Do You Need Passion To Succeed

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Are you searching to find your passion? I wrote this post for you. Much has been written about the importance of finding your passion in order to succeed.

I would like to share a different perspective.

Steven Spielberg Dreams For A Living - Can You?

Steven Spielberg is known for saying "I dream for a living". He is one of the lucky ones. He did not have to find his passion. His talent found it for him.

He tells the story of how his passion for film making began. It happened after he made his first film as a boy scout. He saw how much his friends loved it, and he loved their reaction to his creation!

Notice that first he became good at doing something; second, he got positive feedback from others, and as a consequence he developed a positive feeling about what he achieved. These elements worked in tandem to spark his passion.

Contrary to the advice of experts, and as Steven Spielberg's experience suggests, passion, per se, is not the originating fuel for success. Yes, it helps to love what you do. It means you are more likely to stick with it when the going gets tough.

The idea to "follow your passion" is popular but often misunderstood. It has been wrongly leading people to believe that without a passion for something, they must settle for second best, mediocrity or be doomed to fail. That's nonsense.

I am not against passion as a driving force in our lives. I am all for pursuing whatever makes us feel alive. Life is not worth living passionless.

But I am practical. Being passionate does not pay the bills. I know people who have flopped miserably trying to follow their passion, and others who achieved fulfilling lives because they were doing something they cared about deeply.

Put Passion Aside And Focus On Doing A Good Job

Some people love the idea of making it online but not so much the effort required to make it happen.

Do you enjoy building your websites, writing posts, learning and helping people get what they want? If yes, then that is a good enough foundation to build upon.

Sure, there will be times when you wonder whether you are wasting your time and why you are doing this to yourself, lol.

Spielberg's passion arose from being good at what he did and seeing others enjoy it. You don't need to find your passion to succeed. You need to let it find you through your daily actions and achievements.

Steve Jobs Advice To Do What You Love: Debunked

If Steve Jobs had followed his earlier passions, we would not have Apple Computer. Technology was not his main interest. His associate Steve Wozniak was the technical whiz. Jobs was pursuing other passions at the time. But he needed money. He had gone broke pursuing his other passions.

With the motivation being to make money, he came up with an idea, had the right partner in Wozniak, and the combination proved to be a lucky break and a huge success. When you study his progress, you will see that his real passion for the business developed later, after he became successful.

Steve Jobs in his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech advised graduates to "do what you love and you will succeed". He explained that it is hard to rise above challenges unless you love what you are doing. That part is true.

But when you examine the stories of Spielberg, Jobs and other highly successful people, you will find a common denominator: first they did an excellent job, and as a result achieved some success. Then that success ignited their passion. It was not the other way around!

I suggest that you don't take Steve Jobs' advice. Instead, do what he did.

Become excellent at what you do, and you CAN and WILL succeed, no matter what niche you choose. That's when your passion will sneak up on you.

P.S. If you enjoyed this, don't forget to hit the Like button - it loves to be clicked!

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Recent Comments


Thought provoking post. I've always heard "Do what you love and the money will follow" because if you love what you're doing, your heart will be in it and the product/service will be extraordinary. Yet, there are circumstances in which you just need the money so you do your best at something you're not passionate about.

Sometimes doing your best at something can become your passion once you discover that you are good at it and especially if you get positive feedback.

Debbi, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your input. ~Jude

Very true, Debbi - it seems there are quite a few people here in that "do your best at something you're not passionate about" boat, myself included if I'm to be honest. Is it a matter of the means justifying the end, that being the need to make money? There are, however, things that I'm passionate about that make me no money. Yet.
:) george

I was in that boat for over 20 years. I received awards and promotions. It filled the need but didn't inspire me. I didn't wake up every day and say "I can't wait to do this". I'm there now. We'll get to make money with our passion. It takes time, but let's have fun along the way.

Excellent :-) thanks Jude

Thanks for stopping by, Kerri. Appreciate your feedback. ~ Jude

Great post. Sometimes we can use some positive reinforcement. I like your writing style.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. I agree that we all need positive reinforcement sometimes. I appreciate your feedback. ~ Jude

Great post Jude. I agree with you that the need to put bread on the table drives us to identify our skills and interests and then develop them. Once we achieve some success, this should stoke the fire to aspire for more and more.

You're spot on with the order of things, Ian. I know a few people who think they are missing out in life because they have not found their passion yet and I tell them exactly what you have said. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave your comment. I appreciate it.


good info thank you :)

Thanks for stopping by, Eden. I appreciate your feedback. Your VA site is looking good! ~ Jude

Great post Jude.

There are so many ways to live a life, & any way that helps people is wonderful.

Ah, yes, apple...
Steve Wozniak, the creator of apple, yes, he was the passion behind the technology (not quite as well known as the other fella).

Steve Jobs didn't so much have a passion for Apple as he had a passion/drive to succeed. You're on the money re waiting to have a passion in something prior to acting ~ what on earth are you supposed to do in the meantime, certainly don't hold your breath.

Everyone of us 7 bil+ has a story. Mine is that I was more or less born with a passion for art/creativity/visual expression whatever people wish to call it. I have spent many years in horror jobs because I thought (like all those around me ~ 'don't be stupid & follow your passion'). So I filled the gap with wealth. Unfortunately (?), my passion attacked me relentlessly.

Eventually I gave in & now wonder (living off ~ 10% of my former income), why I fought it so hard originally. Of course the millionaire buddies I acquired & matched their 7 figure bank loans are still piling up the gold & of course think I'm absolutely nuts (like everyone else)....

But, in my (personal) case - ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

Thoroughly enjoyable posting as always Jude - Thank you!

Oh the agony and the ecstasy of being born an artist! Life would be pretty meaningless and dull without artists and creative souls like you.

I suspect for you art is like the air you breathe and you gotta breathe!

Thanks for reading, and for your always interesting and valuable input.


A lot of food for thought here.

Grace, thanks for reading. I'm glad you found some food for thought. ~Jude

I agree with you totally.

Hi Virgie, thanks for stopping by and your feedback. ~Jude

Success and money are the rewards for a job well done.
we can discover a passion for many things...and the more we are rewarded the more we can be passionate about them? LOL.
That said, there are many things that I will loath and could never do.
Yup, useful post, thanks!

Exactly, Andy, the rewards fuel our passion to continue doing and creating to receive even more rewards. You got it!

I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading. ~ Jude

If you enjoy what you do , everything comes easy. Passion is a definite plus.

I wrote this post because I have observed people getting stressed out because they can't find their passion. I agree with you, Rod. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. ~ Jude

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