Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Real Secret is PASSION - Go with All Your Heart

My business partner, Meredith Bell, has a plaque next to her desk, which reads:


This is good advice.

When my wife Kathleen was in her 20s, she worked her way through college. The major she chose was accounting. Why? Because she was a single woman who needed a reliable way to earn a living. After graduation, she began a career in commercial banking. She discovered that the business world and the people in it were fascinating. But even though she was good at it, the work was incredibly stressful.

Later in life, she got breast cancer. During recovery, she realized that she no longer had the heart to put up with the grind. Whatever passion she had for banking was gone. So she walked away from her career.

For a while, she didn’t know what she wanted to do next. She felt it had to be something she cared deeply about or she couldn’t make the commitment. To my surprise, she decided to write a mystery novel. From banker to novelist is a huge shift. But the passion was there. She had read over a thousand mystery novels, and her favorite movies and TV programs were mostly who-done-its. She had always been a good writer and had a creative way of telling stories in conversation. But she had never written a story, much less published one. Nevertheless, she jumped in with both feet.

She learned to write a novel by doing it. Day after day, she brought her energy to this grueling task. She invested her best writing skill, self-confidence and passion for mystery stories in the task of creating each page. Several months later she had finished her second draft. I read it and was amazed at how engaging the story was. She got feedback from other readers and launched into a third draft.

Another close-to-home example — my two sons. When they were pre-teens I got them Commodore 64 computers, one of the first PCs ever made. The “64” stood for its pathetically small memory capacity — 64K RAM. But it was enough to spark an obsession. They used the computers to play the first-generation video games — every game on the market. When they tired of these, they wanted to know how to create their own programs. Their desire was keen enough that they taught themselves how to program using Basic. They’ve been learning and upgrading their computers ever since. Their passion for computers has endured. Now that they’re both about 40, they have successful careers — one in software engineering and the other in systems engineering.

And that’s the secret. Without passion you probably won't do all the hard things that challenge you along the path to achievement.

As legendary race car driver Bobby Unser once said, “Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.”

Other posts about PASSION...

All Great Things Are Accomplished with Passion

Zackary Lipson - Self-esteem, Effort, Passion and Perseverance

PASSION, COURAGE, FAITH - Russell Simmons on Building Business

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Photo by Denny Coates)


Cap said...

great post! if your hearts in it then there will be passion and desire for it...true at work...true at home!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I enjoyed this post. Kathleen is something else. I adore her.