Passion: A Key Ingredient To Success


21 Aug Passion: A Key Ingredient To Success

This is going to be my first, I guess you could say “unconventional” article for this website. There will be no talk about muscle contraction, macronutrients, research and proven methods of training philosophies, physiology, and such things like that. I think we covered enough of that these past six months since launching In this article I will give you my view on what PASSION really means to me, and why I think it is one of the most important ingredients to living a successful life.

What is passion? You can go look up the definition in a dictionary or online if you want to, but in my own words, I believe that passion is simply having a burning desire, strong belief, and love for what you do.

After reading many books about successful entrepreneurs and business start ups, not one of the people that I was reading about forgot to mention about his/her passion for what they did, and that they contributed most of their success to having a love for their career, which enabled them to never give up when obstacles and challenges came their way. I believe that never giving up, being able to persevere, and having a large enough passion for something go hand in hand. If you truly love something, you can never give up on it. That is just not an option. I love the quote, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” That is why having a love or passion for what you do is so important. For instance, if you set a goal, but you don’t really have a passion for it, you will give up on it. It’s really that simple. The reason being, goals, especially lofty ones, take a tremendous amount of time and effort to achieve. You just have to ask yourself, “Why work so hard, for so long, to try and achieve a goal that I don’t even really care about? That I wouldn’t even be upset about if I didn’t achieve it?” The answers to those questions are pretty clear; you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t work so hard and so long for a goal that you didn’t care about. I wouldn’t either. No sane person would. It makes zero sense to do so. However, if you love that goal, if you have a passion for that goal, a burning desire for that goal, you will not give up. You will persevere. You will find a way. If there isn’t a way, you will make one. No matter how long or how hard you have to work for that goal, you will achieve it. If you don’t give up, you will achieve every goal you have set for yourself. Let me repeat that. IF YOU NEVER GIVE UP, YOU WILL ACHIEVE EVERY GOAL YOU SET FOR YOURSELF.

Here is a quote from Dr. Tom Haggai, chair and CEO of IGA, taken from the book Three Feet from Gold: “Fact is, I think we can all agree here, most people and businesses make their greatest achievements during the toughest times. They may not make the most money, but it’s then that they make the course corrections; they tighten up, become introspective, and lay the foundation for moving forward. The trick is to stop running around with other people who are all considering giving up. If you feel like quitting, surround yourself with others who simply will not quit! Energy feeds off itself, so spend your time with the right people and have faith.” …Make the greatest achievements during the toughest times. Hmm.

Here is another quote from Three Feet from Gold from Ruben Gonzalez, who was striving to become the first ever four-time winter Olympian in four different decades: “First comes a dream, followed by struggle, and then there is victory. The problem is, most people give up in the struggle section and never get to sense what victory feels like. Great people have two types of courage. First, they have the courage to get started, to take a leap of faith, to take action when they have no guarantees of success. Second, once they are on their way, they develop the courage to endure, the courage to persevere. Perseverance is the key.” Perseverance is the key. Hmm. I can even support this quote and add a little more, in saying that the reason most people give up in the struggle section, as Mr. Gonzalez pointed out, is because they don’t have a strong enough passion, burning desire, love for what they were going after. They didn’t have a good enough reason to keep persevering, so they gave up. Successful people do not give up.

I’ll give you one more from Dr. Taddy Blecher, who, with the help of a few other colleagues, founded what is now the premier college in South Africa for underprivileged students, taken from Three Feet from Gold: “I suppose all big dreamers begin with the idea long before they get others to believe in it as well… – By maintaining the mind-set that you never think about where you are today; you think only about where you are going. You have to passionately, completely, and utterly know what your end goal looks like. Even if it’s just a feeling, with every cell of your body, you just know that this thing is real… and more importantly, it’s larger than just yourself. You are doing something that will help others for generations to follow. Once you accept this as fact, the setbacks and challenges will not matter as much.” Another one, who experienced setbacks and challenges, yet had a big enough passion and reason to persevere and to not give up.

Do you see a similarity happening here? Successful people do not give up. They have a love for what they do. Their passion is big enough to help them persevere through the challenges and setbacks. They keep their eyes on their goal. They believe in what they are doing. Do you resemble these traits? Do you love what you do? Do you have a passion for your career?

It saddens me when I hear people say, “I hate my job.” And then they also proceed with, “but I can’t quit.” I have news for you; YOU CAN QUIT. You can quit your job right now, and start taking steps into a new direction, a direction that you’ll be happy with for the rest of your life. Who cares if this is “what you went to school for” or “what you’ve been doing for the past 10 years” or “this is what I need to do to pay the bills.” Is your happiness not more important than these things? I certainly think it is. Once you get into a state of peace, a state of “knowing”, quitting your job will be easy. You have to believe that your life is set up perfectly for you. I’m a praying man, so I have full peace of mind that God has my steps and journey sorted out for me. All I have to do is get up and work my hardest everyday. Who cares if I didn’t land an interview and get the job? Who cares if I didn’t get a call back for a published photo shoot job? Who cares if I’m not making as much money as I want to at the moment? These things do not phase me. I know that what is supposed to happen for me, will happen, at the exact right time. God is perfect. He is never late, but he is also never early. He is always right on time. If you feel like you should quit your job and that feeling has been there for weeks, months, years… QUIT. And then you can email me later on about how great your life turned out to be, having a career that you love and making a living doing what you know in your heart you were born to do. : )

There are times when you are going to want to give up. We will all experience this. In what world do you live in where you set a goal and have a straight, smooth road right toward achieving it? That never happens. However, like we went over already, successful people do not give up, which is why, in the end, they become successful.

A little method I use during those times of frustration and doubt and thinking about giving up, is that I reflect on why I started the journey. Could be the journey toward getting fit, the journey of starting school, the journey of starting a relationship, the journey of taking on a new career, anything really. I’ll give you the example of the many times I thought about giving up once starting my fitness journey, from overweight to fitness model. I started to reflect on where I was four to five years ago, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I would ask myself questions such as, “How was I feeling when I finally made the choice to change?” “Why did I make that decision four to five years ago?” “What was the pushing force and the “end all” moment where I decided to make that change in my life?” When I ask myself these questions and come up with honest answers, it is easy for me to keep going forward. When you get to those points where you think about giving up or thinking that you don’t have it in you to continue, just stop, and reflect. Why did you start in the first place? Ask yourself some of the questions that I asked myself during my low moments. If you are honest with yourself, and answer those questions truthfully, they should be enough to rewire your focus and get your mind back into the game. New journeys are never easy, but they are always worth it.

I’ll give you another example, which is ironic because it is what is allowing you to read this article right now; starting my business just over a year ago and creating this website, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in my apartment in November 2012, getting ready for my final semester of my Bachelor’s program. I would spend countless nights working and researching ways to start a business, but the nights that come most clearly to my head are the Thursday and Friday nights, when almost every college kid was out doing “college things”. They’d be out partying and wasting time, while I’d have the door to my room shut, headphones in, studying, researching, and grasping new knowledge on how to start up a successful business. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid at the time. We all have doubts, and just like the successful entrepreneurs I quoted earlier, I had many setbacks and challenges at the beginning, but mostly, just from my own thoughts. I’d be up at 2 a.m.; still hearing screaming and shouting from the kids outside, “having fun”, and doing what some would call “enjoying” their college career. And there I was; in my room, having thoughts of doubt and fear creep in. I would catch myself asking questions like, “Do I really think I can do this?” “What if this idea crashes and burns?” “Is what I’m sacrificing really worth the sacrifice?” After many days, nights, and weeks of contemplation, I took the leap. I submitted my papers to create Hov Hustle Fitness LLC. The day I received the letter that Hov Hustle Fitness was now established as an LLC in the U.S. and all over the world, I had no doubts, no fear, no more feelings of, “What if this doesn’t work?” I now told myself that, you know what, if this crashes and burns, at least I know a few more things that don’t work, and this is going to bring me closer to the things that do work. At least I had the courage to try, and that would be enough for me. I would get my act together and start looking at new ways to start a better business. I was not willing to have the “what if” scenario play over and over in my head. I would rather have a life of “oh wells” than “what ifs”. Now here I am, about fourteen months later, and I’ve trained over 30 clients and competitors all over the world, including the U.K. and Canada.

The point I’m trying to make here is, you can’t let fear and doubt hold you back, because they will if you let them. You have to let your Faith be bigger than your fear. Have Faith in God’s plan for you; have faith in yourself, in your knowledge, in your ideas, in your skills, in your work ethic, in your determination; these are the things that will see you through to your destiny! If you have a dream in your heart that you know is what you want to do, and live your life by, YOU MUST GO AFTER IT! God would never give you a dream unless He also equipped you with the tools to make it come true. Trust the process and hold vision.

For some reason, most people have let society brainwash them into thinking that they have to work a 9-5 job; have to go to college; can’t own their own businesses; can’t make their dreams come true; can’t be “the next big thing”; this is all complete nonsense. Life is meant to be lived on your own terms. You have one life on this Earth, but if you do it right, once is enough! Go after everything and anything you ever dreamed about doing. Find that passion, that burning desire in your heart, and go after it like your life depends on it. Why? Because it does!

Paul Hovan Jr., B.S., NASM CPT, CSN

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