This post is a story of a man who is having chemotherapy and has had cancer three times in the last eighteen months. He’s had his colon, liver, and gall bladder cut out to remove different stages of cancer.
Even though this man had chemotherapy yesterday morning, he chose to come and deliver sales and negotiation training to a room full of people, which I was among. He told parts of his story throughout the day and how he has gone through more physical pain than many of us could imagine.
Even with all the pain, he keeps showing up to deliver his training. He said that the remarkable thing about pain is it focuses you. We do everything we can to avoid it and then when we are forced to endure it; nothing else matters and your brain becomes concentrated on the pain you’re going through.
As I looked into this man’s eyes during one of the breaks, I saw a lot of red and yellow spots which is a sign of a great battle being fought inside his body. At the same time, I saw a bright spark of light in one of the corners of his eye.
It was as if it was this spark that was keeping him going and stopping cancer from taking his life. This man is very successful and has more than enough money, so the question begs, why does he keep showing up?
The answer is simple; his passion is keeping the fire burning inside of him, and it won’t let him give up his fight with cancer. His passion is what is pushing him through the fear, and focusing him on his legacy. He wants to be remembered for his work.
Below are the seven reasons passion keeps us alive:
1. Passion gives us inner drive
Life can be tough at times and staying motivated is even harder. Passion is what gives us the inner drive to keep going and not to look back. If the sales trainer didn’t come and teach us everything he knew, would he still have the drive to fight cancer? I suspect the answer would be no.
As long as he uses his years of psychology studies to stay positive, and he’s got more to give, his passion will continue to fuel his success. The energy to create momentum in our life or business has to come from somewhere.
2. Passion gives us meaning
As this man continues to be knocked down by cancer, he showed us that we have to give meaning to our life. Even when there is no reason to do so, we have to follow our hearts and minds and pursue that one passion that makes those around us, and the world happy.
Had this man decided to let his passion rest or be put on hold, his reason for waking up in the morning and coming to train us would be gone. He would spend whatever time he has left in the hospital, feeling depressed.
These negative thoughts and emotions would help to fuel his cancer even further, and his lasting effect would potentially be forgotten. This man didn’t want the world to forget him, and he wanted to continue giving everything he has left.
It’s his meaning, and the impact he is having that is keeping him alive. Ignite your own passion and don’t let your legacy be forgotten – it’s too important.
3. Passion allows us to serve others
A passion for something, if kept behind closed doors, is useless to others. For passion to keep the fire burning inside of us, we have to use it to serve others. When we allow our community of friends and colleagues to have access to our passion, we unlock the possibility of them finding their own.
This cycle of discovering our passion, spreading it, allowing other to find theirs, and them spreading the idea further, is what creates harmony and what I believe reduces wars, racism, and poverty.
Our passion can only be compounded further when we get feedback and recognition from those who have benefited from it. If no one benefits from our passion, then we are unlikely to stay on the same path. As much as we hate to admit it, validation from others that we are creating value for them is important.
4. Passion shows us we have nothing to lose
As I went through this sales training yesterday, I heard the sales trainer say that he is here because he has got nothing to lose. When I was speaking with him, one on one I explained my near miss with cancer and we instantly bonded.
He told me in his own words that each of us has got nothing to lose. We both looked at each other and knew that we had come to this realisation of our mortality already – many in the room had not. Through both of our actions, we were consciously demonstrating that our passion is all we’ve got.
“When we are no longer here one day, what we did with our passion and whom we inspired is all that is going to be remembered”
This man had worked very hard his entire life, and he was living with whatever time he had left to make a dent in the world.
He was showing that when everything from his body parts to his health, to his certainty about life is taken away, in the end, all we have left is our passion. All we can do is forget about the naysayers and show everyone what we’ve got and how we can help.
5. We become zombies without passion
Our lives become nothing more than a stimulus response environment when we have zero passion. Rather than having our passion guide us, and our sense of curiosity take us on wild adventures, we become zombies that only react to bright red notifications on our smartphones. We lack any clarity or purpose about what each day should mean.
The sales trainer could have easily become a zombie and let cancer control his mind. He could have easily circum to external triggers and fell into a disempowering state – he didn’t. Passion brings out our human spirit, and this is what zombies don’t have. Their purpose is their very existence; nothing else. Passion in the antidote to cancer and it’s what keeps us alive.
6. Passion helps overcome obstacles
Any quest for massive success is inherently going to involve many obstacles that need to be overcome. Without passion, it’s going to be tough to reach inside and have the strength to strategise, and execute, on a potential solution.
For the sales trainer, he has Mount Everest (cancer) to overcome, and he has won so far because of his passion for his work. His passion takes his mind away from the future and brings him back to the present. The present is where true peace and sanity are found.
7. Without passion, disease takes over
In one of Tony Robbin’s books, he talks about how statistically speaking; insurance companies know that when someone retires they typically die not long after. In my mind, I have linked up that to retire and not follow your passion is to die.
Dis-ease in the body can be triggered by a number of different events. One of those is a lack of passion and a failure to understand why you’re waking up every day. Keep moving, keep creating forward momentum, and keep exercising.
Life is movement. Life is living your passion no matter what.
Yesterday this sales trainer inspired me. It’s rare to see a human being endure so much and still have a spirit that is unwavering in defeat. I want you to look at yourself and find out whether you are really living your passion. If you’re not achieving your goals, then it’s likely linked to your passion.
I would like to wish the sales trainer all the best in his continuous fight with cancer. To see him be so authentic and to watch him use his cancer as a tool for greatness is not something I have seen before. It’s these types of people that create change, push society forward, and who challenge the way we think.
My advice to you is to give everything you’ve got to be one of these extraordinary people. Never lose hope and know that your potential is limitless.