It starts somewhere, right? Every story has an important beginning. If I ever write my story however, I think I would start in the middle because that’s when I understood just how important the events of my past had been to shaping my purpose.

On the afternoon of July 4th, 2013, I sat content on my back porch. Though it was another nuclear Texas summer and my lawn was unbearably overgrown from our extended vacation away from home, I enjoyed a peaceful moment looking at the park beyond my fence.

People were walking their dogs along the trail, kids were playing at the playground, and I was grateful for choosing this house with this view. There’s something about watching others at leisure that allows me to gain perspective. I needed this time to reflect and decompress. I don’t quiet my mind often enough; I seldom slow down unless I’m forced or am making a conscious effort to take a step back.

I find it hard to draw a line between my work and my personal life.

I’m always working. Even when I’m not supposed to be working, I am thinking about work or finding a way to work. What can I say, I love what I do. I find it hard to draw a line between my work and my personal life. I know balance is healthy, and I even push my team to seek balance. Honestly, I’m a hypocrite when it comes to that rule. If I were consumed by my work, then I would be able to make a difference in the world. Who could turn away from that? Many I suppose… because it’s certainly not an easy, risk-free path. Even when it’s hard or challenging, I have a passion for what I do and not everyone gets that lucky.

I saw an interview once with a pianist who played more than six hours a day. The interviewer was alarmed at the dedication to practice, but the man merely echoed that he loved music and couldn’t imagine being away from his piano. It was part of him and that’s exactly what it takes to transcend from good to great. Another important distinction is that it is not just about constant practice and hard work.

Passion is the difference between doing and living.

Passion is the difference between doing and living. People who say, “just do it” as the popular adage goes, rely solely on drive and motivation to get things done. Don’t get me wrong, you can do a lot of great things that way, even if you’re just going through the motions. However, living your dreams and living a life worth living by letting all that you believe and love penetrate every part of your life, blurring the lines between work and leisure, making them one in the same – that takes real passion and dedication.

Motivation will help pick you up when you fail, and push you over a few hurdles, but it may not carry you through when life continues to beat you down and the difficulty never seems to let up. Passion is what helps you persevere. Some may simply call it insanity. Perhaps, it does take a bit of that too.

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