PASSION: THE KEY TO HIGH PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK
Passion cannot be developed. It can only be discovered. You can’t get someone to become passionate about something he has no passion for. You can only help him discover where his passion lies, and then watch him burn...the idea of work-life balance is only an illusion. You don’t need work-life balance. What you need is work-life integration- CO
Happy Workers’ Day!
How passionate are you about your work? Wait! Before you answer the question, it is best to know what exactly passion is.
Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, project or cause; to an enthusiastic enjoyment of an activity; to a strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person or thing.
When it comes to work, passion is used interchangeably with words like determination, conviction and love. The truth is though love is an ingredient of passion, however, passion is much more than love. While love is a variety of different feelings, states and attitudes that range from interpersonal affection (e.g “I love my mother”) to pleasure (e.g “I loved that meal”), passion, on the other hand, is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.
In the world of work, the disposition of many employees and career people range from low energy to non-nonchalance, to outright disengagement.
According to a research by Gallup, only 15% of the world’s full time employees are engaged in and enthusiastic about their work. That is, an astonishing 85% are disengaged!
The result of this is low productivity at work. Why is the productivity of many workers embarrassingly low? It is because they do not have passion for what they are doing. Period!
You can organize training retreats on performance management, encourage, compel and even force people to take courses and read books on how to increase their productivity. If a person lacks passion for what he or she is doing, it won’t make any difference.
Passion is a strong desire that can get you to do amazing things. Passion is the fuel in the fire of action. Passion is an emotion that drives you. When you are passionate about something, you love to do it even when you hate doing it.
Passion cannot be developed. It can only be discovered. You can’t get someone to become passionate about something he has no passion for. You can only help him discover where his passion lies, and then watch him burn. This is why 'employee motivation' doesn't work.
Many employees are stuck in jobs that they have no business being in in the first place. They dread Monday mornings. The idea of going to work gives them early morning fever. They just can’t wait for Friday evenings. And public a holiday, like this one, is a dream come true! They are always looking forward to ‘walking away from work’.
If this is where you find yourself, it is almost impossible to be highly productive on a consistent basis. You can fake it for a while but you know the truth. Persistent productivity is not a mechanical endeavor, it is an offspring of a passionate soul.
Steve Jobs once said, “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”.
Unfortunately, most people have settled in jobs that they have no love or passion for. And they are frustrated with their job.
In some cases, it is the fear of not having money to pay the bills that keeps most people in their perpetual prison. In other cases, it is the allure of a hefty salary, a rich benefits package or lavish perks. Whatever the case may be, none of these things can be compared to the fulfillment that comes from feeding your passion by doing work that you find meaningful, work that makes a difference and contributes to the greater good of the organization, the lives of customers and the communities in which we live and work.
The benefits of doing work that you are passionate about cannot be overemphasized. Here are a few:
1. Passion helps you maintain the right attitude
The world of work can be fraught with so many challenges. Passion for your work helps you maintain the right attitude in the face of challenges. The right attitude will help you to see the wins that lie beyond the challenges and this will spur you to do whatever is required to surmount the challenges.
2. Passion distinguishes you from the pack
The world of work is awash with mediocre employees- People who just do what they need to do to simply get by. They tend to come to work late, ensure to do as little work as possible and run off immediately the clock hits 5. Therefore, identifying people in the organization who are truly passionate about their job is not difficult at all. These people tend to come to work earlier than everyone else, put in more work than everyone else and stay longer than everyone else. This helps management recognize those who can hold leadership positions and grow within the ranks.
3. Passion precedes personal development
The level of your effectiveness at work largely depends on your skills set. If you are passionate about your work, you will constantly seek out opportunities to improve your performance on the job. You will enroll for training programs, take courses and attend seminars and workshops that can help enhance your performance. This ultimately impacts on your productivity.
4. Passion enhances your creativity
Nothing could more energy-sapping than doing work that you find dull, boring or monotonous. When you have passion for the work that you do, you will be more creative because you want it done well. You are more eager to explore better ways of getting the job done, faster and more cost-effectively.
5. Passion increases your output
When you are doing something you have passion for, it really doesn’t feel like work. To some other person, this might seem tedious but to you, it’s fun. People who have passion for their work don’t have a problem putting in extra hours and even more hours. And there is a direct correlation between the hours you put into your work and the output.
6. Passion breeds positive energy
If you are casual about your job you will soon become a casualty! Most people’s work life is characterized by low energy. You just can’t do great work with such equation. High productivity demands high positive energy. You need to be vibrating on a high frequency to get great work done. But you can’t operate on such frequency without passion. Most people are comfortable with doing good work because that is all you require to get by. Yet in his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins laments, “good is the enemy of great”. This is the reason we have so many good organizations and very few great organizations.
7. Passion helps you identify your purpose and brings you fulfillment
True fulfillment can only come from knowing that you are maximizing your God-given potentials in doing meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of others and in the world in which we live. Paying the bills cannot bring fulfillment (they are always coming in!). Having some money in the bank and a few toys to impress your friends cannot bring fulfillment either. It is only a matter of time of time before the excitement wanes. Most people are constantly experiencing ‘burn out’ in their job. And they are told by some performance management ‘gurus’ that what they need is a ‘work-life balance’. ‘Burn out’ is another word for lack of passion for the job. It is symptomatic of doing something you don’t find fulfillment in. And the idea of work-life balance is only an illusion. You don’t need work life balance. What you need is work-life integration. The truth is: finding your purpose and aligning your work with the pursuit of that is the cure for burn out and the recipe for true fulfillment. And what better way to find your purpose than to know where your passion lies?
So I ask again, do you have passion for the work that you are doing? If your answer is yes, thumbs up. Keep moving. If your answer is no, then you need to seriously consider the thoughts I have shared with you here. There is no better time to think of something else you can do that fuels your passion than now. Life is too short to waste it on a treadmill of quiet desperation.
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