Posts Tagged 'friction'

Passion

passion

You have to have passion for what you’re doing if you want to be great. If you don’t love it you’ll quit before you get there. This we’ve all been told or read a number of times before.

The struggle we sometimes find ourselves in is when we try to make something great, even though the passion isn’t there. Or, said another way, we struggle trying to invent or re-ignite passion.

It’s a shame that we put this pressure on ourselves. Because passion, by definition, isn’t very controllable. It’s an emotion. It can be modulated to some extent by our actions and mindset. But like most of our emotions, we don’t have direct access to it. Emotions are driven in part by our intellect. We know the situation we are in, and we know how we feel about it. We can observe much of that taking place and understand it academically, but controlling it is a lot to ask. It’s unreliable, at best. Hard to fight our human nature.

The reality is…we sometimes keep trying to find a way through even when the passion isn’t there. This manifests to different degrees I can summarize into three categories:

  1. Apathy – Giving up. No longer trying. One step away from quitting altogether, which could be the right thing to do once one reaches this point.
  2. Mailing/phoning it in – This has most of the appearances of trying, but it’s usually more for the benefit of all the onlookers than anything. Sometimes we do this for a while, waiting/hoping for that spark (spark) of inspiration to strike.
  3. The Struggle – The gallant effort. Continuing to push and work hard, in spite of evidence that it isn’t doing much good. In spite of that dull, nauseating feeling of discontent. The tricky thing is, when we try hard, we usually do get some results. Often it can be enough to keep us engaged for a while. But in the end we usually know the truth.

Without that intangible thing called passion driving us, it’s virtually impossible to do our best for an extended period of time.

And so…things change. Some people experience more of this than others. Some are better at fighting through and ignoring the underlying feelings than others. I would humbly suggest that no matter which side of this you are on, judging what another person is battling  and how it may be manifesting, is probably a misguided waste of emotional energy. Your passion, your common sense, your background of obviousness is unique to you.

When the fuel tank reaches empty, the car can usually still coast for a while, especially when the wind is favorable, but in the end you gotta’ find something new to be passionate about to really get going and get somewhere.

I’m sorry if this is not the answer you may want.

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The Drain of Friction

ballandchainwomanEvery system has at its outputs results that correlate to the inputs. When riding a bike your forward motion is the sum total of your pedaling energy, plus a wind vector, plus a gravity vector, minus energy lost to friction. All of these are necessary evils, but only friction is always and completely a drain. Wind and hills being what they are, your ultimate battle is against friction. Anything you can do to eliminate friction on your bike (inclusive of the friction of air passing by) will pay long term dividends in results (unless your goal is only to burn energy), and thus professional cyclists spend staggering amounts of money on technology to make bikes waste less of their energy.

Likewise life has its obstacles (wind) and hurdles (hills) that must be overcome. However hard they may be you can be assured that you’re also facing a certain amount of friction in your endeavors. Who and what is holding you back or making things that little bit harder than they should be? Is it necessary?

Like a professional cyclist you owe it to yourself to take an honest look around and assess the affect the components of your life are having on you. Anything or anyone that’s too much of a drain with too little positive input should be de-emphasized or otherwise moved out.

Easy to say in a vacuum, but sometimes we owe people, have commitments, or we just feel like we need to ‘take one for the team.’ That’s certainly part of what must be factored in, but as you do that be mindful of the truth that in many cases you’re allowing these things as part of your own baggage, to make you feel better, or to avoid something difficult, etc.

If possible, start the search in your business (that’s an easier place to be objective). Find the person, philosophy, or process that’s a drain. Get rid of it. There may some positive contributions, but if the net input is negative cut it out. Just try it. You’ll usually find two more drains hiding in the shadows behind it that you never could have seen. When you see how much better things work without the unnecessary energy drain you will be inspired to look for more opportunities.

Only then can you begin to fight off the fear of change and start to see it rationally.


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