Romeo and Juliet were passionate about each other. However, their passion ultimately led to their demise. Being passionate doesn’t guarantee you’ll accomplish what you set out to do or be successful in life—it just means that you care deeply about that cause or idea.
As with Romeo and Juliet, passion alone can cloud your perspective, cause you to make hasty judgments, and take rash actions that lead you in the opposite direction of where you want to go. Making a meaningful contribution, and accomplishing what you set out to do, means moving beyond simply what you’re passionate about and giving consideration to the other elements that need to be present to be successful.
What are some of the other elements needed beyond passion that top the list and inspire us to work toward goals that support our vision for our lives?
Clarity of Purpose
A lack of ambiguity and clear understanding about what you believe in, the direction you want to head, what you ultimately want the outcome to be, and what you are willing to risk to achieve it.
The ability for introspection, and the capacity to recognize your feelings, distinguish between them, and understand their impact on those around you.
Knowing your own strengths and limitations, respecting and accepting yourself as you are, and having a strong sense of your own identity and character that allows you to acknowledge when you don’t know something.
The ability withstand adverse events, calmly face challenges, be resourceful, and choose a course action that over time is focused and directed toward achieving a long-term pursuit. Over time, resist temptation and short-term gain in the pursuit of long-term outcomes.
The desire to achieve a goal, and the effort, persistence, and motivation applied toward achieving a goal that stretches you beyond your comfort zone.
The ability to be confident in one’s own ability—even when others don’t believe in you—and hang tough in the pursuit of the desired outcome.
Moving beyond just being passionate helps you do more than just what you love—it helps you pull equally hard in the direction that you ultimately want to go. Passion, in concert with all these other elements, supports your vision, makes you more agile, and ultimately enables you to make a meaningful contribution.