The recognition, description and management of emotions is a challenge for the 21st century.
We have come a long way. We have even started to understand the relationship between neurotransmitters, emotions and feelings. Neuroscience has brought us closer to the space between molecular biology and psychoemotions. We talk about oxytocin and dopamine when we are excited, joyful, enthusiastic.
But we come from Cartesian times, when logic was considered our only strength. Feelings and passion were repressed. The truth, however, is more complicated; our reality has more dimensions. The cortical and rational merge with the limbic and the emotional, and the most primitive parts of our brain make quick decisions, sometimes without consulting the cortex.
At the center of this universe of emotions and knowledge is passion, a powerful affective state of great intensity.
Think for a moment, and remember how you feel when you are passionate about something that motivates you or something you love.
It really is an intense emotion. It encompasses enthusiasm and desire. It is related to positive thinking, and generates remarkable power- pure emotional energy. It is enthusiasm made action.
Such is the value of this emotion that it connects talent with purpose. It inspires the aptitude and strength needed to reach the goal, the mission.
Walt Disney said, "This mouse is my family", expressing his enthusiasm for his work and inventiveness. Or, as John Eliot says in ‘Overachievement’, "the passion put into your talents generates high performance, not just because you think you're going To achieve but because you are absolutely dedicated to achieving it, with conviction and confidence. "
A friend told me that when you walk through companies like Google that care about trust, commitment or passion for what they are doing, what you actually see is children playing passionately for their goals. You do not need to go to Silicon Valley; you see it in people who work as volunteers. We see it with some people in our own companies.
Do you want high performance and innovation? They are fostered by environments of trust, commitment and passion.
When passion is based on trust - coherence, consistency, reciprocity, assertive communication - challenges are not just possible, they become eminently do-able. This is the link between passion and trust. It is very difficult to develop passion if you don’t have confidence in yourself, in your environment, in your organization, or that what you are doing makes sense, is valued, really contributes to strategy and values. So passion only really comes from trust.
One advantage of passion in your day-today is that it generates ‘light’, a positive, attractive impact that shines on others. It is contagious, it can change the environment and it brings out positive emotions in those around you.
Passion is a powerful emotion. It creates value in your performance, in your relationships and wherever it is fostered.