BANGALORE : Passion is something that one follows in spite of adverse conditions. It is a drive that is constantly at work, irrespective of circumstances, difficulties or odds. A lukewarm desire which fails or keeps deviating with time and obstacles can hardly be called as passion.
Passion largely succeeds; if it doesn’t, it becomes an under current, only to find expression during the right opportunity. The drive that dies away or fades is merely a dream, a fantasy and certainly not a passion.
History enumerates examples of a few people (from various spheres) who had the passion; people who pursued their inner call and created a milestone for the rest of the mankind. Nothing could stop them. They stood victorious against all odds. Van Gogh, the famous artist, suffered from immense physical and mental illness and yet his enthusiasm for painting never diminished even by an iota.
Ramakrishna’s thirst for spiritual ascent never was quenched in spite of the societal pressure and opposition. Similarly in recent history, we know of people like Naushad, the famous Bollywood music director who pursued his love of music against his parents’ wish and left his home to find self-expression and a successful career in Bombay.
Passion makes you strong, committed and adventurous. It is like opium; it gives you that extra energy to persist, struggle, experiment, discover and fathom ever more.
Having said this, there is another perspective to passion too. Passion may not always be desirable. Passion when blinded by aggression and self-interest can be fatal to oneself and the other. It can be a drive to crush and destroy.
Emperors world over had the passion to glorify their rule. In the bargain, thousands have been sacrificed and killed. The passion of the Nazis, the Fascists, or that of the imperialists, all alike achieved their greedy goal to rule and dominate the other ruthlessly. In a way the passion of the emperor Alexander and a nation’s desire to be a super power at the cost of others are similar in intent. Each is misguided by blind passion.
Passion is not virtuous intrinsically. It could be vice and more so because of its velocity and acceleration. Passion therefore needs to be guided by the power of discrimination. Passion is a necessary condition for success but not a sufficient condition. Passion accompanied with the faculty of discrimination alone can give you the fulfillment of success. Such a success will be relatively more permanent and closer to contentment rather than frustration. A success of a reckless gangster, a malicious leader, or an unethical businessperson is far removed from fulfillment and hardly worthy of being called a success.
The power of discrimination is the knowledge and the ability to choose the right over the wrong. It can be achieved though introspection and testifying the means as rigorously as the end itself. A simple way to approach passion is to make sure that the passion you pursue must lead you to self-growth and perhaps help the other too. It should broaden your horizons and pave way to further learning and growth.
In day-to-day life we see how a passionate desire to possess another person can destroy a workable relationship. We also observe how a passionate but inconsiderate desire to achieve can exploit the other and so on. Whenever a passion is thwarted, understand that it is time for introspection and re-invention. It is an opportunity to improvise or diversify for betterment. When your passion in a relationship is thwarted, realize that perhaps your love needs to expand. Grow. When your passion for success meets failure, take time to think if you have misused the other unjustly. On the other hand if you succeed ask yourself if you have shared your gains adequately. When your passion to be famous is dwindling, reassess your skills, sharpen them or find your true nature. Fortunately if you do become famous, humbly thank everyone who contributed to it in the smallest way. This is the way to find one’s true passion.
It may be intricate but passion is something which you cannot ignore to kindle. Start your journey. Talk to yourself. Know what inspires you. Do what drives you and live a passionate life that does not bring regret.