Passion is a trait shared by almost all who accomplish great things. It’s what lets you see possibilities where others see obstacles, pursue dreams where others shut down, and hang on when the situation looks bleak.
There are many, many forces in the world today (and I suspect there always have been) that pull people back from their deepest aspirations. And one of the most potent of those forces is the admonition to be “realistic”—where realism is defined as coming to terms with the status quo, accepting that things don’t work as you’d like them to, and on and on.
To me, that’s tantamount to giving up.
It’s true that an unswerving belief in something doesn’t guarantee it’s going to happen. At least not exactly when and how you’d hoped. But the likelihood that you will become everything you’re capable of being…and do all you’re capable of achieving…depends more than anything on not taking “it’ll never happen” for an answer. The one exception, I’d say, is pursuing fame for its own sake, because that’s more about self-importance than achieving something of substance.
At our Medical Center, we’re privileged to be surrounded by people who—at all levels and in all functions—transform the lives of others through their commitment to ideals. I hope we all learn what they have to teach us: that passionate people truly change the world.