Les returned to the radio station. Again, the manager chased him out of the station. And because Les was absolutely passionate and committed to his dreams, he returned to the station every single day for a week.
Every day, Les asked the manager if there was any job opening. And finally, the manager gave in and took Les as an errand boy, without any pay.
At first, he fetched coffee or picked up lunches and dinner for the deejays who could not leave the studio. Eventually, his enthusiasm for their work won him the confidence of the disc jockeys who would send him in their Cadillacs to pick up visiting celebrities such as the Temptations and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Little did any of them know that young Les did not have a driver’s license.
Les did whatever was asked of him at the station – and more. While hanging out with the DJs, he taught himself their hand movements on the control panel. He stayed in the control rooms and soaked up whatever he could until they asked him to leave.
Then, back in his bedroom at night, he practiced and prepared himself for the opportunity that he knew would present itself.
One Saturday afternoon while Les was at the station, a deejay named Rock was drinking while on the air. Les was the only other person in the building, and he realized that Rock was drinking himself toward trouble.
Les stayed close. He walked back and forth in front of the window in Rock’s booth. As he prowled, he said to himself. “Drink, Rock, drink!”
Les was hungry, and he was ready. He would have run down the street for more booze if Rock had asked. When the phone rang, Les pounced on it. It was the station manager, as he knew it would be.
“Les, this is Mr. Klein.”
“Yes,” said Les. “I know.”
“Les, I don’t think Rock can finish his program.”
“Yes sir, I know.”
“Would you call one of the other deejays to come in and take over?”
“Yes, sir. I sure will.”
But when Les hung up the telephone, he said to himself, “Now, he must think I’m crazy.”
Les did dial the telephone, but it wasn’t to call in another deejay. He called his mother first, and then his girlfriend. “You all go out on the front porch and turn up the radio because I’m about to come on the air!” he said.
He waited about 15 minutes before he called the general manager. “Mr. Klein, I can’t find nobody,” Les said. Mr. Klein then asked, “Young man, do you know how to work the controls in the studio?”
“Yes sir,” replied Les.
Les darted into the booth, gently moved Rock aside and sat down at the turntable. He was ready. And he was hungry. He was passionate.
He flipped the microphone switch and said, “Look out! This is me LB, triple P – Les Brown, Your Platter Playing Poppa. There were none before me and there will be none after me. Therefore, that makes me the one and only. Young and single and love to mingle. Certified, bona fide, indubitably qualified to bring you satisfaction, a whole lot of action. Look out, baby, I’m your lo-o-ove man”
The Les Brown story of becoming a DJ was featured on Chicken Soup for the Soul book. You can also watch the video clip from Les’ speech on YouTube:
It is very inspirational and interesting. Les was so passionate and obsessed with becoming a DJ that he’d do things most other people aren’t willing to do.
If you’re like Les Brown, you are willing to go the extra mile and go beyond what other’s normally will not do, highly likely, you’ve just found your passion.
Your passion will give you extraordinary courage because deep inside you, there’s a burning desire that you wanted more. And you’re willing to do something most people won’t.
4. You’re absolutely eager to learn about it
By now, you should know that this is another sign of your passion. When you are absolutely eager to learn a certain subject, perhaps, your passion is there.
When it comes to reading, I’m absolutely passionate about topics in personal development, business, and personal finance. I buy a lot of books and read them. However, when I try to read books on other subjects such as design, housing, or fashion, I feel bored and sleepy.
So you have to ask yourself what subjects are you interested to learn more. What are the things that you are willing to spend the time to learn or can’t wait to learn?
For some, it is photography. I have seen people who are obsessed with their cameras and they can spend the entire day tweaking and playing with their cameras.
What about you? What do you love to learn? What books do you read the most and are excited to read?
5. You enjoy doing it
I believe that I don’t have to explain more about this, right? When you’re passionate about something, you enjoy doing it.
This is also one of the reasons why being passionate is vital if you want to create remarkable success in your industry.
When you are passionate, you love what you do, and your motivation will be high because you are tapping into your inner potential.
On the other hand, when you do something that you’re not passionate, you’ll quickly feel boring and can’t wait to do other things.
It is just like reading books. I find it boring when I’m reading titles that I’m not passionate about.
Thus, keep an eye on the activities that give you the most joy and excitement.
6. You want to improve, get better at it, and win
One thing I discovered about passion is that when someone throws you a problem or the situation becomes tough, rather than feeling defeated and give up, you’ll treat it as a challenge if you’re passionate about the subject.
People who are passionate about their work will treat the problems as a challenge, not a roadblock that stops them from moving forward.
When you look at all the professional athletes out there, they all feel challenged when they face better opponents. They won’t back down and they won’t quit. Instead, they feel pump up and are willing to challenge themselves to perform better in order to win.
If you love to play tennis and when you face a better opponent, you feel pumped up and you want to win. You want to show that you’re better than your opponent and you’re up for the challenge.
On the other hand, if it is something that you don’t like, you will never treat it as a challenge. You will just get away from it because you think that it is just silly to compete or turn the situation into a challenge.
This doesn’t just happen in the sports industry, it can happen in every area of your life.
For example, if you don’t like blogging, you will never take it as a challenge to write better content. If you’re passionate about internet marketing, perhaps, reading about SEO and improving your website’s search result can be a boring thing to you.
Most people who say that they want to build a successful blog, they are not really truly passionate about it.
Whenever they are not seeing anyone commenting on their blog or after a couple of months and they still don’t see their blog’s traffic improving, they lose their passion and direction, and then they give up.
Someone who is truly passionate about their blog will never give up. They continue to write and publish great content because they love doing it. They don’t really do it for their audience or the money. They’re doing it for themselves.
And this is true, especially in the early phase of your blogging journey. This is why having a strong passion is so important to your success.
When you discovered that there is something that you’re passionate to learn, to improve, and to treat the difficulties as a challenge and to win, highly likely, it is a sign of your passion.
7. The inkling of “feeling right”
Finally, when you’re following your passion, there’s this inkling of “feeling right”. It is hard to explain, but you feel it deep inside you that this is the right thing to do or the right path to follow.
It just feels right. You may not be able to explain it, but somehow, you cannot deny or ignore the feelings either.
Your callings, passion, and purpose are difficult to define. First, because they are very subjective and everyone’s meaning to it can be different. Second, because it is a deep feeling that others may not understand.
As a blogger, I do love to write and spend time on this blog. To be honest, there are also times when I have no idea why I’m doing this. It just feels right and I just feel like I want to do it. And so I open Microsoft Word and start typing all the way.
Hence, notice how you feel. Take note of your feelings. This is why reflection is important when it comes to finding your passion and understanding yourself.
Finding your passion may not be straightforward, but there are also signs to help you in identifying what you love doing.
Please understand that it doesn’t mean that your passion must fulfill the above 7 signs. No, not at all. The 7 signs above are just guidelines to better help you in discovering your passion.
Only you can tell if you love what you do. My objective here is to share with you some ideas and signs of your passion, but to find it, you must experience it yourself.
I sincerely hope that this article will be useful and able to show you some light in discovering your passion in life.
So let me know what you think about this article by leaving your comments below. And if you love what you read, remember to share it with your friends.