09/10/2014 07:22 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2014

The Power of Passion

Coach Benson, my high school track coach, loved to use the word "passion." Before every track meet, he'd begin with the same motivational speech: "Winning runners aren't philosophical, and they're not intellectual. But, damn, they are passionate! And do you know why they're so passionate? Because they're not interested in the 'why' of things, they're interested in the 'how.' Stop asking 'why can't I run faster,' and start asking 'how can I run faster.' Right now, as you're preparing for this track meet today, you contain more passion than you could possibly need to run your race faster than you ever have before. If you're going to win today, if you're going to win in life, you've got to be passionate about what you're doing."

Over the past 55 years, since I received this powerful message, I've seen it prove itself in my life and the lives of others in a thousand and one ways. Passion is the language of triumph. When you feel impassioned about your aspirations, you don't wait for things to happen -- you make them happen. And, you do that by constantly asking, "How can I throw all of my personal power into my aspiration so that I hit the mark?"

The impassioned person wastes no time on trivialities, never blames others for mistakes he makes, and gets excited about experimenting with new methods of achieving his goal. It's a fancy-hearted and fact-finding endeavor to live with passion.

Here are five things to do to help you live passionately, no matter what the conditions or circumstances may be:

  1. Never identify with a setback. No matter how poor the results may be -- you are infinite possibility. Identify with that.
  2. Never agree with a discouraging thought that works against your aim. Chase it out of your consciousness by reminding yourself that things aren't working out right simply because you're not thinking rightly. Now choose a thought that puts you back in command of things. One of my favorites is, "If it is to be it is up to me, and that requires flexibility."
  3. Instead of dwelling on how disappointed you feel because you didn't achieve your desire, look deeper into the failure and demand that it explain itself to you. How can you refine what you're doing so you can achieve better results? Learn to by asking more and more questions. Become a collector of fresh information.
  4. Put progress before pride, and you put your power of eager anticipation to work for you. Expose yourself to novel ways of doing things, even if it makes you feel awkward. Don't tolerate timidity.
  5. Dare to exaggerate. Use more energy than you think is needed, but apply it effectively. Be patient. Remind yourself daily that energy used for "course correction" guarantees that you're heading in the right direction.

Conflicting and unchecked emotions are prime enemies of passion. Adopt even a couple of the above ways of putting passion into your day, and you guarantee progress in any area that you want to succeed.

Rob White's International Bestselling book -- And Then I Met Margaret -- offers inspiring short stories that reveal ordinary gurus who come to you to prove there's no such thing as a final failure unless you say so.