Passion is underrated

A few months ago I was conducting a series of training sessions. The participants were persons who had just completed their education and were being trained for their first job. You’d think that they would have been enthusiastic as hell but you’d be wrong.

While I enjoyed the process of the training, interacting with the participants was like hitting my head against a wall. The thing was that I was not the only trainer to notice that about the participants.

Contrast that with another set of training sessions that I conducted two years ago. The participants were buzzing with energy, they were enthusiastic, they genuinely wanted to learn, and I had a blast training them. They’d stay late if needed and they’d even come in early to try out things that they’d learnt. From what I’ve heard, they’ve been doing pretty well for themselves.

I’m not making the point that people who are excitable or enthusiastic in training sessions are the ones who benefit the most. That’s not necessarily true–sometimes introverted people may not want to dive into discussions, etc. But, I feel that people who are really interested in learning, who are passionate about what they’re learning, they’re the ones that will get the most from training sessions. And, it’s a pretty good bet that they’ll do well at work too because they know that hard work is needed.

Coming back to the first set of participants: They never realized how lucky they were. Their company was willing to pay an external trainer money to train them, it was willing to conduct internal training sessions, and it was giving them a chance to learn while getting paid for four weeks. How many people get a chance like that?

If they were passionate, I have no doubt that they’d be doing well now. But, since they weren’t I’m not so sure. And that has nothing to do with how smart they were or how talented–that stuff can only take you so far.

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