Unboxed Life

Boldly existing outside the box through conscious living and constant learning.

The True Value Of Living Life With Passion

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

-Nelson Mandela

editors note: I am back after a week off from writing. We had taken last week and were doing some service for the victims of Hurricane Sandy so writing took a back seat. Forgive my absence and I hope you enjoy this weeks piece as much as I enjoyed writing it.

We all “do” things in life right? We do actions, we do tasks, we do what we need to do. But is that enough? If we are being true to ourselves and listening to our hearts we are doing things with passion! What an amazing thing passion is. Things have been created and torn down, lives created and taken, our world forever changed for better and worse because of passion. For us as individuals, our pursuits in life, whether they be work, hobbies, or leisure should be undertaken with passion at their core. Anything that adds true value to our lives and to the world requires drive and will be destined to fail without the roots of passion and love.

Furthermore, we can not truly realize our own human potential or fulfill our true purpose on earth if we glide through life having lost track of the passion that should guide us. So many things I have done have started with gusto and excitement only to have fallen victim to the inevitable tapering-off of the passion that it began with. Why does this happen? What are the root causes of the loss of passion in our lives? More importantly, what can we do about them? What ideas or tools can we use to combat the things that seek to derail our journey toward our destiny? Though these things will be unique for each of us, there is some general and universal principles that I think come into play that we can all learn from.

Our original vision gets corrupted

I truly believe that each and every person is meant for amazing things in life. Only when we let our passion guide us will we be able to realize those amazing things we are meant for. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be huge things, it can be hobbies or activities, or it can be a career choice or lifestyle decision. No matter what, these things usually begin with a pure vision of what we want it to be in the end. What happens is that over time outside forces will seek to pervert that original, pure vision we began with. This is what we must fight.

As we go along people will impart their own viewpoints and bias’ onto our vision, life will present challenges, and circumstance can destroy even the best laid plans we have going into any endeavor. Even our self-made obstacles spring up from our self-doubt and insecurities that can mangle what was once a pure and true vision of life. The key to overcoming this is to always remain true to what our passion lead us to in the beginning. We must not, for the sake of our happiness and fulfillment, allow the true purpose for initiating something get lost in our own efforts to achieve it. With each step we take, if we are not conscious of it, we can move further from the original passion that carried us to that point.

This can often mean having to put our foot down or our fists up to defend, with the same passion, our vision for our life and our endeavors. As we move along through anything we chose to do, any fork at which we are presented with a decision should be run through the filter of our original vision and with the basis of what our passion really is. What is my vision for this and does that choice jive with why I am doing this? Be ready to stand firm, say no, and power forward with your passion and vision intact.

The daily grind can rob us of our passion

The old adage says that anything worth doing will never be easy, will be difficult, and will test our fortitude. Though it might be cliché, it is true in this context. What this also means is that success and the realization of our goals requires daily actions that lead to long-term fulfillment of your vision. Passion is fire, it is fleeting, and it can be fickle, all things which do not lend themselves well to the monotonous, continuous, sustained effort it takes to see our vision become real. At the same time steps and actions that are devoid of passion or enthusiasm are destined to be nothing more than wasted effort. Without the guidance of passion and the original reason for doing the actions we can be lead off the path we set forth when we envisioned our lives.

Each action, each step, each task or practice needs to have passion behind it, no matter its simplicity of insignificance. Though this can be a challenge we must take regular stock of the direction our actions are taking us. Are the things we are doing leading to the realization of our vision for this endeavor and for our life as a whole? If an action seems frivolous or passionless, it probably is, so ask if it is really needed.

Failure as a motivator and not a deterrent

If you are a regular reader here you know that one of the repeating points in many of my posts is the idea of the circular nature of failure in life and the need to understand this trait to find success in our journey through life. This principle applies, even more so, to the keeping and amplifying of passion in our lives. Actions that lead us to the fulfillment of a vision that are backed with passion and love can never be wrong, even when (see how I said “when” and not “if”) they fail. Failure can never be the end. Failure should never be the end. Failure must never be the end.

What failure can be is a necessary piece of a holistic approach to realizing ones passions in life. If we seek to use failure in this way we take away its power and turn it into a tool to actually increase passion in our lives and actions. When failure comes we must look honestly at how we arrived there. Did we follow our vision? Did we stray from what we had set out to do? Or did it just not work? In this way we can be encouraged and can take the things learned from our failures to reset ourselves back on the path we started on and go forward with new knowledge and truth.

Living with passion and truth will sometimes lead us into dark places, but under our feet will always be the path of light leading us toward the realization of our purpose here on earth; we must trust it even when we can not see its curves and bends.


A life lived devoid of passion and under the yoke of reason and responsibility will inevitably lead to unhappiness. The only way to find truth in our lives and to live without regret is to let our passion guide our vessel. To do this we must fight against the forces that will seek to put us back into neat and tidy boxes where passion is snuffed out. Let us not allow outside forces, be they people or things, strip us of that passion. Find that place within your heart where your passion lives and use your mind and hands to manifest that passion in your life.

With that practice at the heart of your choices you can be assured that your destiny will find you. Beyond what we can see in front of us is our destiny and the only way to get there is to live with passion without regret or apology. What are your passions in life? What can you do today to cultivate that passion in an effort to live a life more in line with your true purpose?


5 comments on “The True Value Of Living Life With Passion

  1. kolena
    November 15, 2012

    Thanks for reminding us to live with passion sometimes you just need to hear that its possible:)

    • Tanner Colton
      November 16, 2012

      You’re welcome! I am glad you enjoyed this piece. It is as much a reminder to myself as it is to others. Thanks Kolena.

  2. Angel B
    November 16, 2012

    Great post Tanner! I have to say you’re timing is eerily always on point. Whenever I read your posts I’ve almost always needed to hear what you’re sharing and I thank you for that! Without that passion we definitely lose steam and can often begin doubting what our original vision was which is when the self pity and negative emotions start to surface. I think focusing on goals and living passionately definitely help keep the drive alive lol! Thanks again for your posts Tanner!

    • Tanner Colton
      November 16, 2012

      You make a good point, that by losing the passion with which we began something we run the risk of losing sight of why we are doing it in the first place. Things that start off as a labor of love can soon just become labor, and at that point the vision and the work can suffer. I appreciate your support AngelB, keep thinking and keep creating, talk to you soon.

  3. Pingback: Where The Hell Did I Put My Passion? « free2live282000

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2012 by in Life Lessons, Unboxing Tools and tagged , , , , , .
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