The 20 Essential Habits of Highly Passionate People
Originally by Henri Junttila.
I’ve always worked hard at whatever I’ve been doing. My work-ethic comes from doing what I enjoy, and not forcing myself to do something.
Highly passionate people aren’t just lucky, they share common characteristics. They work hard, they trust their intuition and they persevere.
I personally don’t see myself having any other options than following my passion. Without doing what I truly want, life would be without color, without joy and without meaning.
We all have the habits necessary, we just need to let them shine.
When I was in my late teens, I wasn’t even remotely familiar with terms like “follow your passion”, “listen to your heart” or “go with your intuition”.
As the years have passed, these concepts have grown and I’ve realized that the only thing that matters is what I am excited about in this very moment.
It’s far too easy for me to start questioning what I’m doing. Let’s take language learning for example. It’s easy for me to argue that it’s a waste of time.
But in the end, what matters is how much I’m enjoying myself. You can never know where you’ll end up, so you might as well enjoy the ride.
We’ve been taught that logic is superior, but is it really? Life isn’t a game where all the variables are known, so there’s no way you can predict the future (unless you have special powers, and even then, things don’t quite work out.)
Courage is something you build up. It’s a muscle.
Many seem to believe that following their passion should be effortless. It’s not. It requires hard work, but the good news is that it’ll be enjoyable hard work, for the most part.
I’ve never worked a real job in my life. I became a professional poker player straight out of school. I had no idea if I was going to succeed. In the beginning, a lot of people doubted if making a living playing poker was possible.
I had a passion for playing poker, so I kept at it and eventually started making a comfortable living. That took courage, but it wasn’t extraordinary. I just took things one day at a time and worked hard.
Then I transitioned from online poker to online websites. If you want to learn more about my journey, check out my book: How I Made Over $100,000 Online Doing What I Love.
If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that results don’t always come fast. Following your passion doesn’t just happen. In my case, I wasted a lot of money until I started making money online.
People tell me that I’m lucky. I seem to get good at everything they say. I’m not lucky. I’m just determined and I make sure to pick something that I like doing. It’s pretty easy to get good at something you’re interested in.
In the beginning, you may not be 100% determined, but that’s okay. Be as determined as you can be and keep moving forward. Many people mistake a temporary failure for a permanent one.
There are no permanent failures. There are only learning opportunities. If you learn everything you can about blogging, try it for a year and then lose motivation—that’s cool!
You never know. Maybe you unconsciously picked up a few skills that will help you down the road with something else.
My #1 priority is doing what I feel excited about. If I can’t do that, I might as well be dead.
I have bad days like anyone else, but in general I’m a pretty positive guy. I feel good as long as I’m doing what I feel I should be doing.
There’s a fine line between being blissfully ignorant and positively realistic. It’s something you have to figure out for yourself. Try both and find your own balance.
I personally enjoy being blissfully ignorant, especially if it upsets someone else. There are a lot of people out there that try to tell you that you can’t go after your dreams.
Those are usually the people that have given up. They aren’t really in a place to give advice. Giving them a few pokes usually (hopefully) provokes new thought.
Being passionate doesn’t mean limiting yourself to one passion. I’ve been passionate about health, martial arts, websites, languages, guitar, cartooning, and on the list goes.
My passion changes, but what remains constant is my single-mindedness. I work best when I’m 100% focused on what I do.
For example, in 2010 I immersed myself in learning Spanish. I did nothing else but studied Spanish for several months. I’m obsessive like that.
I want to be able to spend as many hours as possible on what I enjoy. That is what I mean by being single-minded.
By following your passion, you automatically become growth oriented. You tap into something greater than yourself.
That source of guidance can only lead to one place and I think you know what it is. We all have different words, definition and concepts about it, but we all mean the same thing.
I’m always looking to grow. I want to become better, smarter and happier.
But you don’t want to lose the fun.
Let’s say you have to choose between two paths.
Path #1 is faster, but requires more discipline and is less fun. Path #2 is slower, but you’ll enjoy it more. In the past I would’ve chosen Path #1, but now I’d choose #2, because if I’m not enjoying myself right now, it’s not worth it.
I used to have a problem of jumping into too many things at once. I think we all have many interests, which is good, but it’s a double-edged sword. We want to do everything at once.
Usually when I ask someone what they want to do, they rabble up a dozen different things.
What works for me is relentless focus. I pick one thing, maybe two, and focus on them until I feel like it’s time to move on.
For some, this may seem irresponsible, but to me, it’s the most responsible thing you can do.
I don’t believe in horoscopes, but I’m a Virgo and apparently they are perfectionists. I am no exception.
Throughout the years I’ve learned to ease up on my perfectionism. Instead of focusing on the little details, I’ve started focusing on the big picture.
I think about what I want to achieve and am more concerned about making progress than making everything look good.
Let’s take blogging as an example, just because it’s on my mind right now. If you want to start blogging, just start! You don’t need an awesome design or to have everything planned out.
All you need is to get your blog up, get it looking okay and start writing, recording podcasts or making videos. That’s the only way you’ll know if you even like it.
So often we think we like something, but when we actually start, we realize that it doesn’t feel right at all. That’s why it’s important to start, get your feet wet, and see how it feels.
Prioritization goes hand in hand with being selective. I know people that don’t have time, and I know people that make time. It’s not that you don’t have enough time; it’s that you fail to prioritize.
I’ve received a lot of e-mails about time issues. I know some people are single-mothers, working two jobs while juggling two kids. I have no idea how tough that is, but I do know that if you really want something, there are ways to make time and prioritize, even if it starts with a few minutes per day.
No matter how tough your situation is, you can always do something to move towards your goals. Don’t worry about reaching your goal, just worry about making today more fulfilling than yesterday.
As long as I’m doing what I want to be doing, I don’t need self-motivation. It’s only when I do the boring tasks that I have to throw in some ninja-motivation techniques.
For example, when I was working on Passionate Living, I had to get the technical part fixed in order to start selling it. It wasn’t fun, but I knew that it had to be done.
My focus was constantly on how good I would feel when I was done. Whatever motivates you is fair game. There are no rules when it comes to self-motivation.
I sometimes use negativity to motivate myself. I don’t care, as long as I get things done. I try to be proactive and avoid these situations though.To read the remaining 10 go to Wake Up Cloud