The Role of Passion in Fueling Motivation


  The Role of Passion in Fueling Motivation

If you're passionate about your hobbies or job, you'll be more likely to stay motivated in what you're doing. But can it be the opposite? What if someone lacks a certain level of passion for what they do? Can they still stay motivated without that drive? It starts with understanding the role of passion and motivation in fuel. Passion is often seen as something that is positive, but having it can also lead to problems such as over-confidence and egoism. As with anything, knowing when too much passion can be harmful to people will help them reach a happy medium between both extremes.

In a study by S J Ryan and E L Deci in 2001, they showed that the main reason why people become passionate about something is due to the intrinsic rewards that comes with it. In other words, people will be more likely to become passionate about whatever activity or hobby they're doing if they find pleasure in it, which would lead them to develop a sense of commitment as time goes on. This applies for work as well. The level of passion someone has for their job can determine how much effort they'll put into doing their work well. Of course, it's not just based on intrinsic motivation alone; extrinsic rewards like money and praise can play a role as well.

Before we can understand the role of passion in work, it's important to see first how motivation works. In a study by A Kozhedub in 2005, he proposed that people have a certain level of motivation based on things they value and how much they value them. In the study, he used the example of a student who has to take an exam he doesn't want to take. His underlying values are knowledge and self-indulgence, but this test is neither for self-indulgence nor for knowledge; it takes away from his time that could be spent on something that personally values more. Therefore, his level of motivation would be low because he doesn't value it enough. On the other hand, a student who has a much higher value on knowledge will likely have a higher motivation to study and pass the test. Even if he is not motivated at first, he may be more likely to become interested in studying if he realizes that the exam counts for a huge chunk of his grade.

The reason why passion plays such an important role in motivating people is because passion overrides our rational thinking. In another study by S J Ryan and E L Deci in 2002, they showed that those who scored highly in intrinsic motivation were not influenced by external desires for money or praise. Those with high extrinsic motivation would only continue doing what they're doing as long as they are getting money or praise from it. Once the extrinsic rewards go away, the motivation disappears as well. People who are passionate about what they do are still strongly motivated even after the extrinsic rewards disappear because they value what they're doing enough without needing anything in return.

In another study by A Kozhedub in 2004, he stated that people can only maintain higher levels of motivation if they have a certain level of passion for their work. He also said that people with low levels of passion tend to feel drained and exhausted when working due to a lack of intrinsic rewards. Therefore, when an individual finds something he/she values highly and is motivated to work on it, he/she will also be more likely to be more passionate about it as well.

An experiment by S A Harter and M R Dusenbury in 2000 showed that people who can balance passion with their work tend to have higher levels of creativity. They measured creativity by seeing if they were able to come up with many different ideas out of a familiar problem. Those who are more passionate than motivated tended to have fewer ideas than those who are strongly motivated but not as passionate about it. This may be because the stronger their motivation is, the harder they'll try; thus, they would be more likely to come up with new things than less motivated but passionate people.

The same study by Harter and Dusenbury also showed that there is a positive correlation between passion and creativity. Those who had both a high level of motivation for their work and passionate interest in their job tended to be more creative than those who are highly motivated but not as passionate. This can have an important role in future creative developments in the field of work.

Maintaining a balance between both types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, is important to keep people's motivation for working up. When someone is strongly motivated but not as passionate, he/she becomes frustrated when the extrinsic rewards go away because he/she will have to find something else to inspire him/her instead. In the same way, an individual who is not motivated enough but has passion for his job would experience a sense of loss if he/she loses it.

In summary, passion is seen as a positive trait in people who are passionate about their work. However, it can also become a form of egoism and over-confidence when their drive becomes too much and they end up doing everything they can to get other people to recognize or accept them. Both extremes can be harmful to people who are not aware of how much passion they have when doing their work or hobby; this will help them achieve the correct level of motivation that will keep them happily occupied in what they do day after day.

Passion can be related to certain personality traits such as extroversion, Openness, and Conscientiousness. Many theories related to personality traits currently exist and can greatly help describe the nature of passion. For example, Openness is one of the five major traits defined by the Five Factor Model (FFM). Openness refers to a person's general curiosity and their willingness to try new things and see different perspectives. It is typically measured on a scale of 1-to-7 with 7 being the most open. Research has shown that those who score high on Openness typically have a greater passion for their work compared to those who score low on this trait. Conversely, those who score low on Openness typically have a greater passion for their work compared to those who score high on this trait. In addition, research has found a correlation between passion and Conscientiousness. Individuals who score high on Conscientiousness tend to be high achievers and very organized. They are also more risk-averse and conscientious. Those who scored low on Conscientiousness tend to be less likely to achieve success in life compared to those who scored high on this trait.

Another trait that is known to relate with passion is Extroversion, or how much energy someone has when spending time with others of the same sex or opposite sex.


Passion can be a great benefit when it is used in the right context. The key to harnessing this energy is to find out what your passion is, and how you can use it to power motivation. People who have a passion for their work tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction compared to those who do not share the same passion. In order for this passion to benefit them, they need to make sure that they are aware of their level of motivation and do not take anything they do as a loss if the rewards they get disappear. In addition, finding a balance between both types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, is very important in order to keep people's motivation for working up.

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