Passion Demands Perseverance

passion demands perseverancePeople who are passionate about what they do want to be the best, and to be great at anything you have to suffer, as the definition of passion is to suffer for what you love. Nothing great is achieved without passion but passion demands perseverance.

They say that it takes around ten thousand hours of focused effort to reach a level of mastery at anything. That isn’t ten thousand hours of goofing off, it’s ten thousand hours dedicated to the constant development and improvement in your skills. It’s ten thousand hours of work!

To comprehend what ten thousand hours looks like, consider this… You work 40 hours per week for about 50 weeks a year, assuming that you take two weeks of vacation every year. That works out to two thousand hours a year, or five years of 40-hour weeks busting your butt.

Using this example you can now see why passion demands perseverance because not only are you going to have to put in a lot of effort and energy, you are also going to have to accept the reality that you are going to put in a lot of time over a longer period of time.

There a catch-22 here, and that is this whole idea is predicated on the concept that you are actually doing what you love! Because if you don’t love what you do, how in the world could you possibly be passionate about it, right?

If you are passionate about what you do, sure… you are going to suffer but if you are not passionate about what you do; then guess what. You are going to suffer TWICE! You will suffer not only when you are doing it but you will also suffer from a lack of joy and fulfillment.

Passion Demands Perseverance

Passion demands perseverance and many people have the illusion that people who are passionate about what they do, whatever their pursuit may be, are happy campers who live in a world of butterflies, cupcakes, and rainbows… but that is not the truth. It is not the truth because people who are passionate and love what they do NEVER settle for mediocrity or just doing an okay job, they are constantly working to improve and to raise the bar.

Everyday life is full of things that we have to do that we are not passionate about; I mean who can get EXCITED about taking the trash out? However, looking at your life as a whole, what are you passionate about? What are you doing or pursuing that is hard work for sure, but at the same time is also fueling and energizing you?

Nothing great happens in our lives without passion. Consider the monumental achievements of your life, especially the difficult and challenging ones. Were you timid in your efforts or were you fired up and willing to do whatever was needed in order to achieve those goals? Was there some suffering involved maybe?

I bet there was…

A long time ago, I tried to figure out the exact element that one needs to achieve anything in life and the answer eluded me for the longest time. To find the answer I had to reverse engineer the process by asking the question, “Why don’t things change in our and life and what keeps us from doing what we want to get done?”

The answer to that question came quite easily and I just summed it up as being apathy, but what is the opposite of apathy?


Nothing is ever accomplished, or at least nothing meaningful in life without passion. It is the ultimate key to success and creating the life that you want but passion demands perseverance, always, as there no shortcuts even for the most passionate ones in life.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 26 December 2005


  1. […] that you are wanting to master or be the best at… keep at it! Remember… they say that it takes around ten thousand hours of focused effort to reach a level of mastery at anything. Keep […]

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