I was thinking the other day, wondering if I was passionate enough about what I do. Was i as passionate as the guy in the LA soda shop video? And I began thinking about what passion really is. What is passion?

It’s hard not to immediately think of Italy and things Italian when talking of passion, isn’t it. How did they corner the market on passion? By exhibiting the stereotypical external characteristics of the passionate: being fiery and temperamental. And mercurial and emotional. And operatic. And loud. And combative. But is that passion? Sounds like they’re just being Italian to me. Winking smiley face.

Being Irish, and therefore the opposite of Italian, I seek a new definition.

I think passion is just another word for a relentless drive for quality. I think passion is innate. You don’t suddenly get it. And you can’t control it. It controls you.

I’m going to mention Steve Jobs now. There, I just did. I have worked with some people for whom the adjective “passionate” was frequently applied. And they never struck me as passionate. Just obsessed. Like I was. I think the passionate/obsessed seek each other out. Because another word for obsessed is mad.

I can readily imagine a penniless and heavily bearded and really-in-need-of-a -shower bizarro Steve Jobs living in a wooden cabin deep, deep in the woods somewhere surrounded by fully functional wooden-bodied working models of all his inventions thus far.

By day he scrawls his now 20,000 page plus manifesto. By night he carves and solders.

3 responses to “ARE YOU PASSIONATE?

  1. Passionate is a great term. Every brand should ooze passion with what they do, and work to make workers/customers/clients/consumers passionate about what your providing as a product or service. I think the divide between Passionate and Obsessive is pleasure. I don’t think Obsessives necessarily have pleasure involved. I think Passionate people do. They love it. It hits the physical and mental buttons of pleasure. Obsessive is more looking for comfort, because otherwise they might go mad.

    I think Steve Jobs is tough. He is passionate about some things like design, product performance, art, the process of identifying an industry with major openings for Apple to take advantage of. I think obsesses about wanting to be perfect, an innovator, his image. I have been wondering about the flat reception for the I Pad and whether it made him depressed not getting to accolades he had been used too. I don’t think he is passionate about things like phones, other than they being a vehicle to follow his passions. Capice? Sorry I don’t know the Irish word for Capice.

  2. you make very good points. and that’s an interesting distinction between the obsessed and the passionate.

    i guess my point was that being passionate isn’t a quality like being funny or analytical. it’s an over-riding program that guides all behavior.

    i have seen both sides of this myself. being looked at like i was crazy for my ideas. and being looked at like i was a genius for my ideas. same me, same thinking, radically different reactions. different times.

    Steve jobs was lucky to be where he was. but the man is clearly driven. and i guess it’s that drive part that i think is more important than anything else. whether it’s called passion or obsession is in the eye of the beholder i guess.

  3. Vinny – It’s really an easy question. Cosmo asked it month ago…

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