The Recipe for Student Success – Ingredient One : Real Passion

“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen for you, to you and because of you.” T. Alan Armstrong

There’s no denying that going to college can get pretty expensive, not only in money but also in time. Firstly, there is the initial debt that comes from paying for tuition and accommodation, and then there’s the time we lose having to work to pay it back. Going to university is a huge sacrifice, the question is, is it worth it?

The answer, I think, is yes, if you possess what is one of the most important ingredients in student success – Real Passion, with capitals.

Real Passion is magical. It creates motivation, determination and perseverance. It gets you up in the morning, it energizes your day and it pushes you to the best of your ability.

In an ideal world, everyone would love the subject they’re studying. There may or may not be other reasons for choosing it, but the main reason is that they want to learn. Now, this may seem obvious but up until now, I’ve met too many people that have forgotten the reason why they came to university. They spend too many nights out, they skip lectures and cram in all the work in at the last minute. They’ve forgotten their purpose, which is very sad, especially when I see it happening to my friends, the people that I have really come to care about. Of course, I myself am not perfect, and every now and again I have a lazy night in when I don’t do a shred of work but eventually, I find my way back on track by finding my Real Passion.

What is Real Passion? This can be answered by asking what Unreal Passion is. Unreal Passion is lust,  it’s based on fickle things like beauty or money and it eventually burns out. If you’re doing a subject because of salaries and titles, your happiness won’t last. Real Passion means putting genuine love into everything you do, even if people tell you it’s stupid and it doesn’t pay well. It may not always be practical but as they say,

Do what you love and the money will follow.

Passion has many meanings, but the most crucial part of any kind of passion is desire. It may not be very ‘Zen’ of me to say it, but this kind of ‘desire’ is different. Here, it is the desire to quench an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a desire to do the best that we can and a desire to be happy.

I know it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, sometimes academic life is tough, and full of rough patches. But that’s ok, as long as deep down inside the passion is still there, then you can keep going. If you’re having trouble finding it, try:

1. Meditation and reflection. Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we leave things that are important but not urgent at the back of our minds. Quiet meditation, even for a few minutes, can help us find the reasons why we chose to be here in the first place and let them generate the passion that we lost from the stress of everyday life.

2. Reading. The essays, articles, posts, books and other works of the great experts can be really inspiring. They create goals that you can aim for, maybe even one day surpass. I can guarantee that those people didn’t get there without a dash of Real Passion.

3. Visualisation. Connecting the previous two suggestions, visualisation is a powerful tool. If you can visualise yourself in your dream job, you’re a quarter of the way there already, because you know where you’re going. You can figure out how to get there later. If you had no boundaries and no fears, where would you be in ten years time?

4. Going home. If it’s possible, going home for a little while (perhaps for one weekend) can really help make you realise how far you’ve come since you left. I went home for the first time in months after leaving for college and I was surprised at how both the same and different everything seemed. Not much had physically changed, my home still smelt like home and even my old room was just as I left it, but I was changed. I had come so far in so little time, I was so amazed, I didn’t want to stop. When I got back I was completely motivated to keep moving forwards.

5. Focus. Sometimes we lose our passion for something because we spread what passion we have over too many commitments. We want to try out new things, make lot’s of friends, fit more things to do into our lives. Most of the time this a good thing, we should make the most out of the opportunities that we get in college, but every now and again being spread to thinly can make us forget where our real passion lies. Bringing it back to what we love best and focussing on that can help recreate the passion we once held for it.

All being said, it is important to distinguish between temporarily forgotten passion and passion that has died. When it is time to move on, it’s time to move on, and letting go of attachments to once-have’s and what-could-have-been’s can be just as important. Nevertheless, it all boils down to how greatly you need to have passion, how influential it can be and how crucial an ingredient it is in The Recipe for Student Success.

Do you think that Real Passion is important? What else do you think is vital in The Recipe for Student Success? I’d love to hear your opinions, comment below!

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