Talking to Myself: Destroying the "Passion" Myth

Lessons I wish I could share with my younger self...

Is it Really All About Passion?

How many times have we heard someone say they're passionate about their job or the industry they're in? I've caught myself saying it on more than one occasion, but recently I've faced a few situations that have caused me to rethink the value of passion alone.

If we view passion as a metaphorical fire, then consider this; when you set a spark to 10 gallons of gasoline that’s been poured on the ground, you’ll have a bright show, but nothing else. The fire wasn’t useful, because it lacked a system and a structure. Now consider the same ten gallons of gasoline, now contained within the fuel tank of your car. The fire created in the block of your engine is now useful; because it has a structure and a system in place to utilize it. Self-discipline is the structure your passion must have to produce results.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, there are many times we're forced to take on more than one role in our company. Personally, this is something I really enjoy, but as most entrepreneurs can attest, working long hours for days on end will test your endurance and drain your passion. 

I recently read a book written by Brian Tracy titled “No Excuses!”, and in it the author speaks about the power of self-discipline and the many benefits it brings to your life. After a few months of applying some of the simple lessons in the book, I'm finding that not only am I more passionate, I'm finding that my energy levels have also increased substantially.

"Passion" is best described as "a strong and barely controllable emotion". While I think it's important to be passionate about what we do, it's also important to remember that passion is an emotion, and like joy, happiness, or sadness, it is greatly affected by the environment around us. 

"Self-discipline" on the other hand is "the ability to control one's feeling and overcome one's weaknesses to pursue what is right despite temptations to abandon it."  

In short, I’m saying you’ve got to build the engine of self-discipline before the fire of passion will do you or your business any lasting good. Spending time working on one's self-discipline can produce surprising results that are sustainable over a long period of time. 

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Reuben Miller

Reuben is the Co-founder and CSO of Triad Building Components, a construction component manufacturing company that services wholesale lumberyards in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Reuben has over 14 years of experience working within the building and construction industry that include Project Supervisor, Designer for Post Frame Buildings, and the General Manager Position for both a Metal Manufacturing Company and a Full Service Retail Lumberyard.

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