31.07 20140

Trading Passion for Glory

It’s hot out there. The late summer heat feels like a jungle. Sometimes it feels like we are in a jungle even when it is not hot because the world can seem to be full of predators. A tiger is one of the most vicious predators of the jungle.   A tiger is fast, smart and ferocious. Keepers of captive tigers always have to be on guard for sudden attack.

Tigers are tricky.  A tiger has a keen understanding of its prey’s weakness and waiting for the exact moment of that weakness being exposed to attack. Once the tiger’s eye is trained for attack, its strength and tenacity are directly targeted at its prey’s known weakness. When the eyes are seen, the tiger is about to attack, and the battle must be fought based on strength alone verses evasive action.

How does prey become the tiger’s fixation? Many times it is our own arrogance and complacency that puts us under attack. Most of us strive to be in a place of glory, to be esteemed as great at our chosen ambitions; however, ironically, achievement of this desired greatness often is the catalyst that leads to our own demise. Passion helps us win; it drives us forward, but when we win, we can become consumed with arrogance. Arrogance causes us to revel in the glory of winning which can lead to complacency and loss. Don’t forget history. He who forgets how he came to a place of achievement is doomed to repeat the process. This is true for great companies and true for individuals as well. We operate in an increasingly competitive environment where there is no room for complacency.

There is a song called “Eye of the Tiger.” The song talks about staying alive by focusing on your passion, always in a state of ready. There is a saying that success breeds success; however, in some cases we short change success by becoming complacent. Instead of continually challenging ourselves to move forward, we linger a bit too long in the limelight and don’t see that the eye of the tiger has targeted us. When you let adoration go to your head, you lose your passion for greatness and allow for the kill.

Survival is of the utmost importance when you have become the target of attack because even after a significant loss, there is an opportunity for the come back… we don’t have to lose dreams of the past; “we have to fight to keep them alive” … to know that we can push forward in any circumstance. Don’t enjoy successes too much… don’t wallow in failures either. Each is part of life and a temporary state. It is the desire to continually challenge and better ourselves with the situations placed before us—good or bad– that allows us to stay alive and passionate.

Rise up to the challenge by “staying hungry” and developing the ability to survive. Hunger for new strength, new understanding and new skills. Enjoy the thrill of the challenge. Keep your passion … don’t trade it for glory. It has been said people are only truly great when they act from their passions.

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