Monday, November 9, 2015

Passion or Discipline? What Makes A Person Successful?

What makes a person successful? Some say its passion, some say its discipline. What do you think?

Passion to me is when we love something we do, its a feeling we have that keeps us going. Passion however, can get us out of hand sometimes. Feelings makes us emotional and can't think rationally. We may end up doing crazy things because of passion and end up causing our health to suffer. When we like something so much, we sometimes can be obsessed with it to a point when we are willing to give up everything for a cause.

Discipline on the other hand is building up habits in our lives. We brush our teeth everyday not because we feel passionate about it but because we build up discipline or habits for it. We know what's important in our lives and take care of our health by eating healthier, sleeping well etc. We build up habits to save money not because we are passionate for it but because we know it is important for our future.

Now, which is more important? Passion or discipline? In life, I think we need some passion and also some discipline. Let me explain why. Imagine if you're passionate for something and you don't eat or sleep just to do that thing you're passionate for. Is this even sustainable in the long run? You may end up lying on the hospital bed even before you could be successful. On the other hand, if you just have discipline only and not passion, then your life is just a routine without any feelings.

Having both passion and discipline is not easy. We may have found our passion but do not have the discipline to make sure we balance our lives by sleeping enough, eating well etc. We may have discipline but will find it boring if we do not have passion in what we do. Blogging has been a passion to me. But I make sure I do not get so obsessed with it that its the only thing in my life. I still work because blogging doesn't give me an income to sustain my lifestyle. I still have my own social life and take care of my health. It actually takes both passion and discipline to write on my blog.

Discipline can be trained. It takes effort to build up good habits. Habits of saving money, habits of eating healthily and habits of sleeping well can be trained. This is the first step to sustain us for life. However, passion cannot be trained. We cannot force ourselves to like something. When I was young, I had the opportunities to explore the artistic side of me such as arts and music but I did not have the passion for it. I've seen people who are so passionate for arts that they spend hours upon hours drawing or practising their skills. This is just not me.

Passion has to be searched. It comes from the heart. When we find it, we will know it in our hearts. Its that simple, just search your heart and take time to listen and think about your life. Without passion, our life feels meaningless. With passion, we still need discipline to make sure it is sustainable. Find your passion, train your discipline. Life will be more meaningful and sustainable as a whole. Success is not measured by how much you have but by how much you have lived your life as a person.

Enjoyed my articles? 
You can Subscribe to SG Young Investment by Email 
or follow me on my Facebook page and get notified about new posts.

Related Posts:
1. How Delayed Gratification Can Determine Success or Failure?
2. Finding Your Passion and Keeping It Alive


  1. Passion can change along the way. Now we may love it after some time we may hate it. No different from falling in love and then falling out of love. Final state of success will come at the end of our times whether passion or discipline?

    1. Hi Uncle CW,

      LP commented on my FB page that we tend to have passion for what we are good at. Its quite true that passion can change along the way when we feel demoralised after awhile. Falling in love and falling out of love.. its still too deep for me to understand.

  2. Hi SGYI,

    Agree that both passion and discipline are impt! Sometimes passion can provides naturally the impetus for discipline. Otherwise if it requires lots of discipline to develop passion, sometimes it can well be that it is actually not your real passion.

    Just to add: Passion is not inbornt, and few is like WB, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates to find them early in life etc. Frankly it is easy to mention about passion, but for young student gg thru time consuming SG education, it is more difficult to find their passion. In fact most pple in SG study to find a good job, work to get good salary.

    In order to find passion early in life (which is a determinant of applying passion to success), exposure and guidance is impt. The greater the exposure the higher likelihood that we can find ur passion eventually via trial and error, when u truly understand urself eventually. Guidance (can be from people or books), gives u the right frame of mind to develop ur passion.

    IQ, EQ, Handwork, Timing, Luck equally impt. I had seen many people who has immense passion but with low IQ and EQ unable to have breakthrough too!

    I am sure u already found your passion! ☺

    1. Hi Rolf Suey,

      You're right in saying IQ and EQ are important too. That's why i brought in the discipline part which is sort of the IQ portion of our life. For EQ, yes it is important. If we do not get along well with people, we won't find a breakthrough.

  3. I like your thought process. I guess passion without discipline will not bring you success. Neither does solely being disciplined with any passion.
    But then "success" is very subjective anyway.

    Looking beyond passion and discipline: Various scientific studies have proven that if you learn how to deal with other people, you will have gone about 85% of the way down the road to success in any business, occupation, or profession, and about 99% of the way down the road to personal happiness. This - for me - is even more important than being just perceived as successful by other people. Without personal happiness success is failure.

    1. Hi Tacomob,

      Thanks for sharing. Indeed without personal happiness, success is a failure.