The sad truth is that our fast-paced, results-driven modern society can often cause our passions to become obsessive or driven by fear. This is because we often favor quick fixes over long-term skill development, and instant social media “likes” have become the new currency of recognition for our efforts. All in all, it can be hard to slow down and enjoy our passions purely for their own sake.
This is where the pursuit of harmonious passions comes in. We engage in harmonious passions only for the joy they bring us, not for the potential rewards or recognition that their obsessive or fear-fueled cousins require. And it turns out that when we do this, we’re actually more likely to attain those external rewards and reach our goals.
But here’s the crux – this only works when the pursuit of our passion is an end in itself. Those who focus on future successes instead of enjoying their passion are less likely to achieve their goals and reap the rewards. This, in a nutshell, is the passion paradox.
Luckily, it’s possible to cultivate a harmonious passion by adopting a mastery mind-set that focuses on continuously and sustainably developing your passions. There are a few basic principles to it – for one, focusing on the process rather than the results.
That means that rather than obsessing over your goal and despairing at how far you are from attaining it, you focus on and take pride in all your small achievements along the way. This helps you stay motivated as you continue steadily on toward mastery.
Another part of the mastery mind-set is harnessing the timeless virtue of patience. The road to mastery will involve peaks and troughs, and when you’re suffering through a low point, it’s important to step back and embrace patience. Take a deep breath and slowly meditate on the reason you set out on the journey in the first place.
And finally, adopt the twenty-four-hour rule to avoid becoming overly concerned with success or failure. This means spending 24 hours ruminating on the successes or failures that come your way, then getting back on the road to mastery.
This gives you valuable perspective. After all, you’re guaranteed to encounter failure and external motivators like money on the road to mastery of your passion. But these shouldn’t stop you – they’re just bumps in the road. Harmonious passions are lifelong journeys, and your focus should be not on being the best but on continuing to improv