What is it that impels us to do things better? What is it that goads to excel in certain things? We often hear the word ‘passion’ being bandied about. In fact passion is often used as an excuse when we are confronted with new learning new skills, domains. For example we will stay away from learning a musical instrument, or learning programming by conveniently saying that such skills require passion. But then what exactly is passion. Does passion just come about or does it have to be built in small steps?
In my opinion passion has to be patiently built in small stages. There are two essential ingredients in developing passion for anything. They are
Attitude: This is the first criteria when we are about to embark in learning something new. We need to have the right attitude. We should not assume that something is distasteful even before we start. We have to have an open mind when we are trying to learn something new. It could be painting, writing or playing a new musical instrument. We should free from any or all biases. We should approach the skill with an open mind. This is the most fundamental requirement to plant the seeds of passion in us.
The taste of progress: As we learn something new the taste of progress is what drives us to do better in any new skill. In whatever we are trying to learn when we start to see signs of progress we will be motivated to do better. As we learn the new skill our minds are constantly sending back feedback on our own progress. When we are able to perceive our own progress we will start to experience the thrill of learning. The taste of progress can be internal. It can be progress that we ourselves perceive. For example when we are learning to swim and we successfully are able to propel ourselves in water, for the first time, we will feel the flush of excitement.
On the other hand we can get feedback from others about our progress. For example when a person learning a new musical instrument is appreciated by others he/she is bound to feel the thrill of success. What goads a teacher is being able to see “the moment of understanding” in his/her students. An orator or an artiste would like to capture the complete attention of their audience and be able to feel their pulse during the performance. When a performer gets this feedback from the audience he/she is impelled to excel.
Hence passion does not happen by chance. It requires an open attitude and patience while learning. When you begin to taste progress and the ability to improvise at will you will be propelled to further improve and excel.