A Notion Without Emotion is Just a Good Idea - Grasshopper
Good ideas are a penny a bushel. The ones that actually launch have a boatload of passion behind them. Any pursuit without passion is tiring and makes life feel lifeless.
How much passion is behind your ideas or invested in your labor towards them? There is a direct correlation between the emotional valence you feel for something and the energy necessary for getting it done.
Below is Chapter 3 of my FREE E-Book THE SUCCESS TRIANGLE
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. It addresses in vivid detail something that's hard to describe but unmistakable when it arrives - PASSION!
"Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things."
French author and philosopher, Denis Diderot
Desire is more than a "Nice to have." If you say, "It would be nice to be a successful____________," you don't have desire. "Nice to have" has no passion attached. "It would be nice to drive a new Mercedes" is a continent away from "I must have a new Mercedes or I won't be able to breathe." For some people passion reaches the phobic level. I'm not suggesting that it needs to be there. I'm just pointing out the continuum on which passion
It's somewhere between an idle wish and a full blown phobia. That's sort of like describing your looks somewhere between a troll and an attractive movie star. It's a start.
Passion stems from a want or need. The want or need is something that usually has a big benefit attached to it. There is also a cost attached but a person who experiences passion rarely considers the price. That's probably best because the price consideration may put a crimp on what you think is possible. It's like the age old possibilities question: "What would you do if money were no object?" There is also an adage that says, "If you come up with a big enough need the how takes care of itself."
So Desire starts with a want or need that has your focus of attention. Desire can actually be felt in your body. You've heard the expression, "She has a fire in her belly" - that's passion or desire.
Many claim they aren't passionate about anything. My guess is that's just another way of saying "I've shut myself off from possibilities." They've convinced themselves they can't have what they want so what's the sense of pursuing it? Did you ever get something you wanted that you didn't think you would ever get? How did that happen? Somehow you poked passed your possibility wall and voila!
There are innumerable possibilities. We tend to focus our attention on relatively few. Get your curiosity in gear for other possibilities.
Pleasure or Pain?
People either move towards pleasure or away from pain. If you are the type of person who moves towards pleasure, conjure up the pleasant feelings you will have when you get what you're going after. What does it look like, sound like or feel like? Imagine those pictures, sounds and feelings and they will act as a magnet to pull you closer to your desire.
If you are the type who moves away from pain, you can use your imagination in this way: Imagine the feelings you will have if you don't get your intended desire. What does it look like, sound like or feel like not being able to get what you want? The turmoil generated by these sensations will draw you closer to your desire by generating actions that will have you avoid all the pain you just imagined.
Jamie Foxx, the actor and comedian displays this moving away strategy when he told Parade Magazine the story of his grandparents who raised and supported him by working as a housemaid and laborer on the other side of the tracks. He said, "My grandmother had to take a lot of disrespect. They'd call her at all hours and say, 'Get over here!' It used to burn me up. They'd call my grandfather at 5 in the morning, when he's 79 years old, and say, 'We need you here!' I hated that. I decided, 'That won't be me'."
Remember this: Imagination is the force of creation.
You Can't Talk Yourself Into It
Passion is the fuel that is still there long after the tank reads empty. Passion generates energy. It's a focus of attention that creates possibilities. Passion entertains you. There are many who preach to think positively. That implies you have some control. Thinking is thinking. The label positive or negative is something we add after the fact. It's just the way our brain works. Thinking goes on without our permission. Thoughts pop into our consciousness from out of the blue. The person who tells you to try and control what flavor pops in is uninformed about how the mind works. It sounds wonderful and it's snake oil.
It's more useful to just notice that a thought popped in whether positive or otherwise. Just by putting your attention on a thought without judging it allows it to flow in and flow out. When you put up a resistance to any kind of thought, it puts up a resistance to leaving. It hangs around preventing another thought from your infinite reservoir to pop in. When you show a preference for a thought, it begins to occupy your consciousness and it also prevents other thoughts from streaming in. When you dam up the stream, you dam up the hydropower that will continue to fuel your passion.
It's like the famous philosopher, Alan Watts said in his lectures, "If I think all the time, I won't have anything to think about except my own thoughts. Now, that would leave me high and dry, and I would become like a library to which the only books being added were books about the books that were already in it."
Lost in Love
Did you ever notice when you're passionate about something many other considerations take a back seat. Most people are tired at the end of the day and prepare for sleep. The person who's passionate can go for hours on end without being tired. They can work through scheduled meal times and forget to eat. Passion must enter your life to be successful. You may get to enjoy some success without passion but it won't last. You won't enjoy the ride without passion. You are the living dead without passion.
Most people without passion are boring to themselves and to others. Their possibility quotient is so narrow that the same patterned thoughts keep coming back. It's similar to hearing the same joke for the 20 th time. It's just not funny anymore, yet we keep telling it to ourselves expecting to be entertained.
Passion is not consciously arrived at. The sensation we call passion arrives before we put the label on it. You cannot think your way to passion. It is a process that goes on behind the scenes. It is foundational and indefinable. Passion is discovery and instability. Once it becomes stable, it becomes stale. We limit it to too few things. The more areas of our lives we can feel passion for, the more life we have. Passion is expectation every minute.
Passion is curiosity and never knowing. It's a constant process of discovery. If we ever figure something out, passion wanes. A marriage never loses passion. People lose passion. We lose by knowing all there is to know. Passion is a fire in the belly - not an ulcer. Passion is not a thought process; it's a sensation. It's always kinesthetic.
That kinesthesia is fertilized by curiosity. Observe someone who has a lifelong passion. Notice how curious they are and the discovery they experience. It's ongoing. They never figure it out. They just keep wondering and keep the fire burning. Passion is somewhat like JellO. It's any color you want, soft, sweet, pliable, moldable, changing form, and everywhere. It's transparent and it's fun. If it becomes hard, it's no longer JellO and it's no longer passion. It's inexpensive and you don't need to spend a lot of effort chewing it. It's holographic. Passion is a thirst that's whetted but never quenched.
Enthusiasm is another word for passion. My dear Greek friend, Paul told me "Enthusiasm" comes from his language and literally means "God in you." Without getting religious, there's a lot of God in everyone; only it's occluded by our patterned way of thinking.
Curiosity will get you out of your patterns and allow more of what's on the inside out - Ability - and continually feed your enthusiasm. Most people will tell you their God is responsible for the change of seasons. Wouldn't it be productive to say there is one God or animating force, or universal law that we call a different name and worship in a different way that's behind this seasonal phenomenon? You didn't come out of the womb with a particular religion; you may have been trained in one. If you grew up in Afghanistan, chances are you were raised as a Muslim. If you grew up in Ireland, you were probably raised Catholic or Protestant. In India, you may be a Hindu or a Buddhist, in the USA a Christian, in Israel, a Jew.
The label has become important to you and there is no quibble about that. Just remember that the God who changes the seasons is the same force that's in everyone no matter what the name or method of worship chosen.
Recognize that "God in you," no matter how you define it, is necessary for success. Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm."
How Do I Get Passion?
Acting enthusiastic can generate an enthusiastic state of mind. In some cases putting your body into another physiology is enough of a catalyst to prime the enthusiasm pump. Observe someone you consider to be enthusiastic. What are they doing with their body? Posture? Movements? Gesturing? How are they breathing? Speaking? My guess is if you observe many different people who are enthusiastic, you will find degrees of similarity in their physiology.
So let's do a quick exercise. Put your body in the position it would be in if you were enthusiastic about anything. Breathe like you would breathe if you were enthusiastic. Gesture like you would if you had enthusiasm. Speak at the pace you would speak if you were enthusiastic. Just by adopting the physiology, you put yourself in an enthusiastic posture.
These subtle body changes will begin to recharge what you call enthusiasm. Once I was addressing the topic of exercise during a weight loss seminar and these words just popped out: "You can't talk your way into walking, but you can walk your way into talking." It doesn't work the other way around. You will not talk yourself into a new behavior. Talking to yourself is a never ending loop that always takes you to the same place - the same place!
Think of it this way - behavior may generate words but words won't generate behavior. Words are always the caboose and behavior is always the engine. We act, and then we explain. It's the way our brains are wired. You may be wondering wasn't it initially a verbal thought about behavior that actually started the new behavior? No, the thought was a conscious comment on behavior that had already formed unconsciously.
Consider the overweight person who finally "decides" to lose weight. We get caught up in the trap that his internal chitchat was the catalyst for the behavior. It wasn't. The behavior came before he had the words that told him he decided. Behaviors precede their description and thoughts are afterthoughts.
Your Reservoir is Deep
You can generate behaviors you already own but that have become dormant. We have 5 senses - sight, sound, feeling, smell, and taste. We represent the world inside our head mainly with pictures, words, and sounds, which generate feeling responses (sensations) in our body. What pictures can we conjure up in our minds that represent enthusiasm? What would we have to see in order to feel what we label enthusiasm? What would we say to ourselves, or have others say to us that would generate dormant enthusiasm? What sounds generate enthusiasm? For some it's the "Rocky" theme; for others it's their national anthem. Where specifically does the feeling register in our body that we are calling enthusiasm? We can remember pictures or sounds that cause the feeling response we call enthusiasm.
If we can't remember them, we can make them up. Our nervous system doesn't know the difference. It just produces the enthusiastic sensation with the proper stimulus whether real or imagined. If you were in the jungle and you heard a roar and imagined there was a ravenous lion behind you, your nervous system would respond with an appropriate sensation in your body even if it turned out only to be a tape recording of a roaring lion. More about this topic will be covered in the chapter on Talent.
All of this leads to this maxim - to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic. Here's an exercise I do in many of my seminars. I ask people to fake a yawn. Within seconds the fake yawn turns into a real yawn. A moment before my suggestion no one was yawning. The acting out of the behavior was engaged in and the real thing followed. The same is the case with enthusiasm or being excited, or passionate.
Snapshot: Success won't be around long without passion. It is the starting point of every successful endeavor. If you don't have it, make it up. Ability gets smothered without passion. Discipline without passion is work and who wants to work? If you're designing a life, make sure you start with passion.
All the best,
John SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHTIMPROVE YOUR SELF IMAGE
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