This is a guest post by Jesse Michelsen from the awesome blog Personal Finance Firewall. I was supposed to publish it while on vacation but did not get the time! Anyway it’s a fantastic post that many of us can truly relate too and I hope you take the time to let Jesse and I know what you think.
Forest is currently on vacation in Sweden. What a beautiful and magical place that is. Yet Forest has been to many wild and exciting places that most people just dream about. He lives in Egypt, he has traveled to some pretty cool places such as Garbage City and he works mostly from home. Forest has a passion for many things and he acts on those passion.
Have you ever met anyone with such a passion for something that their passion just filled the room and swept over everyone in it? Their passion ignites others and just engulfs any doubt against whatever they are talking about? That passion is a massive force and an extremely powerful tool.
Successful entrepreneurs have that passion and it draws other passionate people to them. That passion breeds success. But just like anything else, that passion must be harnessed, controlled and acted upon.
How can you recognize real passion?
Have you ever been involved in a conversation in which the speaker was confident, forceful even, but you knew they were wrong? And you had to wait until they were finished speaking before you voiced your opinion. That waiting time would have been unbearable. You felt like you had to stop the speaker and shout your opinion at the top of your lungs! That is passion! That is one powerful emotion.
Some would describe it as a genuine interest but I have seen passion that would be described as the fire within. I have seen people have a passion for the oddest things, one of them being finance. Most people think finance is boring, but not us. Oh no, we do have a passion for personal finance. We seek out information on finance and value a good conversation on the topic. We just devour information on the subject like nothing else.
But being a seeker and being an actor are two very different things. You can have a passion for a subject for years and never actually act on the knowledge you have acquired.
So you are here, you are obviously interested or better yet, passionate about personal finance but how do you act on that passion? And in finance, acting without understanding the consequences can have disastrous results, so how can you control that passion, in the heat of the moment without ending up making a huge mistake?
How can you harness that passion?
You have to be prepared.
Preparation cannot be stressed enough in any field even something as spontaneous as Improvisation acting or stand-up comedy. Improv is the act of playing off the audience or random thoughts that come to you such as things you see sitting on a table, or even playing off your last statement, joke or mistake for that matter. To successfully connect with an audience and spark an emotional response from them such as laughter or sadness is a powerful thing, and doing it on the spot such as what takes place in an Improv show is even more powerful.
But even in the field of Improvisation, an actor prepares every day! They work out material that they can use in case something brushes on that subject and they practice the act of being spontaneous. This sounds like an oxymoron but it’s completely necessary, even for those with a naturally quick wit and talent for the art!
Personal finance is no different. You need to know how you will likely react when a situation regarding your finances starts to unfold.
You have to have a plan.
Take investing for instance. Investment opportunities are one of those double edge swords and when your first investment opportunity approaches, how will you act? Will you shy away because you are skeptical or afraid? Or will you have a plan in hand to help you analyze the investment and make the best decision. Will you have the funding prepared in advance just in case? These are the sort of things you need to have planned so that you can act on a passion.
Let the passion flood through your entire body so that you feel the enthusiasm of the creator of that passion..the one sharing that new and out of this world idea with you. Let your emotion react to their passion and ignite your thoughts. Then, fall back to your plan you set long ago to evaluate the details of such an idea..passion is easy, the hard part is knowing how far to let it take you and when to stop and process thought rather than let the emotion sweep you away into something you may regret.
This does not mean doubt yourself! Don’t question that passion you felt. The emotion is raw and powerful. You need to use it to get you stated and keep you going but you need to use your rational thoughts to direct that passion into something tangible.
Once you have felt the passion, write down how you feel. Record yourself talking so that you can relive that passion you felt. The worst thing you can do when you feel passion take hold is let that passion die. Relive that passion any chance you get when you feel you have forgot why you did this or what got you where you are.
You have to follow through
Most importantly, follow through. If you felt the passion, analyzed the idea using your plan, the last step is to actually act. Do it! You have followed every step set forth and are at the point when you need to pull the trigger.
Each and every part of your financial life can benefit from having passion injected into it. Passion can keep you going when you are getting mentally tired. It can spur new and unique ideas for you to increase your side income, create a better investment plan or even start a full business no one has ever tried before.
That is how you harness passion. If you can get the right mix of that emotion and clear thought, there is nothing that can stand in the way of fulfilling your financial dreams!
This is a guest post by Jesse Michelsen who writes passionately about personal finance topics such as creative ways to save and invest at Personal Finance Firewall.
<em>Image by <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/featheredtar/”>FeatheredTar</a></em>