This is a different kind of article in that I want to share a story about a play that I recently saw that had amazing insights into the world of passion. Delving deep into the story-line I couldn't help but watch the roller-coaster ride of a man living out his passion come crashing down before my eyes.
The story revolves around two characters, Harry, an obsessed bloke who wants to make the big time dancing (when really he’s not that great), and Anna, a girl looking for excitement in her life and the chance to dance in front of Royalty.
The Story: Passion and Persistence
Harry was an interesting character. One thing was for certain which is why I am writing this post. He had PASSION! He lived in a dirty old room where he would practice dancing, day in and day out, while endlessly pursuing his dream of finding a dance partner to go professional with. He posted advertisements in the local paper seeking his dance partner. Unfortunately no ladies were taking the bait. Weeks and weeks went by but he never gave up. However, his unforgiving passion did lead to another key behaviour.
PERSISTENCE got him there! He found his dance partner! He did not try to change his method of posting the same advertisement in the local paper, but he kept at it with persistence.
In the business world and in the world of life, how many “No’s” do you need to hear before you reach a “Yes”? Thinking of your own life, when do you give up? Do you give up when you hear a “No” the first time? What about if you miss or make a mistake? What do you do if you fail at something the first time? Persistence is key to reaching your goal.
“The most essential factor for success is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”
Now Harry, even though he hadn't found his dance partner for weeks, did not change his method in trying to find her. My recommendation to Harry would be to look into what could he learn from his failure to attract someone? Learning from his “No’s” and altering his advertisement, or trying a new approach may have just got him that partner FASTER!
When you hear a “no” or fail for the first time, how do you reflect on this and what do you learn from it? Is the fastest way to get to success through trying the same thing and having a thousand failures? Or is it faster to have a failure and improve your approach for the next time?
Back to the story, Harry finds his partner. They struggle at first to build a relationship and she is totally horrible at dancing. However, what they have in common is their passion for dancing. Practice, practice, practice! Living out your passion and developing your skills in this area on a daily basis gets you to where you want to go.
Harry and Anna practiced like crazy and they eventually started to get recognised as professionals in their field. HARD WORK goes in, TIME and ENERGY exhausted. However, even though they are working ridiculously hard at it, they LOVE it because it’s their PASSION.
What are you truly passionate about? If you could live out your passion on a daily basis, how hard would you work? How hard are you willing to work to be able to be in a situation so you can live out your passion?
Passion versus Obsession
Anna starts to get phenomenally good at dancing while Harry plateaus (he’s physically getting older). Anna is living a balanced life, meeting new people, traveling the world and is soon to get married. Harry, on the other hand, is just TOO passionate about dancing.
How can someone be too passionate about what they love? What happens in your life when you start to focus solely on one thing and nothing else? Harry loses sight of everything else in life around him. His friendships deteriorate, he is less productive at work, he fails to understand the political and environmental world around him. His dancing also suffers.
His passion that he loves and dedicates so much of his time to is also deteriorating, as his relationship with his dance partner, Anna, suffers on a personal level, and he can not understand the external world and how to make best use of his talents.
Moving away from the story and back to real life, being TOO passionate about a particular thing can consume one’s life and lead to a deterioration in other areas of life. The passion is no longer a passion. The passion has become an obsession which can be punishing in other areas of life.
Balancing your life is essential for absolute happiness and ultimate success. Friendships and health are often the first two key areas that people lose sight of when they are just too passionate about achieving something. When I say too passionate, I mean obsessed and dedicating too much time and energy into one particular area of life at the expense of other important areas.
Self-awareness is key to balancing your life. Knowing yourself is the foundation of happiness. Where are you currently spending your time and energy and how satisfied are you with those areas?
Be 110% dedicated and passionate for what it is you want to do. Go after it with pure dedication and determination. But one key thing to remember is, don’t lose sight of other important areas of your life.
Tip: To see where you are currently spending your time and energy check out the Wheel of Life: A Self-Assessment Tool (it takes 2 minutes!)
- Wheel of Life - A Self-Assessment Tool
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