The Five Downsides of Passion

To succeed as an athlete, you need to have passion. Without a strong emotional fire burning inside of you, it's hard to motivate yourself to give your best effort in the short term and persevere for the long term. However, passion does come with some downsides. By itself, passion is not enough, and if uncontrolled, passion can become counterproductive. Here are five downsides of passion:

1. Passion is inconsistent. Since passion is based on emotions, it fluctuates according to your emotions. Sometimes you'll feel passionate, and sometimes you won't. If all you have is passion, without any discipline, you won't work hard when you're not feeling motivated. Strong, consistent work ethic requires both passion and discipline.

2. Passion can lead to burnout. If you allow your passion to burn too strongly, it can start to burnout. Being passionate about your goals can be emotionally exhausting. If your passion causes you to over-train and work too intensely, you may not have enough motivation for the long term. Passion can also create unrealistic goals and expectations, which can lead to discouragement. This is why it's sometimes smarter to have smaller and more realistic goals, because they don't burn up your passion and inflate your expectations. Overall, by having more realistic goals and using your passion sparingly, you can make it last longer and have a more consistent work ethic.

3. Passion can lead to complacency. As an athlete, it feels good to be passionate. Thinking about and visualizing your goals is fun and enjoyable. However, sometimes people mistake this as actual goal achievement. After daydreaming about their goals, instead of working towards them, they become satisfied and complacent. They'd rather just think about their goals than actually work towards them. Also, daydreaming can be emotionally draining. After using up a lot of mental energy daydreaming, you may not have enough motivation to actually work hard. This is why it's important for athletes to not daydream and visualize too much. And after they build up their passion by practicing visualization and goal-setting exercises, they need to quickly get to work and not let this energy go to waste. Always remind yourself that feeling passionate is not enough. Yes, enjoying the journey is great, but ideally, you enjoy the journey and also reach your destination. Never let passion lead to complacency! Don't be satisfied with positive emotions. Work hard to get real results!

4. Passion can lead to poor decision making. When you're feeling passionate about your sport and your goals, you're in a more emotional state-of-mind, therefore, you're more likely to make poor decisions that can lead you further away from your goals. By controlling your passion, you can work hard towards your goals while also making smart decisions.

5. Passion can make you self-centered. Sometimes, when people are feeling passionate, everything becomes about them and their goals. No one likes to be around self-centered people who constantly talk about their passion. To be more humble, you need to transform your passion into purpose and work towards something greater than yourself.

Summary: Passion is great, but in order to get the most out of it, you need to harness it and complement it with discipline, rationality, and humility.