- Personal Finance
God and money -- Passion and discipline
There has to be some action to get results
Passion and discipline need each other
Passion is a word that is used everywhere these days. When my daughter graduated from college, the graduation speaker talked to the new graduates about pursuing their passion. Many of these same graduates are struggling to survive. They want to be film makers, rock stars, prize winning journalists, authors and business moguls. Part of the problem is the economy, of course, which makes it hard to find any job. However, there is another problem. There is a word that nobody uses when they talk of passion and finding your passion and pursuing your passion. That word is discipline.
Discipline is a bad word in some circles. People don't like that word. But the fact is that without discipline little or nothing of value is accomplished. The truth is that no matter how much passion you have, at some point you have to do some good old fashioned hard work. Ask any professional athlete, or any actor that has lasted more than one film or play. Ask the professional dancer, the fashion designer, the award winning musician. These people look glamorous and they may make it look like their job is easy. In the same way, Olympic athletes make what they do look easy, but just try it. It's not easy. It takes time and sweat and hard work to reach the goals you are reaching for and the dreams you dream about. Hard work takes discipline. Many people dream of greatness in some field, but the truly great are those who are willing to pay their dues in labor.
What does God say about it?
In Ecclesiastes 9:10, the Bible tells us that whatever we find to do, do it with all our might. This is repeated in Colossians 3:23 in the New Testament. So many people find themselves in jobs they chose simply for the money making potential, or because the job was available.. Then they find they don't like those jobs and don't want to do them but they may feel stuck. This is what leads to bad work attitudes, and all sorts of conflicts in the workplace. Passion and discipline go together. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you will be more likely to put in the time and effort it takes to be successful. Passion, therefore, stimulates discipline. Discipline, which is moving yourself to take the necessary action for success, will move you closer to the goal of your passion. So, then, discipline feeds passion. For example, if you want to be a great musician, it takes lots of practice. You have to give up other activities to have the time to practice. But if you love to play your instrument and it gives you great pleasure to be able to play well, you will gladly put in the time and practice. Some people practice their chosen work for hours each day. The time seems to fly by because they are doing something they love to do. Their passion is fueling their discipline and their discipline is feeding their passion.
Jesus said that where your treasure is, that is where your heart is also. (Matthew 6:21) If you find something you love to do and you pursue it with discipline as well as passion, it will give you a lot of satisfaction and joy. Furthemore, the practice hours you put in will make you better at what you are doing. This is what separates the one-hit wonders, those people who seem to rise overnight and fall just as quickly, from the true stars in any field. Passion by itself will only carry you so far and mostly it carries you to dreamland, where you live in your little fantasy world. We have all seen that person who is always talking about what they are going to do, while they actually do nothing. Twenty years later they are still "going to do" this or that, but now they just look pathetic. Passion with discipline raises you above the hordes of wannabes that only dream of success.
The Bible teaches we have to work to succeed
Do what you love but...
By all means go after the desires of your heart. As long as they aren't illegal or immoral, they are OK. But realize that there will be work involved in what you want to do. Pursue your passion, but consider you may have to take a second job to pay the bills until your beloved occupation or calling pays you enough to survive. Chase your dreams, but accept that you may have to put in hours of labor to become really good at your chosen field. If you aren't willing to put in the time, the work, the discipline, then you are either just a dreamer, or this really isn't your passion after all. In the end, some people decide that they would rather have the security of a job that doesn't excite them but pays the bills. Others decide it is just too much work and it is too hard to get where they want to go. Everyone has things they can get excited about, but that doesn't mean they are going to see those things out to the end. And the scripture plainly tells us it is the one who endures to the end that gets the crown.