A Coaching Power Tool Created by Kais Gannouni
(Leadership/Executive Coach, SAUDI ARABIA)
Passion and obsession are both values that manifest themselves through thoughts, emotions and actions. They determine the level of greatness, happiness and wealth anyone may achieve in life. They might look like similar but, actually, are completely different.
Passion and obsession are both action drivers. Conversely to other values such as appreciation, admiration, or fascination which are just early stages and much less intense manifestations of them, passion and obsession show up in one’s commitment to a chosen endeavor. For example, someone might say he would like to exercise regularly and eat a healthy food, but he does not. That shows that he has a positive attitude toward a healthy life, buttressed especially by some rational, arguments and reasons. However, the heart is not fully there. In that case, I would not be so easy for that person to commit himself to that endeavor and move forward at full throttle.
When someone is passionate about something, he finds a lot of pleasure, joy and happiness doing it. He forgets about the required time, energy and effort and even sometimes the results he is expecting to achieve. He may look like a child playing with something strange, discovering its secrets and being marveled at any new discovery and learning he is getting out of it.
Obsession is not that different in terms of dedication and extreme devotion. It just adds one thing: the obligation of results. That changes completely the person’s perspective and affects differently his thinking process as well as his inner and outer achievements. Having that in mind the obsessed person would sacrifice everything at hand to achieve an imaginary thing. He sacrifices what he controls (the present) for something he doesn’t control (the future). Sometime it works and he succeeds in his endeavors, sometime not. What happen then? What would be the consequences? In both situations, whether it is a success or a failure, there are shortcomings. In case of a success, the jubilation will not be eternal. It will not take so long for that person to discover that what he has already achieved is actually nothing compared to what is still laying out there. In case of a failure, it is a dead loss. He lost both what was his present (now the past) and his future (now the present).
Table 1: Differences between Passion and Obsession