Michael Jordan might not have known what he wanted to do with basketball, but he knew he wanted to get better. Serena Williams may not have known what she wanted to do with tennis, but she knew she wanted to get better.
How do you get to be really really really good at something?
The easy answer is, you do it.
How did Michael Jordan get good at basketball? He played
How did William Shakespeare get good at writing? He wrote
How did Tony Robbins get good at speaking? He spoke
How did Serena Williams get good at tennis? She played
How did J.K. Rowlings get good at writing? She wrote
How did Oprah Winfrey get good at speaking? She spoke
“Passions do not have to be life-changing”
But, what direction do you move in?
People often say, “you don’t need to know the destination as long as you know the direction.”
My thing is this, everything compounds. Everything.
This past summer, Jesse Itzler was one of the speakers at an event I attended in Miami. He recalled a story about success and habits that attribute to it. He said something along the lines of, “I was outside running through a sprinkler with my kids when my wife called us in for dinner. I started to just run inside and realized the garden hose was not put away. But, I said, ‘you know, it’s just a garden hose’ and then stopped. It is NOT just a garden hose.”
That made me think of the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. When I read that book, it made me think about the little things. It made me think about how I always seem to have a competition with myself. I thought about losing a sense of time and what moments or situations I might experience that. I thought about how important it is to carry ourselves the same way no matter what we are doing.
If we want to go all in on our passions and become a polished poet, but only ever put dirty dishes in the sink and never wash them, we will get accustomed to doing things halfway. What about the other side of it? What if we always wash our dishes and ensure that the things that we begin are also finished? We will get accustomed to completing things and completing them well.
But, how does that relate to passion?
We chase something. We all want to be passionate about something.
Often, we may not be passionate about things that we are excellent at. Oprah Winfrey or Tony Robbins may not have been prolific speakers right away but, they moved in the direction to become prolific speakers. And, they moved continuously in that direction, over and over and over and over again.
Actions speak louder than words. We can talk all we want but, until that talk is followed up and paired with action, we won’t experience passion, especially not in the same way.
It makes me think also of what Malcolm Gladwell has written in his book, Outliers. He explains the idea of the 10,000 Hour Rule which essentially states that to become an “outlier” or to become incredibly successful, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.
So, it’s the little things that become big things. How do we make everything enjoyable? How do we wash dishes and enjoy that? How do we become passionate about the various things that we do throughout a typical day or week or month?
In the book Destiny, T.D. Jakes writes, “Our lives are a series of days, one after another. Each day is an opportunity to either seize Destiny’s invitation or pass it by.”
Now, putting it all together, this is what I think is probably the most important. Each day we make a series of choices. We determine our attitude and our attitude determines our response.
If we look for opportunity, we look for growth, and we look for passion, we are much more likely to find it.
Passion is defined as, “strong and barely controllable emotion”
Passion is also defined as, “when you put more energy into something than is required”
Passion is also defined as, “a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person”
I would tend to say that the people who are the happiest and most positive have a passion for life and living.
To me, passion never fits in a box. To me, passion is also never comparable.
No two people share the same passion in my eyes.
If we think about Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins, they might both be passionate about helping people and speaking and impacting the lives of others. Yet, the way that they display their passions is totally different.
My final thoughts are these, passion is developed, passion is unique, and passion is intentional.
Passion begins with the small things, the choices you make each day.
Passion builds with yourself and understanding your identity, all aspects of it.
Passion continues with decisions and repeated action.
I am still developing my passion, at least one of them.
But, I do a lot of things that fall under some of the definitions of passion. I would say that I am passionate about learning. No one told me to read books or listen to audiobooks while driving instead of music, no one told me to write the articles. But, I am passionate about learning, about getting better, about growing, about impacting.
It all takes time, compounded action in the direction you want to move in, and a relentless focus.
Sooner or later, caterpillars turn into butterflies, tadpoles into frogs, and eggs into chickens.
What is one of your passions? What are you doing today that contributes to your passions?