Discover Your Passion
Many times I am asked the question, "What was it that drove Bruce Lee to invest the thousands of hours of time and energy that he did into his martial art training and personal development?" My answer is a single word: "passion."
Martial art was Bruce Lee's passion. Lee lived martial art, breathed martial art, and according to his wife, Linda, probably even dreamt martial art when he slept. For him it was not only an art and a science, but a philosophy of living, a state of being. And his passion took him from being a teenage gang-leader fighting on the tough and violent streets of Hong Kong to becoming a martial art icon and film superstar. Through his passion, Lee single-handedly propelled the martial arts into the worldwide cinematic mainstream and popularized martial art on a global scale.
Passion is a person's internal desire for doing something; be it passion to learn, passion to explore, passion to master a skill or craft, or passion to create or innovate. A passion is something you care deepply about, something you truly love with your heart and soul. Everyone is passionate about something, whether it be cooking, playing a sport or a musical instrument, painting, making a film, developing and building a new piece of technology, putting together business deals, righting some form of social injustice, or helping to eradicate poverty or hunger.
Passion is an intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic rewards such as money, success, fame, glory, power, etc. don't make people passionate. Furthermore, passion is non-quantifiable. You won't find it in spreadsheets, Excel grids, or Powerpoint presentations.
There's a wonderful scene in the movie, Field of Dreams, in which one of the former professional baseball pplayers who mysteriously appears at the baseball field which Kevin Costner has built in his cornfield, looks around at the field and shares with Costner how much he loves baseball, telling him, "Hell, I'd play this game for free."
Some people discover a passion early in their life, some later. And some unforutnately never find it. I discovered my passion when I was 17 years old. From the moment I began training in Jeet Kune Do, it was clear to me that I had found something I was passionate about, and knew that one day I wanted to be in a position to pass on the art and philosophy to others. That passion led me to get onto the San Diego Freeway after work three times each week during peak traffic time and drive the twenty five miles to my teacher, Dan Inosanto's house in ordeer to train in his backyard gy. It led to turning down several career opportunities and instead working at jobs that allowed me both the time and the freedom to pursue my training in JKD. It led me to spend countless hours not only training in the physical aspects of JKD, but also investigating and researching the sources that informed Lee in his process of intellectual growth and development.
Passion will help you enter each new day excited by a vision of a goal you want to achieve or of something you want to create. It will bring an intensity to what you do and say and unleash your creative energies. Passion will give you the courage and strength to challenge the status quo if necessary. And passion will suplly you with the desire, determination, and persistence to keep going in the face of adversities or when you run into obstacles, challenges and setbacks that arise and threaten to prevent you from achieving your goal.
As I said, almost every person on the planet is passionate. We are just not all passionate about the same things. So let me ask you, what are you passionate about? -- Science, technology, photography, art, music, a particular social issue? Is there something you care deeply about or truly love with your heart and soul? Is there something you love to do or that you would pursue regardless of the rewards you received or how much money you made?
If your answer is that you don't know or can't say, perhaps it might be a good idea to take some time to explore yourself and try to figure it out. When you do, I'd like to offer you a couple of very important tips: Don't look outward to see what other people are doing and don't be concerned what anyone else thinks about it. Look inward to discover your own passion, and look not only with your mind, but also with your heart. Dig deep. It may take a while, but don't give up. Keep searching. Believe me, it's there, waiting to be discovered.