Let it go. Remove passion from your work. | Work Series

From cave dwellers to astronauts, our evolution has been nothing but spectacular. Human spirit for survival and to thrive has been the core driver behind our progress. Once the momentum picked up resulting in one breakthrough after another, we have become unstoppable, always looking for the next bend, much beyond survival.

Read time: 2 min.

One word suffices all – Passion. Our passion for doing more, become more and be more has led humans to blur the lines between magic and science, and between impossible and possible. Where passion is the fuel that has enabled us to go past all obstacles and overcome all challenges, history has also witnessed that holding on the creation born out of passion has also become barriers to growth and success.

Very vivid is my memory of the day when I was presented with the Best Performance Award within my first four months at a Technology company. The award was for my creation – system blueprint for managing container logistics for a shipping company, which later on became the standard for the shipping industry.  I was incredibly proud of my achievement and humbled when the CEO walked down toward me to hand over the award (I was unmovable not only because of the moment but also because I had gone through a knee surgery recently).

This placed me on top of the world. I was now tasked to bring the design into reality, a software that could be used across the industry. I was filled with passion and a sharp focus to get it done the way it was designed.

The team wanted to make some changes to the design to allow increased efficiency and to accommodate the changes that evolved as the time elapsed. But unknowingly I was blinded by my passion for doing exactly how I had designed it. I took those necessary change suggestions almost as an assault to my design and my accomplishment. I was so attached to the design that I became a barrier to its manifestation into a reality. I held on to my ideas until it became clear to me that instead of infusing life into my passion, I was suffocating it.

I had to let go. I had to view my team members’ input objectively. I had to step back and let others nurture the idea to allow it to bloom. And it did. Come to think of it the shipping company and the industry would not have benefited from our work had I continued to hold on to my blind passion and remained over-protective of my idea.

What changed my mind?

The objective indicators. I was fortunate to observe my team engagement had begun to cool down, which I saw this through the quality of our team discussions. The progress was slowing down, which was evident through the project vitals. Our passions for success were in conflict which reflected in the silence in the idea discussions. It was time to adjust. And I am so very grateful to my old self for having the courage to let the project be led objectively and not by my blind burning passion.

The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. William Pollard


Relate this to any invention in the world, and you will see evidence where the original spark of an idea became revolutionary only after it was allowed to evolve. The original wheel designed by cavemen was the genesis for all human invention. Imagine if the cave person who built the first wheel protected its evolution from others, then you and I would still be dwelling in caves.

A plant to grow requires more than the seed. The soil and the natural ecosystem plays a vital role in their growth. If we were to lock the seed in a box for protecting it, then we will be depriving ourselves of the fruits from the tree.

Just like infants that need protection and care, ideas need protection and care but also the freedom to evolve without getting too protective, else the child will never learn to walk and run, and the ideas will never see the light of day.

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