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The Passion Principles

Contents

1. Pursuit of Passion

2. Perception of Passion

3. Pain of Passion

4. Pleasure of Passion

5. Presence of Passion

6. Precision of Passion

7. Persistence of Passion

8. Payment of Passion

9. Plurality of Passion

10. Payoff of Passion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Passion Principles

 

Dennis Houchin

 

© 2016 Dennis Houchin

All rights reserved

Distributed by Shakespir

Published by Ad Hoc Press

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.Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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ISBN 978-0-9861205-3-4

 

Rev. 1606.00

 

 

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CHAPTER ONE

  • Pursuit of Passion*

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It is possible that you know people like two of my friends. Both are in comparable financial situations.  Both are nearing the end of their careers as they approach retirement.  Both have worked hard for their respective company for many years.  Both are competent and stable and well qualified for the work they do. One of them loves what they are doing, looks for innovative changes and improvements to make in their job, is excited about future projects and plans, and is not thinking too much about retirement plans. The other dutifully goes to work every day, does everything that the job requires, and no more.  They cannot wait for the end of each workday and for the end of each workweek. Much of their time is spent thinking (and worrying) about retirement.  They admit that they are just biding their time until that day arrives. A brief conversation with each of these individuals makes it clear that the former has a much greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with their life than the other does.

 

With most other factors being equal or comparable, there is one factor that stands out as different between the two.  And that is the presence of authentic passion.

Some people know exactly what they are passionate about.  They have a grand vision to change the world in some way.  You may be one of those people.  You may already know the legacy that you want to leave the world with before this earthly life ends.  But many people do not have that clarity.  They are confused, sometimes depressed,  by the question, “What is your passion?”.  People who know what their passion is and actively engage in pursuing that passion lead more fulfilling lives.

 

Authentic passion provides a motivating, driving force that propels a person forward. Authentic passion makes it nearly impossible to fail. Authentic passion will carry you through the darkest hours and the most trying times. While everyone that strives to succeed, everyone that has the courage to leave their comfort zone, everyone that is willing to try to make a positive impact on some corner of the world will face difficulties and hardships along the way, those who are driven by authentic passion will persevere and will not allow the unavoidable obstacles to become insurmountable barriers.

 

But not all passion is authentic passion. One type of passion flares like a bright flash, erupting in an explosion of emotion, positive or negative, that often results in remarkable action. The wild and uncontrolled expression of fans of the winning team at the climax of football game, or even the violent expression of fans of a losing team at a futbol game are fueled by this type of passion. But this type of passion will not sustain a person for any length of time and will dissipate quickly.

 

Another type of passion results in a strong, potentially lasting, emotional connection which again can be either positive or negative. The object of this passion can be a person, an object, an animal, a place or an ideal. The result of this type of passion can be intense love, attraction and devotion. But this type of passion does not always lead in a healthy direction. This type of passion can also result in intense hatred, repulsion and scorn.

 

Authentic passion, which we will explore more thoroughly in this book, is a passion that is grounded on your deepest core values and one that consistently draws you up into the highest heights of your higher consciousness. A life lived with authentic passion will always result in a fulfilling life, well lived, having a positive impact on others. Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men of his day, had an authentic passion to promote peace and disseminate knowledge and understanding throughout the world. This passion brought him great wealth. Adjusted for inflation, he had over twice the amount of money that Bill Gates has, the world’s richest man in 2016. Andrew Carnegie gave nearly all of his money away and even today, nearly a hundred years after his death, continues to do so through the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Mahatma Gandhi had an authentic passion that was very similar to Andrew Carnegie’s, however although he followed a path that led to a fulfilled and satisfied life, it was not a life of financial wealth but of poverty. A life lived with authentic passion will be a successful and fulfilling life, though it may not be life of ease or of great financial riches.

 

The principles of authentic passion described in the remaining pages will help you to understand how to recognize authentic passion, how to cultivate it, and how to harness that passion in your own life to propel you through a successful, fulfilling life.

 

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CHAPTER TWO

  • Perception of Passion*

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When I wrote The Achievement Protocol in 2015, I put forward a process for achieving goals, small goals like earning a degree or learning how to ride a motorcycle – as well as large goals – like reaching a life long dream of becoming a singer or curing cancer. The process of achieving small goals and large are the same, however because large goals require so much more time and energy than the smaller goals, they need to be fueled by an authentic passion. Without this passion, we will be at a disadvantage when we encounter obstacles.

After publishing The Achievement Protocol, where I only hinted at the importance of having an authentic passion, one of the questions that I heard the most was, “How do I know what my passion is?”  I discuss a process in the book of creating a Vision based on Core Values, but I thought it would be helpful to share some more specific thoughts on passion with you here.

Passion is something that actually springs forth from our deepest system of core values.  Core values are those core beliefs that we hold internally.  They are the basic assumptions that we make about reality.  They affect all of our perceptions and influence the choices we make.  Sometimes they are held so deeply that we are no longer consciously aware of them or their influence over us.

Core values are built early in our life, but they are subject to change as we grow and mature and have experiences that either validate or refute those core values.

By examining our core values, we can begin to see where our true passions have their roots.

 

 

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CHAPTER THREE

  • Pain of Passion*

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One of the reasons that some people have a hard time identifying their passion is that they don’t have a precise understanding of what the word actually means, or rather, it’s original meaning. They don’t understand the origin of the word.  ‘Passion’ has come to be used synonymously with desire or love, particularly in the past 200 years.  Desire and love can certainly be a part of passion, however those ideas are only fragments of what authentic passion truly is.

 

Passion is derived from a word meaning pain or suffering.  At first glance, this seems counter-intuitive.  There aren’t too many people that think that pain is the same as love and desire. But the word passion has it’s origin in the 12th century when it was used to describe the pain and suffering of Jesus, who suffered greatly because He loved greatly.

If you look at our strongest and most important desires, you see that all our desires that are worthwhile, all those things we truly love, come at some cost.  For example, if our desire is to become a top expert at anything, the cost for that is going to be free or discretionary time.  Instead of hanging out with friends or socializing whenever we like, we are going to have to forgo some of those activities and devote the time to study and practice.  In Outliers – The Story of Success, Malcom Gladwell said that it seems to take about 10,000 hours of hard practice to achieve world class greatness in a field.  10,000 hours of free time is a lot to give up and a burden if you have to give it up for something about which you are not passionate. In fact, it  would probably be more  ‘painful’ that most would care to endure.  But if you have to give something up in order to get something for which you have great passion, you will do it gladly and not allow the pain, discomfort, or burden to dissuade you from your goal.

 

Scientists are aware that working towards goals and achieving them release neurotransmitters. Dopamine is associated with well being and feeling good, while endorphins are associated with easing pain. This can explain why we are able to tolerate more pain – physical, psychological, or emotional – when we are consumed with working toward our passion.

Thus the degree of authentic passion that we have for a particular goal is proportional to the degree of pain suffering we are able and willing to endure in pursuit of that goal. In the chapter on Presence of Passion, I will relate a personal story that more dramatically demonstrates this relationship between passion and pain.

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CHAPTER FOUR

  • Pleasure of Passion*

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Beyond the pain that is associated with passion, is the pleasure that we get as we pursue our passion.  It is this pleasure, caused by the release of dopamine in our brains, that leads to good feelings, a sense of well being and an eagerness to take the next step.  These good feelings that we experience propel us onward and provide us with much more energy that we would otherwise have.

Just as pursuit of a passion causes the release of endorphins which enable us to tolerate pain, the release of dopamine energizes us and heightens our motivation to continue on.

 

The effect that this has on the other areas of our lives cannot be overstated. Pursuing our passion causes us to have a more positive view of life and the world around us. Even though our passion may take us into the streets and sewers of Calcutta or the war ravaged villages of Northern Nigeria, we feel a connectedness and a sense of purpose that gives us inner peace. Missionaries, who are typically volunteers that are pursuing their passion, often see some of the darkest areas of the world and some of the darkest areas of the human condition. Their matter-of-fact reports of the suffering and misery they see are evidence that they are not blinded to the realities around them. But their expressions of the love and joy that they have for the people that they serve demonstrate that the pain they see, and the pain they feel, is not enough to prevent them from pursuing their passion with joy, love, and gratitude.

When we are engaged in pursuing our passion, we feel better about ourselves and have a more positive view of the world around us. 

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CHAPTER FIVE

Presence of Passion

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Some people may think that they have no passion, however, anyone that has not had a lobotomy is capable of having a passion.  Unfortunately, society and the environments that we are raised in can have a way of stomping the passion out of us before we are able to allow it to crystallize in our lives.

Children that are passionate are often discouraged from pursuing a passion that strays too far from societal norms.  Children that are searching for and attempting to fine tune their passion are told that they are just fantasizing and need to get their head out of the clouds and keep their feet on the ground. And sometimes this is true, but often it is not.

My son, Wayne, developed an interest in performing magic at a young age. I could see that it seemed to be more than a passing interest for him.  We discussed the possibility of making a career out of it and I explained that besides the potential upsides, there were also significant downsides that he should consider.  We talked it out and he concluded that he was willing to experience the consequential pain that could be expected.  This demonstrated to me that it was indeed a passion for him.  He held his first public performance at the age of twelve. That was in 1995 and from that point on he has made a living as a professional magician.  He travels internationally with his wife, lecturing at conferences, teaching magic to other magicians, creating magic, and writing and producing his own performances.  Although some of the details have changed and he has made adjustments in his goals along the way – he has been consistent about pursuing his passion and at the age of 33 already has over 20 years of experience in his chosen profession.

All along the way, there have been societal challenges to his pursuit of this unorthodox profession.  He has been ridiculed and discouraged by people that he had respected.  He was physically attacked on television and viciously burned by a television host in the Dominican Republic, resulting in severe burns to his hands and face, requiring weeks of hospital care and recovery.  His recovery is complete and miraculous, due in part, I am certain, to the fact that he was fully engaged in pursuit of his authentic passion of bringing joy, inspiration and a sense of wonder to people of all ages and backgrounds through the art of magic. A passion that would not be shaken by mere physical trauma.

 

Like a beautiful sculpture that is waiting inside a block of marble, to be revealed by the careful hand of the sculptor, authentic passions are already present within us. We need only discover then cultivate those passions and reveal them in our lives in order to find success and fulfillment.

 

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CHAPTER SIX

Precision of Passion

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Because our core values can change or become more precise overtime, our passions can change. Continuing with the example of my son, if circumstances were such that he became influenced by a comedian he may have shifted directions and made different career choices.  But as long as his choices were consistent with his core values, he would enjoy the same level  of passion and level of satisfaction. 

Since my teen age years, I have been passionate about helping others make the most of  the resources that were available to them.  While I attended college in 1978, this began to crystallize in the form of a career in information technology,  helping small business owners utilize computer resources to run their businesses more effectively.  After working for computer distributors for 15 years, I started my own business in 1994 and have operated as an independent technology consultant for over 20 years.  Recently, my passion has begun to manifest in the direction of writing to help others live more fulfilling and authentic lives.  That is why I wrote The Achievement Protocol and why I am writing this piece on passion. 

So even though your  passion may take a particular form at one time in your life, it can also shift into another direction at some other point.  If you understand the core values behind your passion, you will be better able to navigate those shifts with confidence.

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Persistence of Passion

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 When you have found your passion, you will find that it is very persistent.  Even though it may manifest differently at different stages in your life, it will always manifest in a way that is true to the underlying core value. 

 

Authentic passion is not whimsical and does not change with the phases of the moon or with the ups and downs of everyday living. Of course as we discussed in the section on Precision, it may develop and evolve overtime, as your understanding and experience of life develop and evolve. But although it may evolve, you can usually look back and see that it is still connected with the fundamental core values that you started with.

If your passion seems to run hot and cold – if you seem to be passionate about one subject this week, and a completely different subject next week, you might want to  reflect on your core values – perhaps there is an underlying core value that connects these apparently disparate interests.  Or perhaps you have not clearly identified your core value and the resulting passion.

 

Even though your authentic passion is persistent, you may nonetheless encounter periods of great doubt; times when you wonder whether you are truly on the right path, whether you truly have the ability, or whether you truly have the right passion. These periods can be quite intense and result in a feeling of great despair. Mystics have long referred to such periods as the “Dark Night of the Soul”. Consider these periods to be simple tests. If you persevere through these feelings you will eventually come to feel reconnected with your passion and will have the reassurance that you are indeed moving in the right direction. You may in fact feel an even greater awareness of the importance of the path that you are on.

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Payment of Passion

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If you discover your passion early enough in your life, it can be fairly easy make a career of it.  You can choose vocational or educational paths that align with your passion.  If you choose a career that allows you to express your passion, you will be more fulfilled and happier at work than those who are in their jobs or careers for only practical reasons concerning money, tradition, or  convenience.

 

Most of us are ready to discover our passion by the time we reach puberty. It is at this time, according to Jean Piaget, that we have developed mentally and emotionally to the point that we are able to really recognize and appreciate moral values and to think in abstract terms.

In The Achievement Protocol, I mention four keys to becoming successful: Discover your passion, discover a way to serve others using that passion, figure out how to monetize that service, then manage the money that you earn carefully.

Nearly any true passion founded on authentic core values can be monetized in a way that will let you make a respectable living. 

It is important to note, that success, as I use it here, does not necessarily mean rich or famous, your passion may lead you into a career path that doesn’t actually pay very well.  But if you are able to spend your life doing what you are passionate about, you will be much more fulfilled than if you spend the precious moments of your life ignoring your passion in pursuit of money alone. Bob Dylan once said, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning, gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

We should not measure success by bank accounts filled with money, but rather by moments filled with joy and gratitude. Pursuing your passion vigorously and relentlessly will bring you those moments.

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CHAPTER NINE

Plurality of Passion

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Because passion is rooted in our core values, and we have multiple core values, we can have multiple passions. Usually one is dominant and receives most of our attention.

One person may be passionate about helping the poor, and at the same time be passionate about raising a strong family, also passionate about art. Some of your passions are better suited to earning a living than others are, but all of your passions can be pursued – though perhaps not all at the same time.

 

You may have heard the story of Grandma Moses. She had a lifelong interest in creating art. She did some painting in her youth, using natural juices for color, but after she started a family, she expressed her art in sewing, needlecraft and knitting, making decorations or clothing for family and friends. She did this throughout her long life until arthritis made it impossible to for her to work with those materials, so at the tender age of 78 she began painting again, and selling her work. Initially her paintings sold for a few dollars, but eventually she was selling work for $8,000 and more.

 

In the book of Ecclesiastes, it is written, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” So if you have multiple passions, don’t feel like you have to pick just one and release all of the others. Just be aware that you may have difficulty pursuing all of them with the same vigor at the same time.

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CHAPTER TEN

Payoff of Passion

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By now you should know the payoff or the benefit of living a life in vigorous pursuit of an authentic passion. You will feel a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with your life. You may find you can gain greater financial success with less stress and less drudgery.

 

You will also find that pursuing your passion puts you ‘in the zone’ enabling you to perform at very high levels and allowing you to overcome obstacles with grace and ease. You will not be troubled by the ‘little things’ that life throws at you because you will be able to see them within the context of your passion, which is far greater than the problems you encounter.

 

Socrates once proclaimed that “The unexamined life, is not worth living.” If you are pursuing an authentic passion, then you demonstrate that you have examined your life to discover that passion. And as you pursue your passion, you will find the need to occasionally reexamine your life to see whether your passions actually reflect your core values and whether your actions are consistent with your passions.

 

Pursue your passion. Start now. Period.

 

Dennis Houchin

Author of The Achievement Protocol

http://adhocpress.com

 

FREE COMPANION DOWNLOAD

You are entitled to a free high resolution copy of this attractive, concise summary to help keep these principles in front of you.

 

 

This beautiful summary, is suitable for framing and condensed from the text of this book. This concise summary is available for free at http://bonus.adhocpress.com/passion616

 

 


The Passion Principles

Passion is a critical element of a success and fulfilling life. But the word 'passion', as we understand it today, is only a diluted version of the original concept. The principles described in this book will breathe new life into an old word and take the mystery out of how using passion can enrich your life. Understanding and applying these principles will lead to a more satisfying, happier and more peace filled life. Whether you have a passion, but are not satisfied with your life, or you think you don't have a passion at all, the principles in this book will help you develop an authentic passion that has real power to transform your life.

  • ISBN: 9780986120534
  • Author: Dennis Houchin
  • Published: 2016-06-24 05:20:09
  • Words: 3929
The Passion Principles The Passion Principles