For as long as humanity has existed, we have accomplished some pretty great feats. From the first discovery of using sticks as tools, to the creation of machinery to extend our eyes to deep space, we have proven the might of human ambition in a colossal way. As humans, we live to dream big.
As a man with ambition that exploded through barriers, Nelson Mandela was revered as a revolutionary and was quoted with explaining his goals by saying:
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
He lived a life of great passion to show the world what passion, sticks, and humans could really accomplish.
“Passion”, with today’s copious available texts in the dark and romantic persuasion, is a word that is frequently thrown around like dirty pennies in a dryer. If you look in the dictionary, it can be defined in the following ways:
- strong, barely controllable emotion
- a strong feeling of enthusiasm
- excitement about something or doing something
- ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body, and soul into something as is possible*
As an entrepreneur, these definitions must bellow thunderously to you and your excitement for business. Whether it’s the joy of working in your chosen field, or the thrill of making it on your own, passion is the driving force that sends you like a flaming projectile into greatness.
Where cou”ld any of this possibly go wrong?” You might ask, “I have so much ambition and passion, I can barely sleep at night because I’m so excited about everything I’m doing. How can this possibly be a bad thing?”
Many times, passion gets inadvertently turned into pride, another trait that seems to be unique to humanity since those early days with sticks.
Pride can be defined in the following ways:
- A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value
- A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements
- A feeling of satisfaction from qualities or possessions that are widely admired
- A feeling that you are more important or better than other people
By definition, passion and pride sound very different. Passion is excitement, motivation, desire; pride is dignity, satisfaction, importance. What is important to know is that one is the means to the other’s end.
Imagine this. You love driving. Many of us can’t help but love the way wind rushes through the open windows when the highway is clear and your favorite jam has just begun to blast through the speakers as the sun sets brilliantly to the West. Your passion is driving. You can’t get enough out of long hours on cleanly paved stretches of road.
When you’ve reached your destination and tell all of your friends about the excitement of your trip, this is pride. That glowing joy you feel when recounting your journey, that is your feeling of value or satisfaction at achievement. Pride can be easily mistaken for passion when it seems like the only reason the journey was taken was for the bragging rights at the end.
When we are enthusiastic about things that are important to us, we become personally and emotionally invested in them. We protect those personal items closely as possible avenues for more achievement. An example of this is with a close friend who began a business training dogs.
This friend loves animals. Her life is dedicated to her dogs because of her passion for them and their psychology. She works hard to make sure her dogs are well trained and well behaved. When she went out to the parks, people began to notice how much control he had over her animals and asked her to come and train their dogs as well.
After a while, a business began to form organically from the requests of her neighbors. Her passion was becoming something tangible and his ambition to become a fully functioning training business was being realized.
After a while, her business plateaued and she was struggling to maintain her current clients while acquiring new ones. When other friends in the industry tried to help her, she brushed them off explaining that she knew what he was doing and everything was under control.
At this point, her pride had consumed her passion for training. She was only focusing on her personal achievement instead of the joy she had once received from being involved in the industry. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a solution.
BrandedWorld understand that passion is one of the seven pinnacle qualities required of an entrepreneur. This quality is so important, that it has become Axiom one, the founding need for businesses. BrandedWorld defines passion as:
” extend[ing] beyond the entrepreneur; a burning desire to work towards achieving goals with a determined and focused direction. It is a viable energy that comes from within and shines through.”
Pride did not make it into the seven axioms. As far as BW is concerned, there is no room for pride in our model of success.
Pride can sneak into any business where there was once tremendous passion. In order to keep the passion stronger than the pride, you can follow five easy tips to learn how to re-kindle the joy in ambition you once had.
1. Listen to others openly
This is the first, and probably the hardest of all the tips. We all want to feel that we are experts of our field and we are in control of our destiny, but the reality is no. You don’t know everything. By stopping for a few minutes, keeping your own mind and mouth absent of “me, mine, my, I” talk, you can open yourself up to new ideas that might have been lying dormant in your mind all along. Sometimes it takes someone else’s experiences and information to bring about a new great idea.
2. Read articles from related experts
If you don’t like listening, this might be a better avenue for you. Blogs are the best way to keep up to date on trending information in every field. It’s easy to type a few key words into Google and find a wealth of fresh, new information to help you humble yourself in the privacy of your own home.
3. Collaborate frequently
Nothing gets people more frustrated and enlightened than working collaboratively. This might not be everyone’s favorite tip, but by finding a like-minded person to come together with you on an article or project, their fresh perspective might point you in the right direction.
You didn’t always know what your passion was. You had to experiment with it at some point to learn what you loved. Continue experimenting! Nothing serves up a slice of humble pie like a good batch of trial and error.
5. Share your experiences
You are already glowing with pride for your achievements. To reignite your passion, share your experiences with the world by creating a blog, hosting workshops, or creating groups to discuss the topic you are passionate about. Inevitably, this will probably heighten your pride but also rekindle that flame of passion that started this whole mess anyway. One often mentioned of but notoriously overlooked venue is www.meetup.com. While everyone has heard of or possibly attended one of the myriad of events posted on this site, many people don’t believe in or recognize the power it has. Bringing strangers together for greater intellectual growth will transform you. Attempt one or two MeetUps at first, or even try hosting your own, and you’ll see what I mean. The change in yourself is breathtaking.
Pride stems from our passion. We don’t want to become those entrepreneurs or business owners who believe so much in ourselves that we lose the ability to grow as we can no longer listen to others. As obscure French author Georges Bernanos was quoted saying, “It’s a fine thing to rise above pride, but you must have pride in order to do so.” Have pride in yourself and in your business and in your major accomplishments, but put that pride aside when it comes to collaboration and growth. A business that is run by pride doesn’t seem to run at all.
When it comes to passion for your organization, do you believe that you are performing at optimum levels?