WORK AND PASSION
There’s an old adage that goes, “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While this is a well-meaning encouragement to find your passion, it’s incredibly inaccurate. But not completely useless with some slight tweaks.
The truth is, all work is work, even when you love it. Does that mean loving our work is irrelevant? Absolutely not, we should all find passion and purpose in what we do, but not because it will make the work go away, rather because the work doesn’t go away. Every dream is hard, every idea has mountains, every job has difficulties. The reason we should love what we do is because it’s passion that’s going to keep us in the fight. It’s not going to be easy, so if we’re only trying because we believe it’s a quick buck or an easy achievement, we’re going to become defeated when the road has peaks and valleys, like every road does. That’s the first clarification. Do what you love, so that you’ll keep at it.
But what if passion was even more of a strategic advantage than just keeping us in the fight? This is where the idea of flow state comes to relevancy. You’ve maybe heard flow described as being in the zone, having the creative juices, or in athletics we might say a player is heating up or on fire for a period of time. All of these are colloquial expressions for the technical mindset: Flow State. You’ve certainly experienced flow from time to time, probably more as a random occurrence than something you felt like you could control. Some days you’re just in the zone. Time moves differently in flow, you feel sharper, and you accomplish more. It’s a beautiful state of productivity and creativity, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a strategic advantage.
ADVANTAGES IN PASSION
We understand the positive effects of flow to be highly measurable and applicable in business and individual growth. In a 10-year study conducted by McKinsey, business executives were observed boosting their own productivity by 500% through a few simple techniques that induced a flow state. Creativity has been observed to be boosted 6-8 times more in flow states, and individuals showed a 40% improvement in problem solving. Flow is a clear strategic advantage, not just for staying in business, but for dominating your business. If you could leverage your flow state at will, you would be better equipped than your competition in productivity, creativity, and problem solving. So, can you?
This brings us to why passion is a strategic advantage. Flow is induced through a number of core triggers, roughly 20, that can initiate this highly focused and productive state of mind. One of the primary triggers is passion or purpose. This means, simply having an emotional anchor makes you measurably more effective, sharper, and more driven than someone who’s in the same business without an emotional attachment, 500% more effective to be exact. That’s a massive strategic advantage. Put in layman’s terms, if you’re 500% more effective than the competition simply because you’re passionate that means you accomplish the same amount of productivity in one single day than you would in five whole days. Advantages like that don’t come often in business.
FLOW AND YOUR HEALTH
The demands that any high achieving person is under are always significant. Passion that induces flow means not only are you achieving more, but as a consequence, you’re likely happier, less stressed, and overall healthier while you’re doing it. Highly visible figures in business and athletics are often described as “making it look easy.” In reality, what we are observing is focused passion, inducing flow, which widens achievement with less mental and physical exhaustion. Passionate professionals make hard things look effortless. They are not effortless things, but they are certainly less taxing and more attractive when passion meets flow. Put simply, “do what you love, and you’ll work smarter, harder, and happier every day of your life.”