The Friday News Minute!

A weekly gem of information you will be using on Monday!

Published by Andrew Sanderbeck

Managing Partner of The People~Connect Institute

Success Begins when People~Connect!

This week in my Friday News Minute, I have an excerpt from an article to share with you about living your life with passion! One of my favorite keynote presentations that I give for organizations and at conferences is Growing Our Passion, and author Ani Bhatnagar does a wonderful job of explaining what passion is and what it does for us. I'll include the link for the full article at the end.  - Andrew 

Why passion?

Index of life: Whether you are an ordinary person or a celebrity, you can do without passion only if you can do without life because it is passion alone that determines the extent to which you are alive.

People say every cigarette reduces your life span by an hour. That could indeed be true. But truer is the fact that an hour spent doing something unwillingly has already subtracted an hour from your life. Life is not a collection of days you manage to live through, but of ‘todays’ that you live passionately to the hilt.

People who lack passion feel that if they could get this promotion, or that kind of a bank balance or get rid of some health problem, they will be happy. But the fact is that those whom they find extremely happy usually have similar problems, if not more serious ones. We human beings, like any piece of iron, can propose to finish ourselves in two ways: we may rust ourselves out or we may simply wear ourselves out. Rust looks ugly; wearing out brings shine!

Value of life: How valuable would diamonds be, if they were as common as pebbles on the road? Their value is only because they are rare and need the ceaseless effort required to mine and cut them to shape. Value of your own life, in a similar way, comes not from your achievements, but from the quality of passion with which you are still making ceaseless efforts today to make it shine further. Musicians, painters, scientists, inventors, authors and others who are creatively living their lives are cut off from thoughts of any monetary concerns, like “how much will this fetch me?” or “is it worth the royalty I am going to eventually earn?” The mind is instead focused on enjoying the excitement of responding to the challenge at hand.

Under James Cameron’s original deal, he was to receive an $11.5 million fee for his role as writer, director and producer of the movie, Titanic. However, as costs for Titanic soared out of control to more than $200 million—twice its original budget, not ready to compromise with his passionate vision, he volunteered to forgo most of his fees and profit-participation except for his $1.5 million writer’s fee. Cameron also agreed to forgo half of his profit-participation on the next movie he would make for Fox.

Overjoyed with the success of the movie, the two studios—Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox that produced the film—later agreed to jointly restore Cameron’s original deal. He eventually ended up earning much more than his original deal!

Sudha Chandran, the Bharatanatyam dancer, who lost her right leg below the knee, and persevered with her passion for dancing through pain, blood, tears and doubts, stormed back to life as a well-known dancer and television actress.

In spite of nature denying him the use of his physical body, Stephen Hawking, the author of the seminal book, A Brief History of Time, is considered the most important theoretical physicist since Albert Einstein. So severely handicapped is his body that he takes eight to 15 minutes to compose his answers to audience’s questions by using a computer cursor with his crippled right hand, spelling out each word letter by letter.

The world is replete with examples of people who have kept the flame of passion alive against all odds.

Fuel for fulfillment: Anyone who finds circumstances unfavourable, has in fact only found what he has  been looking for all along—even though only subconsciously. Those who find pursuing meaningful goals difficult, settle for the next best—they pursue nice and convincing excuses. And what you look for usually finds you before you can find it. If you focus on results, you achieve them; if you focus on having explanations for failures, that is precisely what you will find. However, people pursuing their goals rarely notice any ‘unfavourable circumstances’ on their way. The goals that burst forth from your soul, if noticed with intense feelings, pull you towards them the way a rubber band pulls a loose object towards the fixed end on being released.

Secret of physical and spiritual fitness: The word ‘inspiration’ means ‘to be one with the spirit’, and the word ‘enthusiasm’ composed of the two roots ‘en’ + ‘theos’, means ‘to be one with God’. Passion both stems from and causes spiritual fitness. Lack of passion therefore stems from spiritual poverty and can be overcome by placing everything you do in the wider context of meaning, values and ethics. And passion, in turn, helps you search for the deeper meaning in everything you do. It is a chain reaction that once triggered feeds on itself and goes on growing bigger and bigger progressively.

With passion, blood finds new joy in circulation, mind receives more oxygen, alertness level touches a new high, each cell of the body displays happiness and gives rise to a more tolerant and caring attitude. Sleep deepens, helping the body to repair its worn out cells, and diseases suddenly find themselves out of place in any part of the body. Passion is therefore the most precious and vital tonic that you alone can produce for your body, and that too free of cost!

Improves learning ability: ‘Learnacy’ is the initiative and ability to learn what is really required to be learnt, and consistency with which one applies the appropriate kind of knowledge to real life situations. Interestingly enough, it does not come with opportunities but with passion. People who have a big enough ‘why’ to achieve something, learn and do all that it takes to do so, anyhow. In contrast to this, all opportunities and facilities provided to someone who lacks passion shall go down the drain. As a corporate trainer, I always find that the resulting passion helps participants learn better when I help them connect to their own spiritual essence.

Inculcates value for time: What would you do with your time if you were passionate about life? Fritter it away? Kill it somehow? No. Time would become extremely precious for you. It will make you ceaselessly aware of how you spend each moment of yours—clearing away the fog of absent-mindedness. Passion is a powerful tool to inculcate mindfulness. And mindfulness will make you proactive, more centred and less stressful.

Cues for developing passion

Focus on today from the window of tomorrow: You need to look back at all the facets of your ‘today’, from the window of that tomorrow when the changed scenario in the respective areas would have pleased you to the hilt. See this gap between what you will be in that tomorrow and what you are today. Also see the journey involved to bridge this gap. Lethargy, fear of failure, low self-esteem and lack of trust in your self in the name of spirituality and fake contentment shall dissuade you from it.

Own responsibility: Between your potential and performance flows a river of hesitation. You can’t cross the river merely by staring at the water. You either need an inferno at your end to escape from, or a glimpse of the treasure awaiting across the river, or both. In other words, we need pain to run away from, a pleasure to go towards, or both. Nature ceaselessly provides us both intermittently, so as to ensure our ceaseless movement towards growth. However, it also provides us with the freedom to turn our backs on them. We usually settle for the latter because we at first imagine a threat and then, as our response to it, want to play safe.

Don’t you think we take life and ourselves too cheaply? Don’t we deserve more love, respect, commitment and care towards our lives? If you don’t care for yourself, who else will? Be a responsible gardener to your life.

Timely action is the key: There are two ways to manage your life; to cope with its problems and consequent stresses, or to work towards overcoming them. None of the two is sufficient in itself. We need the first while we are in the process of the second. But for some, the first may sometimes be tempting enough to get stuck in, which may allow the stresses to increase till they go beyond one’s coping abilities. For example, it may often be tempting to get stuck in your religious rituals to run away from the desired actions to avert an unpleasant happening. Though this may distract you from the problems in life and help you in protecting your inner peace from stressful thoughts of impending threat, but in the absence of the desired action, you are losing the opportunity to put into practice the wisdom of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.

Review your dreams: There are only two emotions: pain and pleasure. And passion is an offspring stream that flows between the two. It feed-forwards into pleasure the lessons it learns from the pain. When we fail in either of these two constituent abilities—receiving and rightly interpreting the lessons from the pain, and persistently feeding them forward as an investment in intended pleasures—we fail to strike the fire of passion within. So being ceaselessly awake to the gap between one’s potential and intentions (the idea of a dream life complete in all its facets) and one’s performance and pains (the reality of one’s present life circumstances) is the key to strike passion. And striking passion is akin to striking gold. The only fundamental wealth we have is that of passion. You can create anything with it and also lose anything without it. However, an insecure man feels too secure with his present to allow himself to try any experiments with it.

Learn from sorrows: The real sorrow in life is not getting sick, old or having to die, for we often come across sick, old and dying people who are happy. The real sorrow of life is to lose the ability to feel the sorrows—and hence that of doing the needful. Pain is a message from nature that you should pay attention to and address. If you put a frog in boiling water he will leap out immediately. However if you put him in water at room temperature but slowly heat it, he will get roasted in it and won’t come out. Most of humans do get roasted in their suffering, having lost their sensitivity to the pain they are going through. You need to develop awareness of the pain, track it down to the learning hidden in its roots and persevere to take appropriate action to leap out of it.

“Whenever you lose, at least do not lose the lesson involved,” says His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Sorrow and pain must be accepted with grace but not as a punishment meted out to us for our past deeds that we cannot even remember. It should be seen as a signal towards the necessity of looking within to discover and correct where we are continuing to flaunt any of the laws of nature. You and I, as a parent, would not like to keep an account of our children’s wrongs and punish them for mistakes that they have forgotten and corrected since. God is surely wiser than us and kinder too. So don’t believe if you ever hear: “Suffering is the nectar that washes away our sins”. The nectar is in learning, not in suffering.

Read the full article at


Free Webinar Next Week!! Register Today!

Conflict in a Peaceful Library from Andrew Sanderbeck and WebJunction
Event Type: Webinar
Date: 10/15/2008
Start Time: 1:00 PM
UPDATE: The date has changed for this webinar! This webinar will now begin at 1 PM Central on October 15.

Conflict happens! Many of us try to avoid it, some fight with it, some seem to enjoy it and still others seem to handle it with tact and skill. What’s the secret to effectively handling situations of conflict? How can we de-emotionalize ourselves to the situations so that we don’t get caught up in them?

Join Andrew Sanderbeck as he explores our dealings with others in the library by defining the conflict situation and using one of three approaches to successfully handle or resolve it. If you don’t like to be yelled at by other people, you’ll really enjoy this fun and interactive webinar

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