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 all along been looking for—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...
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