Passion Will Give You the Strength That You Desire

– by Wenn Lynn

Previously, we talked about  5 Lessons from Tony Doherty here. Today, let’s focus on his 3 keys to success: Passion, Vision and Action – starting with…


When you think about whether or not you’re going to do something, you weigh the costs vs benefits, the risks vs rewards.

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Let’s take meal prepping for example. It takes time, effort and money to buy quality, organic produce and prepare home-cooked meals. But the benefit is that you get to customize your meals based on your preferences, whether it be gluten-free, dairy-free, high protein, high carb…

It’s a simple cost (time and money) vs benefit (customized meals) relationship.

Whether we realize it or not, we’re always unconsciously calculating the cost and benefit of our each and every move.

In the short term, this helps us make everyday decisions. For example: sleeping earlier because we need to wake up early for work the next day, or choosing to stay up later on a Friday night.

But in the long term, the calculated costs and benefits don’t always add up.

What do I mean by that?

Let’s imagine you’re in comp prep. You go out for lunch with friends at Grill’d, and they order burgers while you dutifully chomp on your homemade salad and chicken breasts.

But you’re staring at the burgers. As the heavenly smell of beef patties wafts into your face, all cost-benefit calculations are done from you grumbling stomach, and here’s how it goes:

Cost = I won’t be ready for my comp.


As pleasure-seeking humans, it’s often hard to stick to long term goals, because it’s more ‘sensible’ to give up now for immediate gratification, rather than endure the pain of deferred rewards. This often results in self-sabotage.

That’s when passion matters. Our passion does not sprout from the cold, calculating analysis of costs vs benefits. Rather, it is based on who we believe ourselves to be (that is, our identity).

So even when you’re craving that burger, you’re able to say no to it, because your passion is enduring.  

So the next time you’re struggling with self-sabotage, before you start guilt-tripping yourself with lack of perseverance, first ask yourself if your goals align with your values, beliefs and identity.

Because your passion stems from your identity. And your passion is the source of our strength during our grestest struggles.

Passion = Love For Your Purpose ≠ Loving What You Do

The saying “love what you do” is not advice; it’s a blessing.

In the rocky road called life, you will often have to do things you don’t enjoy, or things that were unplanned.

There are many pathways to a particular goal, and it’s most likely not going to be the smooth-sailing journey that you fantasize about. And until you can accept that for what it is – a fantasy, chances are, you’re going to get stuck with excuses like ‘life’s unreasonable, it keeps throwing obstacles in my way”.

Then be unreasonable! If someone is being an A-hole to you, are you going to swallow it? No, you’re most likely going to mirror their actions and throw it back into their face.

So why should it be any different with life?

Sure, you need to be practical and have a sensible idea of how hard you have to work to reach your goals. But when things don’t go according to plan (and trust me they won’t), then be prepared to be unreasonable. Be prepared to get down on your knees and do things that you hate.

Don’t let practicality keep you from seizing opportunities when they show up.

Don’t let reason turn you into someone who rejects things that seem unacceptable to your standards.

Be unreasonable.

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Passion = Obsession

Find something you love that you look forward to doing first thing in the morning. Something you think about as you go to sleep. Something that keeps you awake at night.

And you wouldn’t even mind not sleeping because at least you’re doing what you love.

Because you’re so damn passionate about it.

Tony Doherty sleeps about 5 hours a day. Sometimes, he’d wake up in the middle of the night and make the mistake of checking the time on his phone. When he sees the email notifications, he immediately gets to work and doesn’t go back to sleep. When he travels, he doesn’t get jetlag. In fact, he’d rather if he didn’t have to sleep – wouldn’t it be better to be able to sleep faster?

The word ‘obsession’ usually brings on a tinge of unhealthy fixation, but that’s not true. In fact, consider this definition:

“An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.”     – Oxford Dictionaries

The key is to find an idea or thought that is healthy and that you can benefit from. And then obsess about it.

Part 2: VISION

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