Passion. It’s something that we all have. Most of us want to share it. But when push comes to shove, we tend to shy away from it and become modest. We are afraid. We don’t want to too assertive, be thought of as crazy, be called out as a fake.
Why? Who better to lead than someone passionate about the subject? Sure we may not posses the most technical knowledge or be the most polished representative of an idea. The fact that we care just a little too much isn’t a bad thing. Rather, it means that we are quick learners and will soak up the necessary knowledge like a sponge.
More importantly, the fact that we live sleep, eat and breathe a specific topic means that, unlike the technical or academic ’professionals,’ our ideas will often be more practical. This can make our ideas more valuable and likely to be accepted by others. Passion is contagious. Who would you rather listen to: a staid technician droning on about mundane details, or a passionate, but well versed, amateur exclaiming why she’s excited about a subject?
Yes. Knowledge is important. Facts are essential. Without them you really will be just a crazy nut. But passion is the magic idea that turns a good idea into a great one. Passion converts an interested observer into an active follower.
Passion also breeds tenacity. Change takes time. It takes persistence. When technical experts may have moved on to their next big idea, a passionate person is willing to stick with their idea and see it through, regardless of the obstacles. A technical expert is the hare: knowledge comes easy, but this can breed complacency. A passionate person is like the tortoise: willing to stick by their idea, even when all hope seems lost.
The world is fundamentally changing, in a subtle but powerful way. The era of narrowly defined professionals dictating our future is ending. Instead, they are becoming resources for passionate people who can transform their facts and figures into contagious actions.
So don’t be shy of your passion. Be proud to be considered a zealous nut. I am.
For more on how passion can bring about improvements in your community, read: In Praise of Zealous Nuts