Do You Need Passion To Succeed

Last Update: September 24, 2016

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 the green button - it loves to be clicked!

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Damien Lane Premium
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!
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judebanks Premium
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.

~Jude
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gracesystem Premium
A lot of food for thought here.
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judebanks Premium
Grace, thanks for reading. I'm glad you found some food for thought. ~Jude
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vhamilton Premium
I agree with you totally.
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judebanks Premium
Hi Virgie, thanks for stopping by and your feedback. ~Jude
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nomda ploom Premium
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!
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judebanks Premium
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
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rodc711 Premium
If you enjoy what you do , everything comes easy. Passion is a definite plus.
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judebanks Premium
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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