They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I can’t say I have the first clue who they are, but I can say this: Flattering others is not a roadmap to success. Therefore, despite what you may have heard, imitating others is of questionable benefit when it comes to being successful.
Passion is an integral component of the human experience. We all have things that we are passionate about. Some of our passions are learned, and some of them are present from the time we are born, almost as if they are ingrained as part of our DNA.
But whether a passion is learned or inherited they all have one thing in common: Our passions are the fuel for our success in life. Passion is what keeps us motivated, without it, few of us are able to sustain anything over the long haul.
Passion has obvious symptoms.
It is easy to identify those that are passionate about what they are doing in life. They all have the following two traits in common:
- They have been doing what they do for a long time.
- They still enjoy it.
That’s it. It really isn’t anymore complicated than that. If a person is not passionate about what they are doing, they will with absolute certainty burn out. At this point, unless there is some outside influence or obligation preventing it, they will stop doing it.
Change is not a substitute for passion.
I dare you to name one truly successful person in history who became successful doing something they were not passionate about.
Did you think of anyone yet?
In the absence of passion, many people settle for change. Change provides short-term excitement because it usually brings with it a new experience or challenge which can temporarily compensate for a lack of passion. A new job that is not your dream job will be more enjoyable simply because it is new and you have not yet had time to become bored or otherwise disillusioned.
Those lacking in passion never stick with anything for a long period of time and are constantly searching for the next thing. They are either not sure of what they really want to do, or they believe what they really want to do is not realistic. Consequently, they fall victim to what I call the “anything but this” syndrome.
People suffering from ATBT syndrome often find themselves getting on board with somebody else’s passion.
Virtually everyone has at some point in time had a friend try to get them involved in a network marketing company at least once. Many people decide to give it a try, usually because the promise of “big money” and “passive income”. Both of these are worthy goals as well as very enticing carrots being dangled, especially to those who are not passionate about what they are already doing.
Bit the reality is that most people who try network marketing fail miserably. A few of those who fail blame the specific product or company and move on to the next one. But the majority of network marketing failures decide that it’s all a scam after all, and swear off it completely.
Both groups could not be more wrong. No one fails at network marketing because of the product, or the company, or the business model in general. Network marketing is not scam, and is in fact a proven and effective business model that has created some very wealthy people.
The sole reason for failure it network marketing is a lack of passion. Would be network marketers fail because they do not like doing it. They do not enjoy performing the actions necessary to be a success, or they do not care about the product they are selling, or both.
And that’s okay!
Passions aren’t always obvious, even to those who have them.
Discovering what your true passions are can sometimes be difficult. Often it is a matter of trial and error.
In elementary school I used to be very good at art class. I would easily turn out projects that were among the best in the class. I recall making a charcoal drawing of a manatee in grade three that I was immensely proud of. It looked very much like the photo reference, it was perfectly proportioned, the shading was realistic.
For years I tried to duplicate that success on my own. But try as I might, I never could. Nothing I created outside or art class was ever any good. They problem was, as much as I wanted the ability to create good art, without the structure of a classroom, I no longer had the patience or the passion to see a drawing through to completion.
Later on I would discover that I was much more at home with photography as a form of visual art. I liked the instant gratification aspect of photography, I like being able to visualize the scene in real-time. I enjoyed mixing art with the technology of the camera and the computer.
Inspiration, not imitation.
The biggest trap people who have not discovered or acknowledged their passion(s) fall into is adopting someone else’s.
It is natural and healthy to be inspired by the success of others. It is risky to attempt to copy it outright.
If the passion is not your own, you will lose interest and quit. It is not a question of if, but when. You cannot use fuel that is in someone else’s car. Boredom is the enemy of success.
You will face uphill battle anyway. It’s already been done, is there anything new you can bring to the table? If the other guy is passionate and your are not, do you really think you can complete effectively? If you have a choice, wouldn’t you rather enter a race you have a chance of winning?
You have to stand out in this world. The only way to do that is to be yourself, promote yourself, and recognize that personality is king. Think of yourself as a brand. Do you want to be Tom Hanks? Sure you do, as long as Tom Hanks didn’t already exist, but he does. If you try to be Tom Hanks the best you’ll be is an actor that kind of reminds people of Tom Hanks.
Don’t get me wrong. It is possible to have the same passion as someone else. But do not confuse passion with admiration. I admire the success of John Chow, and I an inspired by him, but if I tried to imitate what he has done I would crash and burn. Though I certainly enjoy making money online, I am not excited or interested in many of the methods John has used. For me, making money can only be a side effect, not the passion itself.
These same principles apply to every aspect of life. The quickest way to fail is to quit, and the greatest guarantee that you’ll quit is not being interested in the first place.