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The Secret to Personal and Business Success

By Bethany Bloise

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Here at Imagebox, we have a small but dedicated team of people working to provide clients with our best work. Some may say it’s talent in our particular areas of expertise that makes us the right solution for our clients, but after further research I am willing to claim that it’s something much more than that. It’s all about passion.

A 2006 Employee Engagement Index published by the Gallup Management Journal says that 71 percent of workers are either not engaged or are actively disengaged in the work they perform. I believe that the Imagebox team is part of the 29 percent who feel a connection to their company and work to exceed goals and expectations. Many other studies have also shown a correlation between work performance and passion for the job.

So, why does passion matter so much? I agree with Steve Jobs’ view on passion for work – The people who are most successful in their job love what they are doing.

“People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing, and it’s totally true.” ~ Steve Jobs


Passion at Work

The correlation between passion and job performance can be explained by self-determination theory. The Harvard Business Review explains it best:

“Intrinsically motivated people are more creative because they engage more deeply with the work. If you’re intrinsically motivated, you love the hunt through the maze for a more interesting — and likely more creative — solution.”

The article goes on to explain the difference between talent and passion. You can hire a talented person for their skills, but without passion they will essentially be a static placeholder in your company. Passionate people could be hired with expectations to learn certain skills they don’t even have yet, and then will grow to perform better than originally talented people.

“Long-term, focused, practice powered by the energy of passion…leads to amazing transformations. The bumbling beginner becomes the exalted expert. The trapped and depressed become the liberated and empowered.” ~ Craig Tanner, “The Myth of Talent”


Passion for Personal Growth

If you’ve taken any psychology class, you probably remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, proposed in psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “A Theory of Human Motivation.” Fulfilling these needs actually has a lot to do with motivating employees at a personal level.


Every human being needs things on each tier of this diagram to reach fulfillment in life. Needs higher up on the pyramid cannot be achieved until the most basic ones are already met.


According to the psychology behind this diagram, humans are incapable of having any drive to do quality work if basic physiological needs are not fulfilled. As we move up the pyramid, safety at work should be a given and definitely influences dedication.

The fulfillment of social and esteem needs are things that need to be fostered both on your own and in a work environment. Without team involvement and encouragement at work, passion could exist in some people but be unable to thrive. No one wants to grow to meet an employer’s expectations if they don’t have a supportive environment to grow in.

Once all prior needs are met, a person can achieve self-actualization. This is when an individual reaches their full potential through passion for their work and motivation to succeed. A combination of external workplace factors and internal personal growth gets them to this place. However, a person will also never reach the top of Maslow’s hierarchy if they lack the intrinsic motivation to move up the pyramid.


Identify Your Passion

“We cannot live in a way that is inconsistent with our expectations of ourselves.” ~James Maxwell

What do you expect from yourself personally and while at work? Are you inspired by the people around you? If you don’t have passion to help you succeed in your work now, keep looking for that something that will light your fire and help you and your business succeed!