follow your passion

So often we hear people talk about following their passion, as if following one’s passion magically equates with everlasting success or happiness.

The dictionary defines passion as: “a strong feeling or emotion. He spoke with passion. 2: an object of someone’s love, liking, or desire. Art is my passion. 3: strong liking or desire: love. She has a passion for music.”

Passion alone however does not suffice. According to Mavericks Owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, telling someone to follow their passion is just about the worst advice ever!

“Follow your passion – No Follow your effort – No one ever quits!”

For Cuban, passion is almost always the result of significant time and effort, because effort leads to improvement and expertise. Following your effort is beneficial. Think about that for a second. 

In our business we work to help folks flourish. For some that means giving cup alcohol and other drugs, shopping and sex addictions, disordered eating, or learning to live with chronic pain. While they may be motivated to do so, the truth is that it takes a lot of hard work, repetitive action and perseverance to achieve healthy behaviors. Once in progress the success of doing more good to oneself and others can become a passion; yet there must be effort for that to happen.

As Cuban wrote in his blog ;

“There are a lot of things I am passionate about.

But the things I am really good at are the things I found myself putting effort into. A lot of people talk about passion, but that really is not what you need to focus on… when you look at where you put your effort, that tends to be the things you are good at. And if you put in enough time you get really good at it. If you put in enough time and tend to get really good, I will give you a little secret. Nobody quits anything they are good at, because it’s fun to be good. It is fun to be one of the best. But in order to be one of the best, you have to put in effort.”

The moral of the story is simple. Follow your effort and place a little more structure around the process of improving, learning, and growing. Just think one step at a time, one day at a time. The more effort you put in and the more action you take, the more enthusiastic you will become. 

The more enthusiastic you become, the more likely you will be to develop the talent and experience to turn passion into a way of life albeit a career, a business or a healthy lifestyle.

What have you put a lot of energy into? What steps do you take on a daily basis?