To be passionate about your dreams is one thing. To realize your dreams and create with purpose is completely another. Oh the danger of being drunk with passion and intoxicated with ideas.
When all we have is passion, we fall prey to being impatient while assuming we will succeed while overcoming our limitations. Limitations are real and something we need to see clearly or we will never make progress. Self-denial about our limitations let us miss where we need to grow and go. We risk the chance of becoming blinded by naive enthusiasm. We promise ourselves more than we can muster. It’s a delusional place to be.
But oh how much fun it can be.
We all know the loop. Take an idea, what seems like a very good idea and become really excited about that idea. Pumped. Stoked. On fire. We are filled with unbridled enthusiasm, perhaps what many people call passion.
That passion you feel, that deep desire to fulfill that dream, it’s the fire that fuels. Passion may very well be what kicks your ass out of bed in the morning and charges you to move forward, to go forth, to get on with it.
The Alchemy of Passion
Read: The Surprising Alchemy of Passion & Science from the MIT Leadership Center.
But, passion without execution and the ability to fail and endure is a trap.
Turning Passion into Progress
Turning your passion into reality requires something more. It requires progress. Sometimes painful progress. Progression – making headway towards your goals – can and should be measured and tracked with a daily dose of reality. What your passion requires is honesty and clarity.
It might also need a plan. A deliberate disciplined action strategy and of course the discipline to honor that purposeful plan every day. A blueprint of sorts. A guide. A map.
But how do you know if you’re really making progress? Harness the data. Measure the feedback. Track how far you’ve come and how far you need to go before your dream(s) are reality.
Planning the process and producing a bit each day, making progress. This is what transforms passion into progress. What makes those dreams come true.
Passionate activity without purpose is just noise. It might even mean just being busy.
Busy without being productive will keep you spinning your wheels while never making any real progress.
We can ward off that danger of being drunk with passion by being realistic about what we are doing. Staying in the moment, measuring our progress and making corrections to our course each day.
A Critical Look at Our Faults & Failures
The ability to evaluate one’s own ability and progress is an important skill to turning passion into progress. It requires a critical look at what needs to be improved. Including your skills. How good are you right now, really? How much more do you need to improve? to practice? to plan? to execute.
How are you sure that what you are doing is moving you forward?
Ryan Holiday’s Ego is the Enemy should be required reading for everyone, especially those with a dream, a vision and or a passion. I am finding his book to be one of the most grounding pieces of writing I have read in a very long time. Thank you Ryan.
Illustrator Ruben Ireland