25 Successful People’s Thoughts on the Power of Passion

UPDATED: March 5, 2019
PUBLISHED: January 21, 2017
25 Successful People’s Thoughts on the Power of Passion

Traditional advice says, “Find a job. Any job.” But the world’s most successful people say, “Passion drives progress, which becomes success.” That’s the message that billionaire-mindset expert Peter Diamandis says is the difference maker for many of the wealthiest people in the world. Tech entrepreneurs like Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos know the best laid plans lie not in the details, but in the spark that initiated them.

Related: Why Some People Have ‘The Golden Touch’ and How You Can Have It, Too

Here are tips, tricks and strategies from 25 highly successful people on using passion to build your dream career:

1. Napoleon Hill did extensive research of the world’s richest men in his time. Their stories varied, but their commitment to their vision was a constant, and that set them apart from the mere mortals. Hill says do what you love, or else you will lack the energy to become truly successful. “No man can succeed in a line of endeavour which he does not like,” he writes.

2. “If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.” —Mia Hamm

3. “It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” —Rebecca West

4. But Albert Einstein said it best: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Imagine a great mind like that crediting passion as the catalyst to his success.

The thing with passion is that you can’t fake it.

5. “You can’t fake passion.” —Barbara Corcoran

6. “It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.” —T. S. Eliot

Have a vision.

7. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” —Harriet Tubman

8. “Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion.” —Deepak Chopra

It’s not about the money.

9. Richard St. John, who researched the lessons of success and wrote the best-seller The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common, put it this way: “Do what successful people do and follow your heart, not your wallet. In the end, your wallet will be happy you did.”

10. “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” —Bob Dylan

How do you know you’ve found your passion?

Ask yourself this: Would you do it for free? If the answer is yes, you’ve probably found it.

11. Vincent Van Gogh was rather extreme when he said, “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”  And he gifted the world with his art, which, to date, is the most replicated art in the world.

And when you do, act on it.

Do not wait for better times, because there is never going to be the perfect time.

12. “We must act out passion before we can feel it.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

13. And you can’t argue with that logic. Even Jon Bon Jovi supports it: “Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”

14. “If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” —Wanda Skyes

15. “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” —Neil Gaiman

16. Richard Branson is a success story of his time because of the radical ideas that he put into motion in his business. And just like every millionaire and billionaire out there, passion is a factor that propelled him to where he is now. “Passion is one of the most effective motivators when it comes to launching a business—and often one of the strongest predictors of whether an idea will lead to success.”

Stay on course.

17. Steve Jobs shared this in a commencement address to a graduating class in Stanford University: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

18. Oprah Winfrey corroborates this: “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

Don’t give up.

19. Michael Bloomberg captured this well: “If you don’t encounter setbacks in your career, if you don’t have doubts and disappointments, let me tell you, you’re not dreaming big enough.”

20. “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” —Ella Fitzgerald

21. “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” —Benjamin Franklin

22. Steve Wozniak had this to say: “If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach. And it’ll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It’ll be worth it, I promise.”

Don’t settle. Don’t compromise.

23. “There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” —Nelson Mandela

Don’t stop learning or honing your craft either.

24. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo

Share your passion. Keeping it hidden inside diminishes its power.

25. J.K. Rowling, who was at the lowest point of her life when she wrote the Harry Potter series, was the shining example of this when she said, “Well, I can’t get passionate and whisper!”

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, if the stock market is down, if you don’t have access to education or the business environment is not favourable… it’s never going to feel like the “right time.” But if you are doing what you love the most, then you’re most certainly going the right direction.

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