In his stunning book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell states researchers have come to the conclusion that in order to truly have expertise in a certain area, you need to spend 10,000 hours at it.
I’d argue that passion is a necessity to succeed at your dream and what you envision for your life. If you’re going to spend 10,000 hours (roughly 10 years, according to Gladwell) doing something so that you can become an expert at it, then you’d better love ~ not just like but I mean love ~ what you’re doing.
Passion is a necessity to succeed at your vision
You have to love it enough to spend hours (in my case): away from your family; working into the night & losing sleep; rewriting the same 300+ pages multiple times; rereading those same 300+ pages over and over, looking for grammar problems & typos. You have to love it enough to keep going through the rejections, the critics, & the days when it’s just plain hard. You have to love it enough to do it for free for as long as it takes to build an audience who will buy your work.
Some people might argue that passion’s a nice thing to have but not necessary to achieve goals. Individual goals, that might be true. But a grand vision for your life, I don’t think so.
Passion is a necessity to succeed at your life’s work
Can you achieve & succeed & even excel without passion? Sure. I’ve done it. When I was a journalist, I produced competent work, got promoted, grew personally and professionally. But it was a paycheck. I didn’t care deeply about it. And that’s where the difference is. It was a job, yes. A passion and my life’s work, no.
Passion will draw people to you
When you care deeply about the outcome, you’ll go the extra mile for your efforts. When you believe it matters, you’ll put up with a lot. You’ll make time. You’ll sacrifice. You’ll keep moving forward no matter what obstacles get thrown at you. And, I’d argue too, that the passion you feel will come through in your final product. It will resonate with people who view your work. It will, I believe, foster a connection between you and them that you (or they) may not even be aware of at the time. Passion will draw people to you. Some folks might not think that’s true, but I do.
So what do you think? Is passion just a nice thing to have or a necessary trait to succeed at creating the life you want?