How Important Is Passion In The Journey To Success?

Posted on May 11, 2011 in Specials

By Salony Satpathy:

Every person around us has some advice and suggestion to give, convincing us that what they say is sure to drive us to success. Most of the times, these words are mere idealized situations which are not achievable by common mortals. One such suggestion, or let us say advice, or command (to be more precise), is to feel that coveted PASSION. So, is being passionate an achievable situation or are we running behind moving clouds, which are not going to rain on us?

Passion, as the Merriam Webster’s dictionary describes, is an intense, driving or overwhelming feeling or conviction; a desire for or devotion to an activity, object or concept. Passion does not come by itself and it is very much necessary to be inculcated. We have all witnessed the feeling in some form or the other, be it while playing a sport, where momentarily, winning was all that mattered, or in an examination, where all we could think about was to write a perfect answer on our favorite topic. Passion leads to fervor and enthusiasm to such a level, that victory, accompanied with satisfaction and joy, kisses our feet.

So how do we inculcate this ‘Passion’ in our lives? The most common yet most appropriate answer is by simply enjoying what we are doing. If we enjoy what we do, we will want to do it to the best of our ability and strive hard to achieve perfection. Perfection is an idealized situation and sounds good only when heard or spoken about, but working towards it is the only way to get optimum results, which includes achieving the desired goal along with a sense of mental satisfaction. For example, consider a boy who enjoys working with machines and playing with concepts and equations. If he takes up a career in engineering, he will work passionately and will be successful. On the contrary, a boy who finds acting and mimicry interesting might become an engineer, but never a passionate one.

We all say that freedom of thought and action is our birthright, but such freedom ever lead to passion and success? In his book ‘The World As I See It’, Albert Einstein has strongly rejected the above notion. He says that he is a disbeliever in the concept of mental freedom as “Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity.” This inner necessity is the passion which is fuelled by external compulsion. It is the passion that creates a sense of responsibility towards the work we have at hand and helps us complete it successfully on time. A majority of the student population completes assignments just the night before the deadline for submission, when weeks or months of time is given for the same. This is the passion that arises out of compulsion that has just one aim: ‘To do or to die’.

Talking about the importance of passion in relationships, as success is not only in our professional lives, but in our personal lives too, it is important to feel a responsibility towards our relationships. Only when we work towards it, can we build strong everlasting relationships, be it friendship or conjugal relationship or motherhood, as all kinds of relationship requires a tinge of passion to make it work. It is this passion that makes the relationship lively and interesting and adds a zing to our otherwise dull and boring lives.
Every coin has two sides. When we talk of passion in our lives, there is always a possibility of over-passion as well. Any feeling in extreme is always disastrous and can dissolve the very purpose of our lives. Over passion at work may lead to spending so much time and energy at work that our personal lives suffer, or our health deteriorates and we lose our mental cool and stability. Over-passion in our personal lives may lead to severe results like being over possessive, over protective and snatching the beauty of a relationship. Mr. Shekhar Kapoor, producer and director, had mentioned in his guest lecture at the techno-management fest at IIT Kharagpur that passion in a relationship cannot build a relationship at all. What he meant was that over passion is detrimental, and subtle feeling and responsibility are the only ways to a successful relationship.

On this note, we can conclude that passion is necessary and important but it is over passion that is the devil and can curse our lives to such an extent that recovery might not be possible. Be passionate but draw the line so as to stay within limits. After all, life is a journey which is all about moderation.