Is Passion Required For Success?

I heard it claimed by a young author last night that the one thing that all highly successful people have in common is passion and it made me wonder if that is so. Obviously, except in the most unusual hit-a-lottery or inheritance kind of life, a strong degree of caring about success is required to find it but is that necessarily the same as passion?

Perhaps to climb the ranks to become a one-percent’er passion is a prerequisite but that’s hardly the definition of success. I have certainly had clients and friends who have achieved success whom I wouldn’t describe as burning with passion. Likewise, I’ve known people who struggle, particularly say, in the arts, that are ensconced in passion but they may well not consider themselves successful.

It also got me wondering if I could train someone for success (my business) who lacked passion. My first instinct was that their achievement would be self limited by that lacking; upon consideration I came to think of favoring something that is core in my training and that is PURPOSE. For many, goals often meander through behaviors like a lost driver with no GPS. That may be due to a lack of measurement and accountability but those only markers. By connecting purpose to goals on the backside and then attaching behaviors/actions on the front side the likelihood for success bounds upward. Assuming one know has defined what SUCCESS is.

Passion is not something that is “trainable.” However, it is entirely possible to help connect or reconnect people to their passion, it is “inspirable.” Certainly I’ve been paid to at least attempt to do that as a speaker and presenter but I’ve come to imagine passion more like the octane in gasoline. Some people’s engine’s are large some are small but the difference in performance may well be that boost of passion that ignites success.

To be sure success is highly personal and subjective, being miserable achieving riches, missing your children’s lives building wealth and stature may be the end result of a driving passion but regret and unhappiness are very possible if that passion is not connected to purpose. Is that success? Can you be passionate in parts of your life and still successful in other areas that lack passion? Is that because purpose is ultimately more important than passion? Are they equal partners for greatness?

Maybe that’s a clue to the ultimate success path, purpose fueled by passion, goals guided by purpose, actions lit with the enthusiasm of having a plan that has bliss as it’s end state so that the pursuit of “success” doesn’t become limited to something too narrow to really be a successful life.