20: Don’t be passionate

Imagine that!

What book would advocate for its readers not to be passionate?

Ryan Holidays!

In Ego is the Enemy – Ryan suggests that the reason why so many of us fail to actually accomplish anything is because we are too passionate about it. We care so much that we consume our time with talking about our passions rather than doing something about it

Passion can be seen in those who can tell you in great detail who they intend to become and what their success will be like – they might even be able to tell you specifically when they intend to achieve it or describe to you legitimate and sincere worries they have about the burdens of such accomplishments. They can tell you all the things they’re going to do, or have even begun, but they cannot show you their progress. Because there rarely is any

Those of us with great visions of grandeur may be able to articulate exactly what it is we will accomplish in this world but ask anybody of true grit and experience and they will tell you just how hard it is to make anything of yourself

It certainly doesn’t require passion to do so

Passion typically masks weakness

Are we trying to compensate for our lack of experience or competence in our chosen field of endeavours by being so ‘passionate’ about it?

What humans require in our ascent is purpose and realism

Ryan seems to think we are and I think he’s managed to get me to agree.

I only need to use my own life as a case study for this. As I read this chapter I simultaneously reflected on my life and the multiple things I’ve once been passionate about

Most of them I did not follow through with, many of them I barely got started with and yet if you had met me at the time of my intense passion for any one of those things, I’m confident I would of sold you on my dreams and aspirations at the time

Dreams and aspirations that would later fade into the memories of my yesteryears

What I needed was not passion or at least not passion alone but rather a heavy dose of realism.

Had I known the reality of what it would truly take to actualise my passions, I would not be bragging about them because I’d be so concerned with the many pitfalls that day in and day out my time would be consumed with preparation, execution, feedback, adjustment and execution again

While doing all of that – I don’t think I’d have time to be so ‘passionate’

The critical work that you want to do will require your deliberation and consideration. Not passion

Needless to say, this chapter gave me much to think about in how I presently approach my work

Be well

SRZ

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