“…That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus. He drifted through much of his career, with no plan or agenda, going from one assignment to the next, never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves… He learned to play it safe – and he never, ever, got noticed by anyone.” -Q, StarTrek-The Next Generation: Tapestry

About a week ago, a friend of mine in California sent me an email with a link to a blog post. The post was about getting a job and he wanted to know some of my thoughts on the information in the post. The information was from Guy Kawasaki, former marketing evangelist for Apple Computer and now venture capitalist. Kawasaki typically writes with his tongue firmly in his cheek. But he made some very salient points on this post. We would do well to heed these ideas even if we aren’t looking for a job in Silicon Valley.

You need Passion To Succeed

The biggest piece of advice Kawasaki offered was listed at the top before everything else. He wrote you needed  to have passion for what you do or what you want to do. This meant you weren’t:

  • Investigating the viability of this particular opportunity.
  • Doing your research.
  • Out to see if this stuff really works.

This means that you are 100%, totally, and completely committed to what you want to do.

You have to be so excited about your endeavor that you are willing to jump in with both feet. Passionate people love what they do and they reach their goals regardless of any obstacles.

Passionate people are willing to bet on themselves and make things happen. They aren’t afraid of making a mistake or two. And they sweep everyone else along in the excitement.

I like what Tom Peters stated in his book, ReImagine:

[inlinetweet]“If you’re only dipping your toe in the water, don’t expect splashy results.”[/inlinetweet]

Changing Your Mindset about Passion and Work

For as long as I can remember, I was told that at some point in my life, I would have to grow up, stop playing, and take on some responsibility. Work was not something that you enjoyed, but tolerated because you had to do it. You did the stuff you enjoyed after you put in your eight hours or after you retired.

Passion was not a part of the equation.

Back then, people who enjoyed their work were considered workaholics with deep-seated psychological issues. This may have been a formula for success in the 60s and the 70s. Today, however, if you aren’t enjoying what you do in your job and career, you’re headed for disaster.

Dan Kennedy, one of the top direct marketers in the country, states in his No BS business book series that he doesn’t consider himself a workaholic, even if he does work 20 hours out of the day. He simply loves what he does. He doesn’t consider what he does work. As far as he is concerned, he’s playing, and he makes some serious money in the process.

Dale Carnegie Talked about Passion and Enthusiasm

Another word for passion is enthusiasm.

Dale Carnegie wrote that enthusiasm is the little recognized secret of success. He even wrote a small booklet on enthusiasm that we give out to all participants of the Dale Carnegie Course. The only other way to get one of these booklets is to convince someone who has taken the course to give you theirs.

Back then, Dale Carnegie recognized that in every successful endeavor that he undertook, enthusiasm was a key factor. His enthusiasms and passion eventually led to the creation of the Dale Carnegie programs that we have today.

So if you are looking for a promotion, are about to go on a job interview, or you are about to start a business, take time out between reviewing the corporate websites and ask yourself:

  1. Am I excited about what these people are creating?
  2. Are the people that work there excited about what they are doing?
  3. Are the people that buy the product excited about the product and the company?
  4. If I project myself 6 months into the future after the day I they hire me, am I still excited about what I am doing for the company?

Bottom line, discover where your passion lies, find a company that’s doing the same thing, and show the executives there how you can help them. You will have a lot more fun in the process over doing the same thing that everyone else is doing.

At the end of the day, doing what you enjoy and having fun is what life is really all about.