Passion and skill

“Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.” Twyla Tharp “The creative habit: Learn it and use it for life”

Skill and passion linked together create a powerful potion for success. Passion and opportunity linked together create a powerful elixir for success.

What happens when the passion is missing?

Perhaps the skill is there but the passion isn’t, or the passion is there and the skill is missing. It might happen often that one of the two, passion or skill is missing but we forge ahead without one of them and that is when we find that something is missing. Joy emerges when we are able to put both passion and skill into the crucible in the presence of a catalyst.

Too often both skill and passion are mixed together and nothing happens and as a result people walk away wondering if they are doing the right thing. The catalyst might be a bit of encouragement, or a person who continue to push for a result but it is an external force that ignites the passion and skill mixture. The catalyst might be bit of inspiration, a bit of wisdom, a kind word, a challenging word, a flash of insight or hard work late into the night.

What do you use as a catalyst for action? When are you able to use both your skills with your passions? Do you encounter joy when you are able to use both skill and passion?

2 responses to “Passion and skill

  1. I believe that these two words, passion and skill are over rated in the field of action. My observation has been that most people end up doing what they do, with little choice in the matter, if they really take a strong look at how it came about that they are doing something that they are busy with. Some blessed ones get to do what can give them such a high that they become passionate about it and develop the skills needed to get better at it all the time.

  2. I think my point would be that if we stumble into something it may turn out that we are engaged with what that is but not very passionate. Take a career choice – initially it seems OK, over time it doesn’t draw out the best of the person. What if instead of stumbling we had a mechanism that helped steer us to something that could engage our passions? That would be better for the person and the organization they spend a large portion of their daily time at. Clearly it doesn’t happen all that often – studies indicate somewhere around 17% of the time, that leaves plenty of room for improvement. I am in some measure equating strengths that someone would have and passion – if you’re really good at something or something really drives you those would be strengths that are easy to get passionate about.

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