Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Passion Deserves A Good Bashing

Richard St. John spent 7 years interviewing 500 of the world’s most successful people and analyzing mountains of research papers to figure out why people succeed. He boiled it down to 8 traits that you can find here. The first trait?


Which sounds reasonable the first time you hear it. Without a fire in your belly, you won’t be able to persevere when the going gets tough.

But when your last 33 passion projects fell into an open sewer to die, you grow a little skeptical.

So what’s the deal?

Pretty simple. When you walk into a bank and ask the loan officer to lend you money to kickstart your career as an Instagram influencer because you love to travel, it’s no deal.

Even when your business idea is more sober, like starting a bike shop because you dream of tinkering and getting your hands dirty, you’ll get rejected.

A person with passion is not a safe bet. He wants to start a business for the wrong reasons.

You know who the loan officer will always give kickstarter money? The customer with a blank stare who drops a business plan so large onto his desk that it makes the wood groan.

That’s the person a bank bets on. Bankers want a plodder, not an enthusiast.

So why did 500 of the world’s most fortunate people cite passion as one of their biggest reasons for success?

Perhaps because people with passion are more likely to push through bad times. Maybe because passion is a far more humble answer than saying, “I’m a genius. Duh.” But most likely of all, because they truly are passionate.

Just not for the reasons they think.

If your parents forced enough hobbies down your throat when you were a kid, you already know what I mean. When you dabble in enough different fields, you eventually find out what you’re good and bad at.

Can’t keep a ball glued to your foot to save your life? You likely won’t feel very passionate about football. But did you once successfully play Bach’s Prelude in C Major in your school auditorium and get a standing ovation? You probably felt very passionate about playing the piano.

Successful people like to think they did well thanks to their passion. But they actually became passionate because they did well.

Are you planning to be a success? Forget about passion and focus on getting good. The passion will take care of itself.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach