Passion – Friend AND Foe

Passion.

Plenty of hype, and plenty of talk on this topic.

Look, I am definitely a passionate guy, but is passion what matters most when it comes to success?

Nope.

NO!

Not even close.

Sure, it can definitely be like turbocharged fuel at times, but what happens if you are passionately moving in the wrong direction or without a vision, process, or purpose?

What if your
passion misleads
and misinforms

First, I am not sure how many people feel they have time for hobbies.  That’s a pretty big assumption… having a hobby.

Most adults don’t have one that isn’t connected to being a spectator.

Unfortunately, a hobby loses out to the demands of life, work, and of raising a family. But putting everything and everyone else ahead of yourself, without considering self-care, and with no regard for enjoyment today, has a major cost, a lasting impact. This is how the idea of retirement gained so much momentum.

When we trade time for money or sacrifice today for a better tomorrow or do things we hate in the name of affording what we want eventually, it destroys life. 

That someday philosophy diminishes passion in the name of providing.  Trapped in the throws of earning an income.

This is a big reason there are so many people talking about passion.

People are tired.

They are disengaged in their career.

When work feels like drudgery and destroys our energy, a sprinkling of passion sounds like the right drug.

In the hustle and grind of daily living, it is easy to get caught up in tactics and hacks to make your day more productive. But if you are unclear of your purpose, if you are stuck in sacrifice, then those tips won’t make the lasting difference you are looking for.

Passion is part of the equation, but only if you have the right model and a clear purpose first.

I’ve learned this the hard way.

I have a passion for comedy.

I love telling jokes and hearing people laugh.

I have since the time I was a 5-year-old kid.

It reminds me of my favorite memories with family, it simply feels like love. Maybe it was my mom’s infectious laugh as my uncles told jokes or watching my dad interact and build rapport with his dry sense of humor.

I’ve always had a passion for comedy.

But what do I mean by comedy and what does comedy mean to me?

How do I live and apply it?

What is the model that invites it into my life, in a way that works for me?

At first, comedy was telling stories with my friends and family.

Sometimes adding a few things to a real story or repeating jokes someone else had told.

But in August of 2017, it meant getting on a local comedy stage of an open mic and telling jokes.

It was an adventure.

I was excited and more nervous than I’d ever been before getting on any stage. Yet this was on a Wednesday night in front of a small crowd.

Preparing for an open mic propelled me into creation.

Writing jokes

Working on my set.

Inviting friends to watch.

The win wasn’t only in how I did that night, it was in the entire process.

The process had me revisit the funniest moments of my life – thinking of my family and how hard we would laugh.

Shared moments.

Reliving the joy.

But now there was more purpose and pressure with comedy when it was planned and at a specific time and location.

It was finally here.

It was time.

The emcee called my name.

I wiped the sweat from my shaky hands and nervously walked to the stage.

As I look down, I see my wife in the front row, white-knuckling as she grips the table.

I take a deep breath. Here we go.

Four minutes and twenty seconds later I finished my set.

I didn’t touch the mic.

I was too terrified to move it from the stand.

It was a rush of adrenaline.

And I got laughs.

I have so much passion for this AND how could that ever go wrong?

First, my wife saw the look in my eye and within days we got into an argument because she said that I would start traveling and be away from the family.

She was right.

That night, it was clear, there is a difference between comedy or being funny or having fun and being a comedian.

Passion.

It is a fire that can go wild and destroy with a lack of clarity.

The passion I have for comedy led me to say yes to anything and everything at the expense of my mission, my family, and my overall well-being.

Comedy, for me, can be like a drug.

Potent and powerful, but temporary and costly if without purpose.

If I go to a club and tell some jokes, it feels great.

But the process of getting on a plane, staying in a hotel alone, and filling up that venue, well that is where passion was so loud, I forgot the main point.

Telling jokes is great, it is fun, but I want real connection, like at my family parties. When I write or take the stage, I want to make a lasting impact. An open mic is merely a fleeting moment of entertainment. Great for many, but not really who I am or what I want to do.

Why?

Because people are in pain when it comes to money.

Confused and conflicted, struggling and sacrificing, and missing out on life in the name of one day, someday.

The majority of the population is afraid to look at their finances. Sure, there are millions that want to be educated, but there are billions that want to be entertained.

So rather than thinking about passion alone, I am using that fuel with purpose, a new model.

Comedy is a unique way to approach what I have been doing since June of 1998, educating. I’ve sprinkled humor in my talks in the past, sure. But comedy, for me, is about using entertainment as a gateway to transformation. Passion plays its role, but has longevity and focus with purpose.

Rather than telling a crude joke in a comedy club, I started using entertainment to reach people so they could start to heal their relationship with money, their perspective with money, and really see how often money sabotages living for today.

There is a difference between being a speaker and being an entertainer.

But that open mic night, the lines were blurred between have fun and have an impact.

Wealth is a by-product of a life well lived.

When quality of life and purpose are at the forefront, clarity is the key to discerning opportunity from distraction.

When passion is at the forefront, without the companions of purpose, vision or a model… chaos is imminent.

As my wife predicted, I did a sixteen-city comedy tour after filming my comedy special, fueled by passion, that is, until I was exhausted.

Passion was part of why I overcommitted and lost sight of my why – connection.

Before the tour, I prepared for my comedy special I filmed in April of 2021. I did it on my terms. I didn’t travel the country or spend my evenings at comedy clubs, I transformed my basement into a little club. I started my sets at five and was done by six.  

I didn’t miss out on family time or have to sacrifice my comedy career.

I knew my win.

I knew my purpose.

And I was rewarded with some of the richest memories and months of my life. Even better, my kids were part of the process. Rehearsing with me. Watching firsthand as I had struggles and breakthroughs.

This was an entirely different model.

One I invented.

One I loved.

I would walk and rehearse daily – getting in better shape as a by-product.

But then I got lost in the lust of passion. The seductive temptress of a comedy club drew me in.

Applause and laughter became my most valued currency.

I loved the time on stage but also missed sleeping well and seeing my family and making a lasting impact. There was less sleep because I scrambled to fill the venues and felt stressed, and less time with my family as I traveled all over the country, all to get laughs, but then what?

Passion is great, even important, but renders us impotent if there isn’t a purpose.

Purpose brings focus and power.

Passion can be zeal and excitement that leads to distraction or loss of power without a path.

Passion is only part of the process, part of the equation.

Passion without direction is distraction.

Passion without a model is temporary and unsustainable.

But passion mixed with purpose, vision, and a winning model can create a life on fire.

Passion – Friend AND Foe.

So, what motivates you?

What matters most to you?

How can you take your energy and passion and have it result in value?

How can you serve others, solve problems, and deliver value in a way that is consistent with your gifts and passion?

It begins with a hobby.  One without the concern of monetary gain.  

Where you have time for yourself.  Where you can lose track of time and even gain energy.  This is where you answer exists.  It is already within.  It is part of you.

Most people don’t discover what they want because society wants us to believe in sacrifice.

Sacrifice is the enemy of the life you love.

Anytime you find yourself thinking you have to sacrifice, that is a sign you may be stuck in the Consumer Condition.  The place where society makes the rules and convinces you to do things now for a better life down the road.

Passion can help us get past the tough times in sacrifice, but sacrifice isn’t necessary.  It is only part of the equation when we aren’t congruent in what we are doing and who we are.  Sacrifice is when we are chasing happiness at the expense of being present.

Instead, create a game worth playing.

Determine your own rules.

And create a life you don’t want to retire from.

Start with yourself.  Find your hobby.  Then utilize a process to create space for your hobby, for the life that you want.  Adopt a model where you can create focus and sustainability with purpose. Purpose is the direction, the compass and can keep your passion moving you in the right direction.  Without distraction or overcommitment or sacrifice.

Know your vision, know your win, and then you find your flow.

Then you have already won, and the joy and the win is in the process and the work.

Life is filled with lessons, you don’t have to go it alone AND you don’t have to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

Use a hobby to know yourself again.

Discover your passion and utilize it to propel you into your best life… just know your win before you begin.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Has passion without purpose ever misled you?

What hobby would you pick up if you found a little extra time for yourself?

Comment below.

Do you know someone that might benefit from these insights, musings, and stories?

Please share!

Know anyone else who could benefit from this?

Share this post!