The power of passion

I had the chance to watch a TED-Ed video by Richard St. John on the "Power of Passion" and it really got me thinking. It made me think about my passion for what I do for a living. I consider my passion one of the keys to my own personal success.  

I have to say growing up I never imagined I would be doing this job. As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut or firefighter. Later as a teen I dreamt of becoming a movie star or standup comedian. I will go as far to say if you would have told a young Dion Wilson he would grow up to sell toilets and plumbing fixtures, well, that boy would have laughed at you with a response of something along the lines of  “yeah right.”  Even so here I am some 20 years into a career in the plumbing fixture industry, doing what I love and what I am passionate about.

It still strikes me as funny to say I am passionate about plumbing fixtures, but truth is I am. But this job is so much more than selling toilets, WAY MORE. I love this industry even with its ups, downs and many continuous changes. Sure there are days that I find myself at my wits' end. You know, those days you just want to raise a white flag, say you give up and just walk away. Maybe it is an argument with your boss, a fight with a co-worker or a customer who rips you a new one for something totally beyond your control.  There will be those days no matter what job or career path you take or have taken. It’s called life.    

So what is it that keeps us going? What keeps us from saying I am fed up and throwing in the towel? I think a big part of what keeps us going and actually gives us the ability to excel is passion. It does not matter if you sell toilets, make birdhouses, teach dance, or coach little league, it is passion for what you do that takes you from average to extraordinary.

The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines passion as a noun: a strong feeling or excitement for something or about doing something.  

I never foresaw the day I would have a strong feeling of excitement about plumbing fixtures, yet here I am. I have asked myself: how did I develop a passion for this and when did it happen? Then I realized I am passionate about many things in my life. I am passionate about my job, about my family and friends, design, photography, music, social media, Apple products and the list goes on.  I would tell you about some of my other passions like Marvel superheroes, Star Trek and Star Wars but I don't want all of you to know I am also a geek.

I believe being passionate about what you do makes you more invested in what you do. History is full of people who were passionate about what they did. Look at some of the most successful people in recent times and what they've achieved. The one that always comes to mind for me is Steve Jobs.  Apple would not be the product it is today had it not been for the passion of Steve Jobs. His passion was like a magnet for people. Isn’t that how it always is? A person who is passionate about something seems to attract supporters, helpers and even devoted fans.    

When researching information for this article I found the best description for passion listed on the Urban Dictionary. There description for passion is as follows:

“Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.”

I figure at this point reading this article you probably have already asked yourself if you are passionate for what you do. I truly hope the answer is yes! If the answer is not yes, then I think you have to re-evaluate a few things and work to find your passion. Because passion is a big part of being successful but it is not everything. Think of it as a building block or even a corner stone to success. See, success in anything requires more than passion alone. It requires a lot of hard work, intelligence, common sense, leadership, honesty and courage. All of these things together make a recipe for success.

The other thing to remember about passion is that it can be contagious. How many times have you known someone who is able to get others excited about and idea or project? These people motivate us. They make us excited about what they are excited about. That is why great teams have that one person who not only leads them, but also acts as a cheerleader. I truly think we need more of this in our industry and in particular its showrooms.

I can walk into a showroom and immediately tell if someone on the staff has passion for what they do or not. It shows in the way their showrooms are presented and their displays are put together. Examples of this can be seen coast to coast like Millers Decorative Hardware in Jupiter, Fla., and ProSource Supply in Greenville, S.C., to The Bath and Beyond in San Francisco Calif.

The flip side of the coin is that a lack of passion for something can also be just as contagious. Now I won’t list the showrooms I have seen that are lacking passion, but they are out there. To have a great showroom does not require a huge budget! Don’t get me wrong — a great budget is awesome if you can get it, but what really makes a showroom great is someone with passion.   

I love seeing people who are passionate about this industry as it gives me hope for its future. This industry is more than just toilets, tubs and faucets.  It is amazing designs, companies and — best of all — people. Like with anything, it is just how you look at it. Consider it a perspective of passion, if you will. If you are passionate about our industry, I want to read about or see it.

On Twitter use the hashtag #passionateforplumbing or send me a direct tweet @dion1701. You can also post a picture on Instagram using the same hashtag with your photo and send it to me directly. My username is dion1701. Show me you are passionate. Until then, enjoy what you do or start finding out what that is!

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