Why You Will Never Find Your Passion or Zeal

Why You Will Never Find Your Passion or Zeal

What? First I tell you why you won’t find your purpose and now this? Many of us get frustrated because we don’t know what our passion or zeal is. To give you a few examples of passionate people, Romeo and Juliet were passionate towards each other until the point of death. Steve Jobs was passionate about making the world simpler and more elegant through his Apple products. Jesus Christ was passionate for the salvation of the world. Michael Jordan was passionate about basketball. Today you will learn how most of us misunderstand passion, and how a simple mindset shift can help you become passionate and live with purpose.

So what does passion mean?

Do a search online, and you will learn that passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion. Steve Jobs said that you should make sure you are passionate about what you do because otherwise, you will quit because you are sane. So passion makes you ‘crazy’ for something. But do you know passion has another meaning? The Latin root word for passion is the word patior which means to suffer. This makes sense. When we look at the examples of the passionate people above, they all suffered to get to where they were. They all dealt with ridicule, rejection, and the pain of discipline. So passion is a strong emotion or desire to the point where you are willing to suffer to be satisfied. Knowing that passion requires sacrifice, here’s the first reason you might not find your passion: While ‘finding’ their passion, you don’t expect or underestimate the inevitable sacrifice and suffering involved to achieve your goals. I used to think that being passionate means enjoying every moment. I was wrong.

An example of someone passionate:

Michael Phelps was a passionate swimmer that won 28 medals swimming in the Olympics. To do that, he practiced more than anyone else since the age of 11. At one point, he swam a minimum of 80,000 meters weekly while on a 12,000 calorie diet. Do you think he enjoyed every second? Self-discipline is painful. In order to win, Phelps had to go on a strict diet and practice for hours every day. Phelps was passionate towards becoming better. As a result, he put the work in. He reached his goal not by doing what he loved, but by loving what he did. Phelps’ correct understanding of passion made him willing to suffer the grueling hours of training and dieting that got him the victories. Don’t go looking for your passion, go looking for a goal.

Finding Zeal

Understanding that passion is emotional desire and having a willingness to suffer is not enough. What Phelps also had was zeal. Zeal is often mistaken for being a synonym of passion, and the two words are often interchangeable. The Greek root word of zeal is zelos, and it means dedication and envy. With zeal, the difference between your current reality and your desired future is clear. And so is the dedication needed to get there.  Passion is emotionally-driven and state-oriented. When you combine passion and zeal you also become action-driven and goal-oriented. Zeal is directed. For example. you can have passion towards a number of activities. You can be passionate about a sport, or music, or even playing video games. But you can only have zeal if the activity aligns with your vision for the future. Because you have clearly defined criteria for what you want, you rid yourself of all distractions and become relentless. This means you can only have zeal if you have a purpose. So how do you find a purpose that is worth your emotion and devotion? Recall that your life purpose is more than your dream house or car. Your life purpose is not materialistic. You may become wealthy along the way, but wealth is not the end. If your purpose is bigger than you, then it must focus on others. You must be committed to bringing some sort of value to the world. Our purpose is our reason for living. You can only live a relentless life if you have a powerful reason for living. A life that makes a difference is worth the work and sacrifice. If you have a purpose, you will learn to love the hard work. Jim Rohn once said the worst thing to do is be “aware of what one wants and not pursue it, and to spend years regretting things never achieved or experiences never had.” So ask yourself what you want and who you want to be, and then develop a strong enough reason to get there. Only with a powerful purpose can you last through the suffering, failure, and discipline that come along the way. Your purpose focuses your passion and zeal in one direction. It’s hard to have passion and zeal when your dreams are small. In fact, ‘passion’ and ‘zeal’ should not describe an activity. Those words should describe you. With a powerful enough purpose, instead of ‘finding your passion’ or ‘searching for zeal’, you can be passionate and be zealous in all that you do. So here’s the first action to take: Think about the number of people you want to impact, and then multiply it ten times. I hope that instead of blindly looking for your passion or zeal, you can search for your reason to be passionate and zealous. To sum up:
  1. Passion is a strong, irrational desire that makes you willing to suffer.
  2. Zeal is a dedication towards a desired future that manifests itself in consistent action
  3. Your purpose is your reason for living that is focused on adding value to someone other than yourself
  4. Without purpose, you won’t find your passion. With purpose, you can be passionate and zealous in all that you do as you work towards your purpose.
  5. Dream big, and then multiply it by ten times
Take Action: What is one thing you can start doing today to increase the positive impact you can have on those around you? Go do it. Subscribe because you don’t want to miss out on my personal updates and the latest articles!  

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