I know Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg; they are two passionate people, so it seems appropriate that their new book is about the paradoxical nature of passion. I knew they were working on a new book but had no idea what it was about until it showed up in the mail.
It was particularly timely as I am at the stage in career/life where I am transitioning and redirecting my passion. For fifty years my passion has driven me, most of the time it was good sometimes it was bad when I lost sight of true north. I am redirecting my passion away from day to day coaching and interaction with athletes to coaching coaches and consulting. It has been a struggle because my passion has been to see people grow and develop day to day and week to week.
I have always said passion is like a high-octane fuel, it is explosive if not handled correctly. Steve and Brad underscore this with meticulous research on the whole area of passion. They clearly portray the upside and the downside of passion, hence the title of the book: The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life. Personally, I have struggled with colleagues and athletes who did not share my passion. After reading the book, it was comforting to learn that this is not uncommon and is often the cause of mental and physical breakdown and the demise of many relationships. By the way it also made me feel feel better that sometimes life balance is unrealistic and damn near impossible.
This book is a user’s manual on how to use passion and what to do when it gets out of control. They have done a super job of weaving the psychological research with stories and personal anecdotes. This book is not a self-help book in the traditional sense of a self-help book, but instead it is a guide and I said earlier a user’s manual on handling that high octane fuel called passion. It sure would have been great to have this resource about fifty years ago. The path might have been a bit smoother, but never too late to learn. Get this, read it, digest it, and take it to heart and passion will be your fuel.