Passion/Desire the starting point of all achievement

Greeks didn’t write obituaries. According to Dean Kansky in Serendipity, the Greeks only asked one question after a person died: “Did he have passion?”

Napoleon Hill lists 13 steps to riches in his book Think and Grow Rich. They are not listed in any specific order, but all are required. All do, however, flow out of the first one: Desire. If I understand the definitions, Desire is synonymous with passion. That factor is the beginning of all achievement and the stimulus of the energy to move toward an objective.

Napoleon Hill was orphaned at age 12. I’m reminded that of the top 300 world leaders and influencers through the 20th Century, the vast majority were also orphaned or abandoned. I have just finished rewriting or formatting for ebook publication three books I’ve worked on for ten-fifteen years. Three topics: Hope, Anger, Children of Divorce and abandonment. Thrivers in those groups have learned the ability to think and have identified their passion—the desire that motivates them.

Desire-passion is not enough. That energized dream demands a focus. The back story of Think and Grow Rich is: there is no free lunch. You get nothing for nothing. Therefore, what “product” will you offer in exchange for what you desire? (Read the revised and updated book. Please! And talk to me about what you learn and question.)

I don’t know the prognosis, but a high school classmate is ill. We were not close in school therefore, we haven’t talked since graduation. We have never had a substantive conversation. Another classmate suggested I be in touch, so I wrote a letter. The letter is mostly about my family—as if he would care. Perhaps he will—I sent him my best press release. As I proofed the letter, I realized most of all, I wanted to ask him—what have you given your life to? What has been your passion? Have you fulfilled the potential I saw in you and what I admired in you? Has your life been what you wanted it to be?

Passion gets lived out by asking the Internet customer or a work associate “Tell me about you.”

James L. Swanson wrote a gripping article in the Smithsonian magazine about the loneliest historical site in America on April 14. It is Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. at the hour of Lincoln’s assassination. Swanson’s grandmother presented him with an engraving of William Booth’s Derringer when Swanson was ten years old. He became a collector of all things about the act, artifacts and characters of the Lincoln killing. As result, he wrote several books and in writing the Smithsonian piece, I breathlessly learned much.

“…it would have been obscene to bury the President of the United States with a bullet in his brain. It had to be dug out.”

Edward Curtis, an assistant surgeon at the autopsy dug out the bullet. He tells of holding the brain in his hands and hearing the bullet fall into a white china basin. Swanson says when he visits the bullet, “I can hear its echo in the basin.” So did I as he described the procedure.

There are some people who I would like to get that deeply into their head—to know them. Most will not stand still long enough to let us use a cordless drill to look inside. So we find non-intrusive questions and observations as they answer our question: What is your passion?

Blogger, podcaster and book author Jeff Goins says, “In a world full of noise, the way you get people to care about you (or your product) is to care about them first.” Then you will know how to add value to their lives—making your product sticky.

If you gave me permission to examine that deeply into your soul, what would I find in the file folder labeled PASSION?

Myles Munroe said, “God created you with a definite purpose in mind.” If God had you in His sights as much as Jeremiah when He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you to…” (Jeremiah 1:5). Set apart for what?

Passion erupts out of that assignment.

©2015 D. Dean Benton

Writer, Wonderer, Passion igniter.

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