OK, I am prepared for the onslaught of readers disagreeing with my premise. Not really! Hardly anyone reads my blog, so, you few, loyal, and truly treasured supporters are left with the burden of pointing out my (in your eyes) obvious failings on this topic. But I wanted to explain what I mean by having less passion.
First, I should state for the record, for those that may not know me well, that I am by nature, a very passionate person. I care. I can’t just turn that off. Probably you are too. You have causes, concerns, issues, topics, human beings, that you care deeply about and for. I get that. It’s a good thing. Heck, it’s a GREAT thing. We need more people like you in this world. We need people that care deeply about other people, and about injustices, and things that we all just FEEL are not right. But, at times (many times), our passion gets in the way of us being effective in righting the wrongs, and in being able to help people. This is the point of my premise, so let’s explore what I mean. Here are 5 reasons to hold back on your passion.
Extreme Passion drowns out the basic message
Don’t let your passionate plea turn people off to the point that your great message or cause is lost. Get the message delivered, let the cause be heard.
Fervid Passion overwhelms the person you are trying to help
I believe that deep down, we all welcome a little help. Many of us need a lot of help, and it is good to have people around that are there to support and help us get through the rough spots in life. However, a passionate plea may totally overwhelm the person needing the help, and they might push you away as a result. Not many people enjoy being preached or lectured to. Don’t allow your passion to become a scolding.
Passion can create a blind spot
A Scotoma is a partial loss of vision or a blind spot in an otherwise normal visual field. Feeling so passionate about an issue, person, cause, or social injustice can create a blind spot, to the point that we no longer think, see it or act objectively about it. My grandmother had a favorite Cuban saying, “Le ciega la pasión”, meaning, their passion blinds them. Be passionate, but be objective and make sure you see the many sides of complex people and issues.
Other People’s Passions
You have passion. Other people have passion. What about their passions? Be aware. The thing you are MOST passionate about, may not even make their top 10. That’s OK. Their’s may not make yours either. But be aware, and be respectful. Just because you feel strongly about the plight of Baby Seals (I do too!), doesn’t mean everyone else will see it as THE most burning issue to be most passionate about. I buy Girl Scout cookies, but not everyone does.
Passion can create misalignment or lost support
Causes require alignment to address them. People in need require resources to assist them. Issues require thoughtful and deliberate discussion and debate to explore and resolve them. Don’t fall into the trap during a discussion of losing someone’s support and alignment by continuing to escalate your passionate plea to the point where what was once a healthy discussion, debate and willingness to listen and help, is now a diametrically opposite way of thinking. Someone who was aligned and ready to help, is all of a sudden misaligned and actually even working against you. Throttle your passion, and bring people along with you slowly, respectfully, kindly, thoughtfully.
Every day, more and more, I see passionate people engaging in these damaging Passion behaviors, and falling into these Passion traps. We are living in politically and socially charged and potentially explosive times. There are many people, issues, events, and causes that are creating unhealthy debates, arguments, and at times, downright unacceptable behavior and actions. Good people against good people, and some not so good people too, so passionate about their viewpoint, it colors their thinking, dialogue, speech, conversation, and most importantly, their actions. Dial the passion back a bit. You can still feel and be passionate, without creating the negatively charged and explosive atmosphere that pushes people away, and causes the exact opposite effect that you had hoped to have by being passionate in the first place.
I hope this was a helpful and respectful (while remaining passionate!) viewpoint. It would be terrific to hear what you have to say! Let me know. And if you would be so kind, consider liking and signing up for my blog please! Thanks so much!