Consistency over passion.
On taking action.
Passion. It's one of those elusive, somewhat undefinable words that is regularly used in the form of advice, articles, and "key to success" speeches. People tell us to find our passion, and how that will lead to successful careers. People tell us to use passion as our motivator every day, driving us to be hyper productive, energetic, and unfailing. People use passion to define the world's most successful leaders and entrepreneurs. But here's my problem with passion...
Passion isn't actionable.
There is no way to bottle it. There is no formula to find it. There is no class teaching it. Passion is a vague, misconstrued word that has a different definition for everyone that uses it. When my best friend Jordan passed away in May 2007 "Live life with passion" was used as the slogan of his funeral (& thus his life), and is still used today by myself, his friends, and his family. To me, "Live life with passion" means living each day the way I know Jordan would be living today - with love, creativity, and a refusal to accept mediocrity. But that's my personal definition of passion relative to my relationship to Jordan. Give that same advice to someone else and it will mean something completely different.
Taken at face value, people might run with believing that passion is all they need each day, and that will somehow lead to achieving their goals and dreams. But passion is fleeting. It's disrupted by our mood. It's derailed by motivation. It's as unreliable as the weatherman. When it comes to finding success day in and day out, I think it's much more important to focus on something more definable...
Consistency means I wake up early every day and write. Consistency means I'm planning out my day, hour by hour, each and every week. Consistency means I have a system to organize my day. Consistency means I show up and do the work I said I would do. It's the consistency of applied effort, after all, that gets us where we want to be. It's the consistency of applied effort that makes sure our growth is not in the control of a fleeting emotion or spurt of motivation.
I wake up each and every day with the intention of living life with passion, the way I know Jordan would want me to. And you know how I do it? By simply showing up and doing the work.