Think for a moment about the most successful people you’ve met in any field or any endeavour. In addition to a Winning Attitude*, one of the most dominant characteristics they all have in common ispassion. Whether their success is in the area of business, education, parenting, volunteerism – whatever – you can see the passion and resolve in their eyes whenever the topic comes up. It is part of who they are and what defines them.

So, what are you passionate about? What are the things in your life that are important to you? What are the values and principles that you hold dear? If you’ve never done this exercise before, take a moment to think about them, and write your thoughts down. It can be an amazing piece of self-discovery. The more important question, though, is this: Do you actively champion these things, or do you just sit on the sidelines and hope for the best? If you are like most people, you fall in the latter category. It’s unfortunate, because it is the high achievers, the champions, who stand out most in people’s hearts and minds.

Don’t be afraid to be passionate about the things you believe in. Don’t be afraid to stand for something. And, as long as you are willing to listen, respect, and give credence to the position of others, don’t be afraid to let people see you get mad or get happy when your cause is just. It’s true that standing for something can make you vulnerable to those who may try to shoot you down. Not everyone will share your passion or your perspective. It’s also true that

That’s okay. Because those who do will have great respect for your confidence, courage and conviction.

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