Passion and desire are not the same. Knowing the difference between the two can determine whether you’re moving through your career in an inspired or exhausted state.
Passion for the work being done is unconditional, focused, and consistent. The energy brought to the experience doesn’t change because a milestone is missed, conflicts with teammates occur, or when solutions come slowly. Passion is about wonder and discovery.
Desire presents itself with similar energy, drive and determination. And while noble in that it fuels ambition, desire starts from a place of lacking something; it’s about obtaining that which is not yet possessed. This fact makes it susceptible to darker days.
An unrelenting determination to get something that always seems out of reach wears people out. Because It fatigues us, confidence slowly seeps away. Frustration ensues. And the thought appears that frighten every achiever: Maybe I’m not good enough after all.
Passion, especially that which is combined with purpose and skill, energizes and inspires. Whatever the outcomes, the passionate teammate accepts what is occurring and responds with their whole heart. They are as invested in the process as much as the outcome. It’s the intimate experience of excellence in the moment that they desire.
The bewildered professional is often the one who began their career with tremendous passion. But then, somewhere along the way, they bought into an idea that they’d be happier if they got more; they wanted a greater reward than the experience of excellence in the moment. Their passion transformed into desire. And with it, disillusionment followed.
You can be passionate anytime you want to. What’s required are questions that stir the heart: What do I love about my craft? What’s more important to me: demonstrating excellence now or when I get what I want? How is this event – as terrible or as exhilarating as it is – an opportunity for me to demonstrate my whole heart is in it?
The energy of passion is yours: seize it.