Practice, knowledge and skill set are all important foundations for success in any career. However, there’s research to support that those who are most successful at what they set out to achieve not only take the time to hone their craft but feel an unrelenting passion for the path they’re pursuing.
This is why choosing a field you’re not only adept at but also passionate about is important. Unlike skills or knowledge, passion isn’t something that can be taught. It’s an innate feeling, a natural inclination toward a certain end goal.
Here’s a look at why passion is key to success, how to find your passion and ways to use it you your advantage to succeed in your future endeavors.
What Is Passion?
Loosely defined, passion is the drive we feel to accomplish a certain goal. It’s an innate interest in mastering a particular skill or field, an inner drive to be the best at your goal.
Today, the term passion is often used when referring to a strong desire or drive for something. Older iterations of the term passion are loosely defined as “a willingness to suffer for what you love.” This is why people who have passion for a goal they’re pursuing are more successful in getting it. They are undeterred by the challenges, setbacks and difficulties they’ll need to endure to achieve their goals.
Why is passion the key to success?
Researchers have spent time trying to understand the correlation between passion and success. Professional sports players have been the subject of many of these studies since it takes tremendous time, dedication and training to be considered successful on the field. Studies found that in predicting the success of football players, those who were passionate about the game were more likely to meet their practice goals, train effectively and work harder than others who did not display the same kind of passion.
Passion is so important to success that it’s been factored into a newly adapted scale that quantifies what it takes to truly become an expert in a subject or practice. Along with deliberate practice, a positive mindset and belief in your abilities, passion was an essential component for predicting success.
How Does Passion Lead To Success?
Here are a few reasons why passion drives success for those who put it into action.
People with passion perceive obstacles differently
When faced with a challenge, passionate people don’t back down. Instead, they see the opportunity to learn, grow, and move through the challenge with grit. This is particularly helpful in careers where setbacks are prevalent, as passionate people continue to get back up and keep going even when knocked down.
People with passion don’t give up
Those who are passionate about what they do don’t throw in the towel, even if they’re not achieving what they consider to be successful right away.
Whether a passionate singer is performing for a small room of people or in a sold-out arena, having a space to perform is a validating experience for them and makes them want to continue working toward the goal of larger audiences while being content with what they have at the moment.
Passionate people optimize their time
Passion-fueled individuals don’t waste time procrastinating or waste time elsewhere. Those who are excited by their work look forward to it and strive to get as much done as possible. This helps them cultivate a strong work ethic, which often leads to success.
Passionate people have positive attitudes
Passionate people aren’t afraid to fail. When they do, they don’t dwell on the setback. They look at every experience optimistically and continue to approach their craft with a positive mindset, which helps move them forward. Unlike those pursuing a career they lack passion for, they are less likely to show up to work with a poor attitude after experiencing an unwanted outcome or failure.
Passionate people stress less
Even if a passionate person is pursuing a high-stress career, their work brings them more joy than stress. They stress less about the path they’re seeking, focus on the end goal and enjoy what they learn from the challenges they face and continue to overcome.
Passionate people stay focused
When you enjoy what you do, it’s easier to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Passionate people quickly and easily become immersed in their work and may look up to find that hours have passed since they last checked the time.
How to Find Your Passion
Now you know that passion is the key to success – but what if you still aren’t sure what you’re passionate about? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help identify your passions.
What do you love learning about?
Imagine you’re in a library full of books with hours to spend reading – but can only choose one section. What topic would be most interesting to you?
Identifying what you’re naturally curious about can be a powerful first step in following your passion to find success.
What do you already enjoy doing?
Take stock of the tasks you enjoy most – these can either be aspects of your current job or hobbies you like to pursue at home. Identifying what assignments and topics excite you most can help point you in the right direction.
What friends or family members are most passionate about their work?
Another way to work toward finding your passion is to see how others in your inner circle have done so. Take a moment to think about the people in your life who show the most passion and enthusiasm for what they do. Ask them questions about how they discovered their passion and how it’s helped lead them to success.
Passionate people are more likely to succeed in what they set out to do. They channel their passion into motivation and focus and perceive difficulties as opportunities rather than challenges. Passion ignites a drive that makes them more inclined to spend most of their time working, which leads them to be regarded as highly successful in their field of work.