Passion is part of success

Pay and Passion

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” Martha Graham

Don’t disregard that quote just because it’s about something artistic and you do something more ‘practical’.  I believe that every instance of true genius has some art about it.  That might be a dancer’s performance, or it could be an analyst’s spreadsheet.  It might be a beautiful work of art, or a line of computer code. I know many coders who see art, and genius, in a piece of elegantly written code.

It’s often said there are four stages of competence:

  • Unconscious Incompetence
    • You don’t know you even need to know how to do it
  • Conscious Incompetence
    • At least now you know what you need to learn
  • Conscious Competence
    • You’re getting good at it, but you still need to think about it as you do it
  • Unconscious Competence
    • Now you just do it without even thinking about it

Some people also add a fifth level, called ‘Reflective Competence’, where you do it without having to think about it, and you know your art so well that you can then look back and analyse what you did well and what you can improve on. And I now believe that true mastery lies another stage beyond that, in what I call ‘Reflective Incompetence’, where you know it so well that you can deliberately push the boundaries and consciously break the rules, knowing that you’re not going to trip yourself up.

“Life is too short, and work too long, to spend it doing something you don’t enjoy”


Too often we think of art in terms of something that has to be suffered for.  The artist who’s prepared to forego material success in order to pursue their passion and talent. But passion doesn’t have to be all about pain. True passion comes with a sense of joy too.

If your work isn’t also filling you with the joy of achieving something that really matters to you, it’s probably time to apply your genius to something else.

There’s this fallacy we all bought into, sometime in the past, that somehow work is supposed to be hard. And that if we’re having fun, then it can’t be work. And that if we’re getting paid, it’s supposed to be making us miserable. That way lies the life of the starving artist or the broken-down coach.

But what if that was completely wrong? What if your real work was precisely the things you do that bring you joy, and that make you a joy to be around? What if getting paid to have fun meant you’re getting it right?

What if passion & pay went hand in hand?

How would that change your world?

About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

And if you fancy showing a little appreciation for Andrew's content, feel free to gift something from this Amazon WishList

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