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Is it important to be passionate about your work?

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by Isabel Mancias

Most people believe that to make money or increase their income it is necessary to work longer, harder, win the lottery, or receive an inheritance. But the reality is completely different.

Steve Jobs once said, “Unless you are passionate about your work, you will not survive, you will give up.”

But is it really necessary to have passion for your work to be successful?

Although passion is important, it isn’t absolutely necessary. But if you want to have success, you must to take concrete actions toward your goal. Feeling passion for a goal can spur you to act and because of that you can obtain results. However, you cannot rely solely on passion to gain results.

To obtain results, discipline is an indispensable attribute.

Passion is an emotional state in which you feel energized by an idea. This state has its ups and downs. It is unstable. Although you are motivated by passion to take actions you will not always be at the same emotional level; your passion at times will ebb. On the other hand, if you have developed discipline, you can continue taking actions toward your goal regardless of your emotional state.

Passion is a temporary infusion of energy that can help you in two ways:

  • to begin your projects; and
  • to adjust your course when you’ve gone off track.

But you don’t need passion by itself to bring you success. The ingredient you can’t lack is discipline. Passion is like the spark that ignites the bonfire. Discipline is the firewood: it burns slowly and doesn’t depend on continual application of the initial spark to continue burning brightly.

Then, if I don’t feel passion about what I am doing, should I continue doing it? Or should I look for something I do feel passion for?

Analyze what is behind your lack of passion for what you are doing now. Has some goal or activity ever triggered a deep interest? Were you once passionate about something but drifted away from it? Something that frequently happens is that, although you have a long term goal about which you are passionate, there are certain aspects about the work that are dull or repetitive.

Is that what is discouraging you?

If what is discouraging you are those aspects of your job that are less exciting you have basically 3 options:

  1. If you can eliminate that task without serious negative consequences, do it.
  2. If you can’t eliminate it, look for a method of delegating or subcontracting it.
  3. If you can’t eliminate or delegate it, look for a way of doing the task that is less boring and convert it into a routine you can perform automatically.

It is unavoidable: there will always be tedious aspects of the work you’d prefer not to do. The passion you feel towards the goal will not help you; passion alone will not magically accomplish the task. It is here that discipline is the most important.

On the other hand, if you really have never felt passionate about your job or career and you know what it is you’re truly passionate about, try to make the change as quickly as possible. Even if you have a high paying job or a successful business, if you don’t have a greater objective to motivate you, a mission that truly calls to you, no amount of money can give you the satisfaction of following your dreams.

Now, don’t get me wrong; simply quitting a job you are not passionate about for a pursuit you are passionate about is not a solution for all your life’s problems. Passion is important. But it isn’t the only important thing. You will be in a better position to achieve your goals, but you will still need to put in the work. For this you also need discipline. And even if you change your career to do something you are passionate about, you have to cover your basic necessities, pay the rent, put food on the table, etc.

If you make a change in your life based solely on passion and pay no attention to discipline, most probably your passion will wind up dissipating. The only way of maintaining and even increasing it is to obtain concrete, positive results, which is where discipline is more important than passion.

No one said life was easy. But this doesn’t mean you can’t be passionate.


About the Author Isabel Mancias

Isabel Mancias, born and raised in Monterrey, Industrial Capital of Mexico, came to the USA in 2009. Being here looking for ways to help the Hispanic community and become Life Coach to teach how to realize their dreams and have a better life. Isabel is the founder of Mancias Entreprises LLC and helps people make their dreams come true, through personal coaching sessions and group sessions. Visit Isabel Mancias at www.isabelmancias.com