Monday Motivator: Understand the Passion/Pain Ratio

Today I went to Parnassus Books to use a gift card I received for Christmas. I was already in a good mood when I walked in (Books and gift card!). There was an author speaking, and I let his words drift over me as I browsed. But suddenly they stopped drifting. The author was Jon Acuff, a Nashville inspirational speaker who has written several books on setting and achieving goals, a perfect choice for a new year speaker. And he’s also incredibly funny.

He said he once asked a sales clerk at Publix how long she thought most people kept their resolutions. Three weeks, she answered with certainty. He asked how she knew.

“Because that’s when the kale stops selling.”

But he followed that up with a more serious comment. He thinks that we have done the younger generation a disservice by stressing following their passion and not having a fuller discussion about what means. As a result, when things get tedious and/or hard, many think, “This is awful. My passion can’t be awful. This must not be my passion. I’ll find something else.”

But following a passion doesn’t give anyone a pass from the tedious/hard things in life. As Acuff said, for many people, doing the budget brings little happiness.  But if you are going to own your own business or run a household, it has to be done.  When we talk to the young about following passions, we should add the following : When you’re willing to put up with the tedious as well as the fun parts, you’re on the right path.

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