The secret to true success can be unlocked by three words. Just ask any successful celebrity about their secret — and they will tell you the same. The three simple but powerful words that reveal the secret to success are:
Find — your — passion
No matter how old you are, where you come from, or what your understanding of success is – if you find your passion, you will be able to crack the secret to success. Specifically, it is the secret to your success.
What is success?
Success is defined as the fulfillment of an aim or purpose. Since everyone’s understanding of the word “aim” or “purpose” varies, so does the meaning of success. For some, success means being popular or being rich. For others, success means having a fulfilled life and being happy.
As actor Denzel Washington described success: “Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.”
No matter what your definition of success might be, the three magic words Find Your Passion will help you to discover it.
It is stunning how many people (young or old) never even look for success. During the past 30 years, not one of our hundreds of students walked through the door of our Academy looking for success. Since teachers, parents, and society in general already made it clear what success in school was supposed to be, the idea of looking for success appeared too strange.
Like our students, many believe that success is for others. Since success appears to be something abstract and intangible, most people do not bother to look.
How can you find something if you never even look for it?
Success does not happen without action, and the first step you have to do in order to achieve success is to start looking for it. Tony Hsieh, the American internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, has the following advice: “Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.”
There is only one place where passion can be found and that place is in yourself. When talking about passion and success, Oprah Winfrey emphasizes the word “you.”
“You’ve got to follow your passion,” Oprah said. “You’ve got to figure out what it is you love–who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.”
Read also: The secret behind Oprah Winfrey
Imposing passion or success on someone else does not work.
The first and most important lesson that we taught our students was that they were now in an academic environment where they had the opportunity to find their own passion in order to experience success. Once our students discovered their passion, they were on the road to becoming successful professionals, writers, painters, ice-skating champions, and yoga masters. Quite interestingly, getting good grades and being popular did become a part of their success, but it became rather nonessential and for the most part forgotten.
In order to find your passion, you certainly have to know what passion is. Passion involves a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something. Passion is a desire, hunger, or intense craving.
You know that you are doing something that you are passionate about when your need for food or sleep vanishes and you are so engaged in something that you lose all sense of time. Your passion can be so powerful that it gets you through life’s toughest times.
Your passion is like the blood that runs through your body.
As such, ignoring your passion is ignoring your true essence. Not surprisingly, people who are disregarding their passion might be dealing with diseases, substance abuse, or even suicide.
How do you discover your passion?
To find your passion, take the time to pay attention to the energy in your mind and body. When does the need for sleep or food appear to vanish? When are you doing something and forget about the time?
You know that you are engaged in something that you are passionate about when instead of taking energy, the activity is giving you energy.
I found my passion, where is the success?
Every successful celebrity, entrepreneur, businessman, or artist will tell you that once you have found your passion, you have found what it takes for success.
However, every already successful individual will also tell you that success does not come without 3 requirements for success — exploring your passion, nourishing your passion, and defending your passion.
Recall: Your passion is like the blood that runs through your body.
Exploring your passion:
Like blood, your passion cannot remain stagnant and needs to move continuously. Also like blood, your passion needs to explore every cell of your body and mind.
Whether your passion is writing, painting, children, cooking, the movies, music, or anything else, you need to do it. Taking a course in any activity does not lead to success. While a course or reading about something can help you, you actually need to be engaged with your passion in order to achieve success.
In addition to your action, you also need to stay open minded and explore all possible choices. If your passion is cooking, experiment with different kinds of food. You won’t know unless you do it.
Of course, Harrison Ford applies it to the Force: ’May the Force be with you’ is charming but it’s not important. What’s important is that you become the Force – for yourself and perhaps for other people.”
Nourishing your passion:
Like blood, your passion needs continuous nourishment in the form of time and energy. Dreaming, talking, or studying about your passion will not lead to success.
Most every successful celebrity will tell you that their accomplishment did not come easy. Even after winning an Oscar, movie stars still have to continue auditioning for roles and spend a tremendous amount of energy reading scripts and learning their lines.
The major difference between people who have achieved success and people who are looking for success is that the former know that the need to nourish your passion takes time, energy, and it never ends.
In regard to the music industry, Justin Timberlake shared the following: “I think people sometimes don’t pay enough attention to what they do. I’ve done well, but the reason is pretty simple: I’ve worked my ass off. The toughest thing a performer can do is make it look as if it comes easy.”
Successful journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell examines the notion of achieving success without having to put in the time or energy:
“There’s no such thing as overnight success. That’s my concern with a show like American Idol. It encourages the false belief that there’s a kind of magic, that you can be ‘discovered.’ That may be the way television works, but it’s not the way the world works. Rising to the top of any field requires an enormous amount of dedication, focus, drive, talent, and 99 factors that they don’t show on television. It’s not simply about being picked. Which, by the way, is why very few of the anointed winners on American Idol have gone on to true success. Most have flamed out and gone away. That should tell us something.”
Defending your passion:
Like blood, your passion needs protection in order to be able to turn into success. Your peers, parents, teachers, friends, and society might have the best intention and think they are supporting you , but – their understanding of success might differ from your passion.
Society often understands success to be a road that includes going to school, getting good grades, attending a college or university, and then making money.
The success stories of most celebrities, artists, entrepreneurs, or executives are different and often include having to drop out of school in order to pursue one’s passion and experience success.
Deepak Chopra shared some of our students’ most favorite words:
“As human beings we have unlimited potential and imagination. The worst thing you can do is be a conformist and buy into conformity. It’s the worst possible thing. It’s better to be outrageous. It’s better to hang out with the sages, the people open to possibilities, even the psychotics. You never know where you’ll find the geniuses of our society.”
Besides defending your passion against the expectations of your social environment, your passion needs protection against your fear of failure. Failure is a crucial part of success because it forces you to come up with different or additional thoughts and ideas. Failure might be a crucial part of your success because it propels you into coming up with ideas that no one else has thought of.
Read also: Stephen Spielberg talks about his fear
Success needs a healthy dose of narcissism
If you donate too much of your blood, you will die. In order to turn your passion into success, you need a healthy dose of narcissism, egotism, selfishness, conceit, or even vanity.
Mother Teresa, known to the world as one of the most selfless individuals on Earth, explains why:
“I heard that someone asked Mother Teresa what was most important in her work,” shared The Mary Tyler Moore Show actress Valerie Harper. “I thought she’d say the Rosary but she said, ‘My nuns and I take very good care of ourselves so we can tend to the lepers and do whatever we need to assist.’ If you’re strong, or at least not hurting, you can inspire others.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky, best known as the American celebrity doctor Dr. Drew, also adds to the topic of healthy narcissism and success:
“The very wealthy and the very famous have a much closer affinity with the indigent street person than with the rest of us. There’s the narcissism, the addiction, even the outlandish dress. Often they don’t put great value in relationships.” –
Success without passion
Dr. Pinsky’s words emphasize the importance of continuously understanding and examining one’s passion and one’s understanding of success.
Too many famous celebrities, artists, or entrepreneurs once turned their passion into success, but then forgot that passion – like blood – changes. As one’s passion changes, so does one’s feeling of true success. When passion and success get disconnected, the results can be detrimental.