#20 Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Passion

In their book Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, Rath and Harter found that only “20% of people give a strong YES when asked if they like what they do.”   They further found that people with a high level of career satisfaction were more likely to thrive in their lives as a whole.  Twice as likely!

In Guts: Companies That Blow the Doors Off Business-as-Usual and Nuts: Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, Kevin and Jackie Freiberg make a compelling argument for taking care of the employee.  They maintain that companies are nimble because they trust their employees and remove the “black hole” of bureaucratic rules that drain creativity—and productivity.

It really is common sense. Take care of the employees and the employees will take care of the customer. Let the professionals do their jobs; get out of their ways.  This does NOT mean the employer has to make the employee “happy.” It does NOT mean accepting shoddy work. But it DOES mean trusting the employee.

A nibble here and
A nibble there
Before you know it
You’re gasping for air
Energy vampires
The same ol’ tune
Oh, yeah, they suck the air right out of the room!
(“Energy Vampires”—Steve Piscitelli)

Like it or not, we will run into those who want to suck the life right out of us.  We follow our hearts; do what is right; make a difference—and, still, someone is standing in the way. You probably have heard the idiom, “No good deed goes unpunished.” And it can be especially frustrating when the person is a supervisor or someone who can throw some major obstacles in your way. Such is the situation a friend shared with me recently. A tough professional situation is challenging the passion that drives this friend to get up each morning.  What to do? Quit? Ignore it? Confront it? The situation is frustrating and draining.  About the best I could muster was, “Don’t let anyone take your passion.”

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. 
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The more I thought about it, though, that simple statement holds a lot of power.  And it has driven me along in times when I had similar challenges.  (No, it is not easy…but I guess if it were easy, then everybody would be doing it, right?) And when we examine history, we find significant changes made by those who just would not be deterred by huns, philistines, or energy vampires. Years ago, one of my first supervisors made a desk plate for me. I still have it in my office:

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Loosely translated: Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

What has worked for you?

 © Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.

About stevepiscitelli

Facilitator-Author-Teacher
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14 Responses to #20 Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Passion

  1. Darlena H says:

    I completely agree with this entry. Without passion you have nothing. Passion is what drives you daily, monthly, yearly and for the res of your life. Why be miserable doin something you hate when you can do something that gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. Passion is the best thing that can happen you whether you agree with it ir not. Love what you do and do what you love.

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  2. Shontae Clark says:

    I agree with this blog. I believe that passion is the most important thing you need to consider when choosing a career. If your not happy doing what you do it can make things miserable. Days will go a lot slower, and it can also affect your performance. I believe that if you’re not going to give it your all, then you might as well give up. Time should be cherished not wasted.

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  3. Tyson says:

    Passion is a life defining word I have trouble grasping so I defined it. Wiki defined it as “meaning to suffer or to endure, also related to compatible.” That really jumped at me that passion means you must suffer to endure. I hate to admit it but that fits it perfectly. I agree passion if grasped right could make every facet of your life agreeable to the other, as a kind of symbioses. When life pushes, push back don’t allow it to crowed and suffocate you. When your swimming down to your passion don’t let an energy vampire suffocate you passion. When you feel suffocated you swim back up to get air, leaving your dream behind for another attempt. Scary fact is people lose hope and stay on the surface I believe this entry helped me focus a little bit more then were I was.

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  4. Carlton says:

    I learned as a child what passion was all about. i do agree with this blog, if you don’t have it; you will learn what it’s all about as soon as you get into the workforce. If you choose a field to work in you will develop passion for things you love to do.

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  5. Roguens S. says:

    After reading 23 blogs, I discovered it is important to respond to this one. Since I’ve been taking your SLS course I found a lot of positive things that help me to succeed in life. If someone asks me what I want to do in life, sometimes I’m afraid to tell because I don’t want them to change my idea. I always remember this quote, “nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion,”(Georg Whilhem Friedrich Hegel) and it motivates me to follow my passion. I definitely agree with this blog, Mr. Piscitelli.

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  6. Shaniqua Arthur says:

    I will never let anyone take my shine away because when I get to the point where I want to be, I want the spotlight on me and me only. This is the reason I don’t have any kids. It may sound a little selfish but I feel like the passion for business will benefit me in the long run. I will reap the benefits I sow.

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  7. TennilleS says:

    I strongly agree with this passage, I’ve had some vampires in my life struggle that tried to drain the life out of my dreams. But the passion I have to be a nurse has inspired me to come back to school and further my education.

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