Passion and Perseverance — You Need Both
A rock climber grips the edge of a cliff in front of a gorgeous sunrise.


In a few days I will be launching an additional commerce aspect to my consulting services and my book, “Winning Words—Speaking Life to Influence Others”. My book includes many sayings from leaders and coaches, including some of own favorites that I have used during my many years in leadership. I have decided to market some apparel items which display one of my favorite sayings on the back. This is yet another means by which I want to “speak life” into people.

This writing is all about these words that I have used many, many times: “Life is half passion and half perseverance. You need both halves.” Let me expound.

I have found that getting up each day with energy and enthusiasm, positive attitude, and a zest for life is an attribute of successful people. They have “passion” for life. Passion is described as “a strong feeling or desire.” In my experience I have witnessed adults and students exhibit strong desire in their day-to-day efforts as well as in their pursuit of goals and desires for outcomes. As a coach, I have been blessed to have student-athletes that were willing to work extremely hard in the off season of the sport of football in order to prepare themselves physically and mentally for the season ahead. Successful football players do not just become so overnight—instead, there are hours, days, weeks, and months of behind the scenes work in the weight room, in training, and in strenuous workouts. Why did they do so? Because they had passion to become successful players.

What is that you desire? How strong is your desire? Does your passion provide you the energy and work ethic to prepare for your desired outcome? A dream without passion and desire is like a car without gasoline. The dream will not go far, and neither will the car. Passion for achievement of an outcome provides the gasoline needed for you or me to push ourselves over a long journey to success and significance.

So, passion is essential for achievement. The second “half” of life is perseverance. Perseverance is defined as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” I would ask you to read this definition again—and focus on “difficulties, failure, or opposition.” One’s passion for achievement gets tested with difficulty, failure, and opposition. Think of a time in your life where you have encountered difficulty, a time when you have failed, or when you have felt opposition to your effort. In any of those instances, did you show “continued effort to do or achieve”? In my book the chapter on perseverance is filled with examples of people whose passion was significant, but their perseverance allowed them to achieve. Pressing on towards the goal was a function of continuing in the face of adversity and challenge.

In conclusion, I would suggest that, as I stated at the outset, that passion and perseverance are both necessary for your life achievements, and one without the other will not provide the achievement you desire. Be prepared for opposition, resistance, and challenge to every desire—and let your perseverance sustain the effort to overcome!
Passion and perseverance—you need both!
God’s very best,