Friday, June 10, 2005

Curious about Passion - The Up and Down Sides

At the end of every one of his audio tapes - and I believe I have listened to every one - Anthony Robbins tells us to, “Live with passion.” He has also written, “There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it's the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.”

In 1987, I became involved with the self-improvement movement. I started selling a pricey goal-setting program, listening to tapes and taking part in a weekly get together of those who bought and sold the product. Our leader asked me to review Robbins’ book Unlimited Power at one of the upcoming meetings.

I not only read the book, I also listened to Robbins’ tapes - and, became hooked! I even participated in a fire walk lead by Robbins - but that is another story.

I can honestly say that I do live my life and many careers with passion. It works for me. But it doesn’t work for everyone - and, from my observations, not for a lot of people.

What reminded me of this was an excellent e-newsletter article, Why Passion Doesn’t Sell, I received today from Jill Konrath, the top expert (in my opinion) on how to sell to large companies. You will find the article HERE. Konrath writes, “Are you passionate about your product? Think your service is pretty slick? If so, you may have lots of trouble getting into big companies and winning their business. Your own eagerness and enthusiasm may actually create significant obstacles in your sales efforts.”

Yes, I have also discovered that being “passionate” about something, or just life in general, can turn others off. Rather than adding a spark to an office, you may get a look and attitude from others like, “What do you have to be so happy about?”

There are actually some workers who seem to thrive on being miserable. If you work in an environment where others don’t appreciate your passion and enthusiasm, my suggestion to you is, “Get out. Find another career.”

I do agree with Jill Konrath that when we are selling a product, we need to focus on how it can solve the potential client’s problems - not on how much we love and are passionate about it.

But don’t ever lose sight of the advantages of living your life with passion. Just for fuel, here are some great quotes about passion:
  • As far back as the mid 1970s, Denis Diderot wrote, “There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.”
  • Benjamin Franklin, however, warns, “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”
  • And yet, Eve Sawyer said, “Never underestimate the power of passion.”
  • When it comes to creativity, Rollo May wrote, “Creativity is not merely the innocent spontaneity of our youth and childhood; it must also be married to the passion of the adult human being, which is a passion to live beyond one's death.”
  • And, W. Eugene Smith agreed, “Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors.”

So, I ask you, “How passionate are you about life and your work?” I submit to you that if you can become passionate about living, working and playing, you will find that many of your problems will disappear. Try it! You’ll love it!