May 15, 2012

Passion. I live by it. It is both my blessing and my curse. I am, at times, passionate to a fault. It drives my personal and professional life in a very positive way and yet sometimes gets in my way. Learning to control it is all part of me finding my balance.

I have always been passionate, whether it is as a father, boyfriend, playing sports, managing my diabetes to live as normal of a life as possible, moving across the country to make my music dreams a reality or building my company which now encompasses a growing staff and layers of products and opportunities, passion has driven my quest and created opportunities.

Passion is important. It propels us to challenge ourselves; it is the thing that forces us to keep going, when it might be easier to throw in the towel. An example, when I was living in Los Angeles, determined to make it in the music business, I lived in the back of a Laundromat for three years. I lived well below the poverty level…think sleeping bags, cockroaches and lots of Top Ramen. My Father, a Navy Veteran who has seen a lot of things in his day came to visit me in LA and was shocked to find my living conditions as they were. He strongly suggested I move back to Pennsylvania purely out of fear that I would not survive as a diabetic. As much as I respect my Dad and his opinion, I opted to stay excepting the risk and possible reward. Was it the easy thing to do? Absolutely not! Why then would I choose to stick it out? Passion. Passion combined with determination is a lethal weapon that does not let you give up.

I have met many passionate people in my lifetime. When I think about those who are passionate, I think of our US Military. As you know, I am a big supporter of those that serve, they are passionate. Did they sign up for the job? Yes. Could they have opted for an easier path? Definitely. Why then would they choose a career that puts them in harm’s way and takes them away from their family? Because they are passionate….passionate about keeping our nation safe and free. I have the utmost respect for our military and I am sure passion plays a part in their everyday life.

As important as passion is, I have to remind myself when to walk away from a project. Not everything we are passionate about is going to work. Finding that balance isn’t always easy. For me, there is a moment when I know it’s just not going to work. I don’t fear failure, you can’t, but for me, I have come to realize that even when a particular project may not have worked, through the process, I have gained other great ideas that I can move on to. You have to roll with the punches, bend but don’t break, and knowing when to walk away before that ‘break’ happens is an important key. There is a prayer I live by “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” The serenity and the courage part I’ve got. The wisdom to know the difference is a continuous work in progress…lol.

My Dad once told me the difference between try and triumph is just a little “umph”. Success is different for everyone and I tell people frequently; don’t measure your success by someone else’s. Find your passion. That in itself is half the battle. When people have a passion for something, it is easier to keep going when the roadblocks arise and trust me they will. Don’t expect it to be easy, if it was easy then everyone would be doing it, but your passion will drive you to keep going.

First you have to have the passion, second you have to find a way to get it done and then you really need to decide what success you want, at what level and how much of your time you want to put into getting there and more importantly staying there.

Passion allows you to have fun but get it done. Find yours.

~ Bret