Today we’re going to talk about willpower and passion — two similar things that often get mistaken for each other.
When you can make the distinction, things gets a whole hell of a lot easier.
Willpower = “The Grind”
Willpower means having guts. Willpower means discipline. It means doing things you don’t always want to do. It means taking your damn medicine like a man.
Willpower is the last rep of the last set. You’re gassed. You’re spent. You don’t really have anything left, but a voice in the back of your head perks up and goes, “Hey, bro. Shut the f*ck up and make it happen.”
And then you do.
Willpower is the mental equivalent of scraping the bottom of the jar to get that last extra bit of peanut butter out. It’s in there. It doesn’t want to come up, but with enough effort, you can squeeze a little more value out of what you have.
Passion = “The Dream”
Passion is quite a bit different. With willpower, you put your head down and do the damn job. With passion, you cast you head up to the sky and reach a little higher.
Passion means having a goal in mind that inspires you. It turns work into a mission. The mundane details become a proving ground filled with lessons and opportunities for growth.
While willpower is the last rep of the last set, passion is the rep after the last rep of the last set.
Because when you’re inspired, you always find a way to do more than what’s expected. You always find a way to go that extra mile.
You Need Willpower And Passion
Make no mistake: If you have one but not the other, you’re in trouble.
If you have willpower but no passion, you’re limiting how high you can climb. Without vision, all you have is directly in front of you.
It’s nice, but you can lose your sense of the destination.
If you’re all passion and no willpower, well, we call that a dreamer where I’m from.
Not a bad thing at all — you have potential — but you also gotta put one foot in front of the other on the days when you don’t feel like it. And be sure, you won’t always feel like it.
Willpower and passion work together in this way.
But Passion Needs To Be The Default
Here’s the thing: As great as willpower is, it’s difficult to recharge once you’ve expended it.
Have you ever slogged uphill in life — day after day, week after week, month after month?
Eventually, your brain just says, “F*ck it, I quit.”
It could happen to anyone. Don’t let some tough guy tell you otherwise. We all have a breaking point.
Willpower is that last defense against it. If, when things get tough, you go to the willpower well, you’re slowly depleting that last line of defense.
Too many bad things happen in a row and it could take you a year to get things back on course. Don’t make willpower your default form of motivation.
How To Develop Passion
I get it: Passion is an abstract word. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is and how to develop it.
So let’s get there right now.
Passion = feeling excited about what you’re doing. You develop it in a few different ways:
1. The story you tell yourself: Shit might not be perfect now — far from it, in fact — but if you believe that your life is on track for success, it’s a whole lot easier to slog through the bad.
2. Your reasons: Why do you want something? Get specific and tie it to certain emotions. If you want to get a great job because you don’t want to worry about money, that’s great. Now, take some time to try that stress-free feeling on. Get used to it. Now, work until you get to the point where you don’t have to try to feel that way. You just do because it’s your life.
3. Focus: There are haters. They’re everywhere. There are traps. Also everywhere. Of course negativity is never far. If you focus on those things, you’ll get more of them. If you focus on where you’re going and where you want to be, you’ll get more of that.
It’s Up To You
The great part about all of this is that you can get here mentally. I’m not talking about complex calculus. I’m not talking about learning a foreign language. I’m not talking about dunking a basketball. It’s willpower and passion. Anyone can do this.
If you work on your mindset and point yourself in the right direction, you’ll realize that there’s a whole lot of badass shit out there waiting for you.
Go get it.