If you look back on my posts regarding the Imagine Cup, you can see that passion is a mandatory element for any good Imagine Cup team. Passion, however, is a very powerful, yet fleeting emotion. It is very easy to become passionate about something, but sustaining that passion is an entirely different thing. That being said, the Imagine Cup teams that find a way to sustain their passion are the ones that will set themselves apart from the crowd.
So as I was out and about this morning on my daily walk around the blogosphere, the article How to: Fuel Your Passion by Misty Belardo really struck a chord with me. Misty offers the following suggestions for achieving your dreams:
1. Don’t wait for time, make time – Busy, busy, we always say that, but when are we really not busy? Give at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of your time a day, to either start learning what you want to do (ex. cooking, painting, designing etc) and stick to it, taking small steps is better than not doing nothing at all. I work, 9 to 10 hours a day on my regular job and sometimes even more, but giving myself time to do what i love most (writing, drawing) really helped me even with my productivity at work. Being happy and fulfilled does make a big difference.
2. Don’t give up when you encounter difficulties – Some are lucky when they pursue their dreams, but there maybe occasions when you encounter challenges. When I started blogging last year and started my personal blog, I had difficulties with having people even look at it, took some months before I even had someone follow my blog, but i persisted and found ways to make stuff interesting. As most of the people I know who have been successful, they would always tell me that, something worth doing usually is hard, and you would need to go through a lot, but most worthy things usually are.
3. Give your heart and soul into it – Commit to it and give your very best. Most successful people I meet would always tell me that they all started from scratch, they were not great or famous instantly, it took them great courage, dedication and discipline to get where they are now. We in turn have our own talents and gifts that we just need to nurture.
4. Hang with people you know that have the same passion as yours – Having positive and encouraging people always helps, they can give you the boost you need when you are in a slump. I attribute my daily inspiration to people who have taught me a lot and have been there cheering me on as I continue my journey to reaching my goals.
5. Set an achievable goal for yourself – It is always good to set a goal that you know you can achieve, setting something that you know is impossible will only cause you grief and in turn cause you to stop. What do I mean here, When I set myself to finally write and start a blog, I did not set to be one in a span of 2 to 3 weeks or even months, what I said was that in 2009 I will at least have gotten a blog up with good content and have a set of people interested in reading, and then build up on that. Having too much expectation in a short span of time with very little experience would have caused disastrous outcome and would have been demotivating for me.
I think that these items, while not directly related to the Imagine Cup can be very useful to you as you go down the long road that leads from getting excited about solving one of the world’s toughest problems to dealing with the tough tasks ahead of you. Being a good Imagine Cup team isn’t easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work. Finding a way to capture and sustain the passion that you have in the beginning in the project just may prove to be the fuel that takes you all the way to New York City to compete in the World Finals.