Daily Dose of Coach #371: The Passion Paradox

"The man who chases two rabbits catches neither." Confucius

You need enthusiasm to accomplish.

But passion seems to be more of a hindrance than an asset for most people.

Passion gives you big dreams. It says, "I will become the best _______."

Passion can lead to a lot of talk and aimless work to look busy.

We convince ourselves that just because we have a grand vision and we sprinkle activity here and there, we're not wasting time.

But, years can be lost on passion, endlessly chasing flashes of inspiration.

It seems real to us. Our hearts tell us, it's the right thing to do. But when reality sets in, these passions lead to a dead-end filled with excuses for why it didn't work out.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's leading scorer, played for the legendary coach John Wooden at UCLA. Together they won three National Championships. Wooden won ten in twelve years as head coach, seven of them were in a row.

You would think that Wooden was a very passionate individual, able to inspire his players to go out an beat their competition.

But Jabbar, who was Lewis Alcindor in college, described his coach in one word, "dispassionate."

Wooden did not rely on fiery speeches and emotion. He saw all those extra emotions as unnecessary interference to the task at hand.

Instead, Wooden based his philosophy on his pyramid of success where self-control, doing your job and not becoming a slave to passion were the keys to winning.

Dispassionate is not the same is apathetic.

Though we hear only about the passion of successful people, it's their failures and the processes that they have stuck to for years and even decades that made them great.

.Passion needs purpose and boundaries. It requires a realistic perspective.

Success always leaves clues. This goes from everything from national championships, to earning a college scholarship, to weight loss, to making money.

Forget chasing your emotions and blind passions.

Following a purposeful plan, doing what we have to do every day for as long as it takes, sprinkling in a little luck, and keeping our emotions at bay is how great gets done.