“Passion” is a word that’s been thrown around a lot in the last few decades. People have a vague notion that passion is a very good thing, and that they want to find it in their work and lives. But beyond passion as a buzzword, its realities are actually very little discussed and seldom well understood.

My guests today have set out to correct this deficit in their new book: The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life. Their names are Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, and I had them on the show last year to discuss their book Peak Performance. Today, we talk about the parts of passion that rarely get talked about: that it has both a positive and a negative side, how the advice to “find your passion” isn’t very useful, and the 3 things you need to really grow your passion. We also discuss why going all-in on your passion too early can lead to long-term failure, how passion can lead individuals to cheat to get and stay ahead, and why embracing the 6 pillars of the “mastery mindset” can help negate the negative side of passion, and harness its positive powers. We end our conversation discussing how it’s okay to have an unbalanced life, and what to do if you can no longer do the thing you’re passionate about or you simply stop being passionate about your work.

Show Highlights

  • Why passion is a paradox 
  • The two types of passion 
  • What happens in our brain when we feel passion?
  • The fine line between obsessive passion and “good” passion, and how much context matters
  • How can you recognize possible passions? How can you move past inevitable adversity and not give up right away?
  • The 3 keys to a fulfilling job/task 
  • Why going all-in on a passion right from the start is a bad idea 
  • How even positive passion can go awry 
  • How do you balance getting the benefits of goals without leaning on them too hard?
  • The “mastery mindset” and its 6 pillars 
  • Why process is so much more important than outcomes 
  • Why it’s okay, and even desirable, to have unbalanced periods in life 
  • How burnout happens, even with our passions 
  • What happens when you can no longer do the thing your passionate about?
  • What about when passion fades on its own? 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Brad and Steve


Brad on Twitter & Brad’s website

Steve on Twitter & Steve’s website

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Recorded on ClearCast.io

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The post Podcast #491: Everything You Know About Passion is Wrong appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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