Why Not Doing Something You’re Passionate About Is Killing You

I had coffee with some great people this morning. Something Andrew Coles said about dreams got me thinking… Living in the realm of clear sight will strongly move you. Clear sight is often the first step. By clear sight I mean more than just vision. I mean having a sense of purpose that your vision will give. Not only that, but being able to see what goes where to make your vision. Absolute clarity is not always going to be.

It is not always that we pursue what we feel strongly about. You may feel strongly about a cause and never get round to actually doing something about it.

live, don't just breathe to death  || image  Robert Couse-Baker | cc
live, don’t just breathe to death || image Robert Couse-Baker | cc

How strongly you feel about something does not change anything until you actually start doing something about it.

Limitations will always be there. The successful still wrestle with limitations. Somehow we see those who inspire us, by virtue of their success, as not having them. If anything, they may just have more challenges. It is those challenges, limitations, barriers, whatever you call them, that we make reasons for not acting on the dreams we carry.

Not doing something about what you’re passionate about will kill you. Obviously not a physical death, but it is scary that it could be so strong that it can affect our physical health. Compartmentalization is a myth. Every part of who you are is connected. What affects you in one area of your life or organization will affect another.


One of the reasons not doing what you are passionate about will kill you is that it takes more energy to fight what you are passionate about than actually doing something about it. It will draw mental energy from you. When dreams for your life, cause or enterprise are vivid and strong enough, trying to focus on something else instead of them will actually cause you to focus on them.


When we do something that we are passionate about that is when we are truly alive. All of a sudden the universe makes sense. Pursuing our dreams is a big part of living them. It is not only when ‘we arrive’ at the place we’re striving for, it is also the journey there that breathes life into it. You are dying because you are not living.

Living, being fully alive, is pursuit of the things that come naturally and strongly for us. Choose to live and not just breathe to death.


How do I start bridging the gap between my limitations and my dreams? I’m asking myself the same question but I can give a shot with suggestions:

  • Stop fighting your focus from going to the dream. Allow your dreams to breathe and vent. Start documenting them if you have not or have stopped.


  • When your dreams do not make sense to people don’t dwell on it. Skeptics sometimes disguise themselves as realists and pragmatists. They can only stifle your dreaming further and kill you only if you allow them. Do not give in.


Very few people, if any achieved significant things by being reasonable. 


  • Share your dreams with someone who will agree to believe in them even if they do not make sense to them all the time. Their responsibility will be to smack you when you stop believing in your dreams, because there are times it will get so hard that you will stop believing in your own dreams yourself.


  • Get your hustle on. Ensure that you are doing something everyday, even the smallest steps to get to a step closer to seeing your dream a reality. If it is not yet practical for you to pursue your dreams to the extent you want to, you can take solace in that you are doing something to get closer.

Why does not following your dreams kill you? What do you suggest to do in bridging the gap between reality and pursuing what people are passionate about?



So That…

Vision can never become reality without pursuit. While the picture of vision may be romantic, its pursuit is often far from it. Vision without any action to make it a reality is, at best, a great daydream.

Heretic leaders are separated from day-dreamers by pursuit of their vision

Realizing vision is creating change. Change involved activity that we may have not previously been involved in. Leading change may mean starting a few new things.

while actions enable vision being realised, ensure that they do not get in the way
while actions enable vision being realised, make sure that they do not get in the way || image by barryskeates | cc

Many leaders, and enterprises lose plot not only because the clarity of their vision became a blur but also because there is no alignment to the pertinent actions.

A no brainer:

Vision, in its essence, will can only be realized when every action closely works toward it.

The more complex systems get, the easier the temptation to serve the system instead of what it is supposed to do. In order to keep vision clear sight the leader must constantly challenge himself and his team with “So that…” Change must ‘be’ so that…

For every activity you must be able to say, “We are doing x, y, z so that…” Every action, system, strategy, acquisition must ultimately point to the vision. Not only that you must focus on having as few hops to the vision as possible…

That is, though every action makes part of (what should be) an important chain link to getting to vision, it must do so with fewer steps between it and vision. One action must enable another that is close to the ultimate goal.

Complexity compromises vision

Keeping everything to a simple, “we are doing this so that…” is one an easy way to keep vision right in front of you. Focus on your systems and strategies must always be secondary. Vision must be the reason for everything. Before embarking on your next activity ask yourself and your team, “We are doing this so that…”

If there are too many hops between the activity and vision, it is time to simplify. Also, if the answer the answer does not lead to vision, be ruthless with the activity by cutting it off immediately. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.

The Power Of Clear Sight

People are moved by what they see. We live in the most visual time humanity has ever known. Technology is focused on creating vivid pictures using high-definition lens and screens.

We have binoculars so we can bring distant things closer and see them with a clarity distance robs from our unaided eyes.

We do not just tell stories, but also show them. If the visual things did not matter, Hollywood would not be as big as it is.

Continue reading “The Power Of Clear Sight”

Not Sacred

By leading change, you create the future. Thus, leaders are always in the future. They walk in the present yet in the future at the same time. In order to get to the future, systems and many other mechanisms are created.

Make no mistake, every system and tool that is developed is not always necessary. Sometimes systems and strategies used are seasonal. Some will be more effective than other systems over time. Others will last a shorter time.

Continue reading “Not Sacred”

‘Bright And Early’ Is A Contradiction | Innovation

‘Bright and early’ is a contradiction. Anyone that has woken up early, really early, will tell you it is not bright. If you wake up early enough, you will either see little or no sunlight at all. As much as this applies to the sun at the start of the day, it applies to innovation in life and leadership.

If you are “bright and early”, you are up before many people are. You are ahead of everybody else. It means you are  ‘ahead of the curve’. It means that you do not have the light of the full sun but when it does come you have more to show for it than those who waited for the sun to show up.

innovators are people who work and walk in the dark
innovators are people who work and walk in the dark

Starting out in the true “bright and early” means that you will work in the dark. Innovation rarely exists in full daylight. People willing to work in the dark birth innovation. Innovators are people who are willing to work without knowing fully how something is going to work.

All they know is that for them to be ahead when the sun rises is that they need to be up before it rises. Innovation means trying something out before others have. It means running ahead of the sunlight.

If you are not willing to run in the dark, ahead of the light then innovation will not grace you.

There is no way you can be early with something, a technology, an idea etc, when you start when everyone else does and stop when they do. Those who create the future are those willing to walk in the dark of early.

Those are willing to work with limited information to create something that shatters the limitations the late sleepers thought could not be pushed. Late sleepers are those who think they are early when they rise with the sun.

The believers of the fake bright and early awaken to the shattered boundaries and by those who practice the true bright and early and think they are on the cutting edge, but are actually behind. Innovators do not wait for all the information they need. They do not wait for perfect conditions either.

Innovators work at something because ‘early’ gives the advantage of determining the future

If farmers waited to see how much rain they will receive, first they would never plant in time. If they wait to see how much rainfall they will receive, they will be too late. You cannot be an innovator, or leading the curve until you make darkness your friend. Embrace not knowing and seeing fully and clearly as part of the journey of creating a future that the late sleepers will celebrate as new, when in reality it is old for you.

If you wait to rise with the sun, where everything is clear, visible and certain, you will never innovate. “Bright and early” should be changed to “dark and early”. That is more true and accurate to innovation in life and leadership.