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The Fitness Zone

Authentic Passion: A New Energy System
March 24, 2015

What is authentic passion?

Authentic passion does not refer to the strong emotions that overtake rational thinking in the blink of an eye. It's the energy that provides us with focus and direction. This energy comes from within, compelling us to move externally to engage with the world and is also responsible for producing creativity among us.

A person under the influence of this energy can be described as a risk- taking explorer. They are driven by the desire to learn, which in turn drives their performance to the next level. People under the influence are not content with being just bystanders - they have an overwhelming urge to experience things for themselves and test their own capabilities.

Types of passion

The study by John Hagel defines two types of passion – the passionate believers and the passionate explorers. Passionate believers are passionate about one path, so much so that at times they become blind to critical input.

Passionate explorers on the other hand, see a domain rather a specific path and are open to a variety of different inputs. This helps them to discover more paths within that domain that could be of value. They balance the need to move forward and to be present in the moment, with reflecting on the experiences and inputs they are encountering. This is authentic passion!

It is important to not confuse passion with happiness. Passion comes from the Latin word “pati” meaning suffering or enduring. We forgo a lot when we pursue our passions and often make significant sacrifices, which can be frustrating. There is an intense desire to move faster and deeper, but then we will encounter obstacles from all sides. Challenges however, do not discourage a passionate person. For them, it is a natural consequence of desiring something so deeply and they are motivated to confront any obstacle that may arise. A passionate person persists until they find a way over, under or around it. Passionate people have a committed relationship to performance; they have their own performance measures to keep them on track and continually identify their own performance gaps.

Authentic passion and career success

Ultimately, you need to find your passion and link it to your career or business. Passionate people are driven by intrinsic motivation and when their passions are aligned with their profession, rather than external factors and rewards, they are unstoppable.

Passionate professionals move forward, seek new horizons and are inspired by new possibilities. In fulfilling their visions, they are willing to test themselves and are also willing to fail. In fact, it is their willingness to fail that is their competitive advantage, combined with resilience to get themselves back on track.

Authentically passionate people have a different view of failure. Since passion comes from within, the fear of risk is transformed to the pursuit of rewards. Passionate people view risks as the way to discover new things and explore new territories. For this reason passionate people thrive in times of high uncertainty and disruption and resist structured monotonous processes.

Continuing to stay motivated

There are times when you will just want to stay in bed on that cold, winter morning. Even those who are the most passionate about their goals will feel this way. There are some simple ways that you can help to stay motivated, even when you’re really not feeling like it.

  • Real Rewards. Some people may think about the overall goals such as “better health” or :losing weight”, but it’s important to reward yourself, even for small steps. You may give yourself a reward of a smoothie from a juice bar in the shopping centre or perhaps you can watch a few episodes of your favourite TV show if you get to the gym first. Providing real rewards when you make a step in the right direction is important to staying motivated.

  • Sign a commitment contract. Saying we’re going to do something is one thing, but being accountable in some shape or form can be the motivation you need to get to the gym. By allowing a friend or family member to be in on your goals, you can be held accountable by them if you fail to follow through with your goal. It may be as simple as saying you’ll go to three gym classes a week. If and when you miss a class, you need to pay a penalty. Whether it’s paying your friend $20 for not going to a class or whether they have the knowledge you failed at a goal, you may find that you’re just that little bit more motivated to go if someone is keeping tabs on you.

  • Get Paid. Studies looking at monetary gain and exercise found that those getting paid to go to the gym had a doubled attendance rate. Paying someone money to exercise increased their attendance and ensured they stuck to their workout schedule. If you don’t have a friend or relative willing to pay you to go to the gym, it could be as easy as ensuring that you put money aside to pay yourself. You could put it in a jar or in a specific bank account that cannot be touched until you reach a particular goal. How much you decide to pay is up to you, but even if you just pay yourself $5 each time you go, a five day a week schedule means that at the end of the year, you’ll have yourself a cool $1,300 (which would be perfect for a relaxing holiday away).

Passion is important at both a personal and community level to maintain sustainable jobs and businesses. We must start capitalising on our own passion. Begin to consider if you are moved by authentic passion. Have you developed it? Are you willing to take a RISK to find this passion within you? How is your relationship to risk at the moment? For the fitness community, what would it look like if we were all passionate explorers against SeDs?

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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