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How to Succeed by Finding Your Passion

Reaching Your Personal Goals

At the end of this and every other day, when you finally lie down to rest for the night, what do you think or dream about? Do you think about the things you may want to accomplish with your life? Do you dream about your hopes and wishes for the future? Do you see yourself playing some big league sport, teaching a college class or running a business that you have started? Dreaming and thinking about your future is important and, although the possibilities may change often, this is “good work” for you to do.

It is never too early to start thinking about your future. Though you may think so, time is not on your side. Time has a way of passing quickly, and you will be “out in the real world” sooner than you may think.

“But I’m so young,” you may be saying to yourself. “How can a teenager possibly know what he or she wants to accomplish?” The truth is that we start getting “clues” to what we want to do in life at a relatively early age. By the time we reach our early teens, we already can name one or more things we are passionate about. It can be most anything – sports, technology, music, the arts, science, fashion design…and on we go. As we start to get these “clues” (personal interests), we can benefit greatly by stopping and thinking what one of these interests might mean to us long term.

FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important
as what you become by achieving them.”
Henry David Thoreau

The most important ingredient in achieving your goals is passion. “Signing on” to something that you are passionate about can take you just about anywhere. Intelligence, connections and courage may all help, but nothing can trump passion. The truly successful person is almost always one who is extremely passionate about his or her endeavor.

There are many standards used to define “success.” Some people measure success by the size of a person’s bank account. Others measure it based upon a person’s power or influence. And still others measure success by one’s level of happiness or joy in life. We here at GCGL think that success is simply finding and doing something that you are passionate about. The important thing is not money, but rather doing something that you really love to do.

With this in mind, it is best to set goals around something you like. By identifying your interests and hopefully your passions, you can set goals that are important to you and then have fun in the process of actually achieving them.

For example, if you have a passion for baseball, you might start by joining a team, and learning and practicing the game. When you make the team, you may then want to establish a goal to make it as the starter at your favorite position. You may also set some hitting goals – working to improve your batting average, for example. With each goal achieved, you will not only learn to play baseball, but you will learn about the process of setting and achieving goals. And, again, doing something that you enjoy is the key to achieving the goals you may establish for yourself.

REACHING YOUR GOALS

“The only person you should try to be better than
is the person you were yesterday.”
Author Unknown

In a recent interview for Sports Illustrated Kids, L. A. Dodgers great Yasiel Puig discussed his passion for baseball and his goals (and training) as a child. Puig started learning the game of baseball very early in life, and he worked at it virtually every day. He noted that, more than anything else, “a daily, consistent effort” was key to his success.

Here is an outline for following Puig’s advice and accomplishing an important goal:

  • Follow your passion, set a goal that “fits” into something that you want to do and make a genuine commitment to achieving it.
  • Develop a plan. Depending on your goal, you may need a coach or instructor to help you develop your plan. Make daily, weekly, and monthly benchmarks, put them in writing and place them on your calendar or where you can review them every day.                         
  • Start now. And again, keep at it daily – just like Puig.
  • Keep track of your progress by marking off your benchmarks. Nothing will keep you more motivated than actually seeing your progress. 
  • Never give up. Remember, the important thing is to achieve the goal – not how fast the goal is achieved. Giving up only ensures one thing – failure.
  • Work as long as it takes to reach your dream. Whatever it is, if it is truly your passion and something that you really enjoy, this will be a “work of pleasure” whatever time it takes.                                

The strategy outlined will help you achieve any goal. Let’s face it, there are goals we must set that we are not passionate about. For example, in order to do well in school, you must set goals relating to your reading, doing your homework and preparing for tests. The goal-achieving plan outlined above can be applied to the “not so much fun” goals of doing well in calculus, world history and other academic endeavors. 

CHOOSING TO GET BACK UP

“Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. 
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, 
for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, 
but the staying down.” 
-Mary Pickford

Take a minute and think of someone you consider to be very successful. Now, if you had the chance to (and, if you do, feel free to do so) ask him or her if they ever “fell down” or “missed the mark” or “outright failed” on their way to success. What do you think their answer would be? It will always be “yes.”

Falling down is an integral part of becoming successful, and teaches us valuable lessons. These lessons include learning not to give up, the feeling and value of overcoming adversity, and ultimately, the priceless feeling of success that comes from true effort.

The sense of accomplishment from earning success cannot be matched. It is the greatest feeling in the world when you look back at all the hardships you had to overcome, all the effort you had to put forth, and all the defeats you endured to reach your goal.

And once you have a taste of your definition of success, you will become better and better at it. Learning to follow your passion is one of the most valuable lessons one can ever attain. It is also one of life’s most important lessons – for succeeding provides meaning and joy to life. And, simply put, that is what life is all about.

Written by Shawn Jackson

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“There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela