Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

It's All About Passion » End - Logout: Find Your Passions

End - Logout: Find Your Passions

In this materialistic world we're living in, passion is what sets us apart and it's what we all need.

Logout: Find Your Passions

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

  • Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

What are you passionate about?

Money, status, cars, luxury items… are cool to have, but they don’t inspire people. Passion inspires people. Passion attracts people. In this materialistic world we’re living in, passion is what sets us apart and it’s what we all need. That’s why it’s so important to be passionate about something. It’s so crucial to really find your passion and now it’s your turn to discover your 7 (or more) types of passion.

I’ve been running my own company for more than 10 years now. I’ve failed several times at first to finally succeed with my productivity application because I followed my passion. I first discovered it and later followed it all the way.

Over 7+ years of running Nozbe, I discovered all these types of passion that drive me today. Hopefully this book will inspire you to find your calling, your passions and your drive… and I assure you, you’ll live a fantastic life, just like the one mentioned in this quote:

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself he always seems to be doing both. Enough for him that he does it well.”

  • Quote from the 1932 book “Education through Recreation” by Lawrence Pearsall Jacks

Passion through the eyes of others

Before publishing this book, I asked some of my closest online friends if they also wanted to contribute. Some sent me short quotes which I included throughout this book. Others shared their own “passionate stories”. Let me finish this book with a few of these.

The power of “side effects”

After each type of passion I mentioned a few surprises that show up in your life when you become a passionate person. My friend, Michal, calls them “side effects” and explains this concept beautifully:

“Typically we plan for something. We think that we are in control and we can predict the results.
Typically it’s true, but we also have to be open for unplanned side effects. We shall have the passion for the unknown…
Imagine you are a blogger. You have the message but, as a human, you don’t know whether it’s “good enough”. Sometimes its value is invisible for you although your audience can see it. Sometimes perfectionism kills the courage of sharing your “work in progress” with the world. My advice? Don’t try to make it perfect. It will never be! It is a process. Embrace it. Enjoy the journey with those who are following you and are willing to hear your message. Don’t let yourself be alone with your thoughts.
Others will support you, motivate you and eventually help you shape your message or product.
As soon as you release your message and your story to the world, it starts to live its own life. And then the magic of side effects happens. You are able to help others without even knowing about it. There might be someone out there desperately waiting for your words. One day you can meet someone who will thank you for saving his or her life - perfect ROI of “stupid 1000 words” you might have shaped several months ago. It happened to me. It might happen to you. That’s the essence of blogging, podcasting and releasing any form of valuable content to the world.
Don’t keep it for yourself. Don’t be so selfish. Open up for the unknown and the power of side effects.”

It's all about passion - 25

Steve Jobs was right

In this book I quoted Steve Jobs a couple of times. The impact he’s made on me and millions of other people is amazing. My friend, Grzegorz, shares his story and pays tribute to the late CEO of Apple:

“Steve Jobs used to say it’s really essential to have a job that you really love. And you know what? He was right.
Thanks to my blog I am having a professional adventure of a life-time at the age of 39. Seriously. If in 2006 someone had told me that in a few years time I was going to visit half of the world discovering the most interesting technologies available on the market and that the chairmen of the biggest corporations were going to read my scribbles and that I was going to have my own company and team, I would probably laugh in their faces.
Today, something that was unimaginable back then, has become a reality. I love what I do and I dread that this adventure could be over one day and I would have to do something else. If you don’t know how it feels to actually love your job, envision that you come to work for pleasure and that you can work for more than 10 hours a day not feeling tired at all. Imagine also that every completed task instantly brings huge satisfaction and that you finally can feel the positive excitement as everything that happens only depends on you.
I wish the same for you. Find a job like this for yourselves. Once you do, you will feel that you are right at the beginning of the greatest and most passionate adventure ever.”

Passion, Personal Brand and Business…

My book has a mixture of these things. My friend, Maciek, explains why these concepts come together very nicely and compliment each other:

“Passion, personal brand and one’s own business – I love the combination of these three phrases and the connection between them.
Passion. It can become an impulse leading your actions. Thanks to it you’re able to achieve many totally unthinkable things. Michael described it in a great way when mentioning his seven types of passion.
Passion keeps you going when you drive hundreds of kilometers to meet the people who share you passions. It lets you spend hours learning new things or exchanging the experience and knowledge with others. Passion allows one to conquer the status quo and change your thinking mode to a creative one in order to search for non-standard solutions.
Personal brand. Building it takes years but it’s a great investment. What comes to your mind when you think of Mercedes, BMW or Volvo? A brand is a kind of a promise, you can even call it a commitment.
Your name can also become a brand like this. When you attend Tim Ferris’, Michael Hyatt’s or Seth Godin’s lecture, the topic is of the lesser concern – you can be sure you are going to hear a top quality speech. A strong personal brand also makes it easier to start new projects. Just imagine Michael wants to start up a new business – let’s say… energetic drinks for triathlonists :) and an application to go with. If he was just a newbie, it would be very difficult. But because he has already proven to be a great CEO, he would be able to assemble a new team and find reliable partners. Obviously, personal brand is nothing more than an aid here. It’s a promise, but not a lie – the moment for “the check” always comes next.
And when the passion and personal brand come together to make your business flourish, it’s as if you had a yacht with a top-quality sail and charismatic and brave captain on the bridge. You are the one to decide where you want to go and who you take on board to sail with you towards the success.
I hope that after reading Michael’s story, you will be brave enough to embark on your own journey.”

It's all about passion - 26

Passion in Education

While the focus of this book has been passion in business, we can’t forget that in order to succeed in life we need good education. Nicholas Moon, my daughter’s teacher, after reading the first draft of this book, wrote to me about his passion for education. In the chapter about passion for the product I write about “seeing it through the eyes of the customers” and he said this reminded him of the main theme in a book on education called: “Visible Learning”, where a model of “visible teaching – visible learning” is when teachers see learning through the eyes of the student and when students see themselves as their own teachers.

“We rarely talk about passion in education, as if doing so makes the work of teachers seem less serious, more emotional than cognitive, somewhat biased or of lesser import. When we do consider passion, we typically constrain such expressions of joy and involvement to matters unrelated to our teaching.
The key components of passion for the teacher and for the learner appear to be the sheer thrill of being a learner or teacher, the absorption that accompanies the process of teaching and learning, the sensations in being involved in the activity of teaching and learning, and the willingness to be involved in deliberate practice to attain understanding. Passion reflects the thrills as well as the frustrations of learning- it can be infectious, it can be taught, it can be modeled, and it can be learnt.
It is among the most prized outcomes of schooling and… it infuses many of the influences that make the difference to the outcomes. It requires more than content knowledge, acts of skilled teaching, or engaged students to make the difference (although these help). It requires a love of the content, an ethical caring stance to wish to imbue others with a liking or even love of the discipline being taught, and a demonstration that the teacher is not only teaching but also learning…”

  • John Hattie, author of “Visible Learning”

This is my second book, the first was #iPadOnly

I co-wrote my first book: “#iPadOnly - the First Real Post-PC Book. How to use only your iPad to work, play and everything in between” with my friend, Augusto Pinaud. If you own an iPad or any other kind of tablet, or are thinking of getting one, make sure to check this book out. It will change the way you think about your tablet.

Anyway, thanks for reading my second book (and my first as sole-author). Thanks for sharing it with others, for sharing your passion and for being a part of my journey. And thanks for celebrating my 35th birthday by reading this book! You’ve literally made my day. Thank you!

“I still remember the day I got an email from Michael, asking me to write a book together. A book about the passion we shared as the two guys working mostly on their iPads.
Both Michael and I had written several posts about our #iPadOnly ways on our personal blogs so the idea to write a book together was really cool. I don’t think I was ready for the roller coaster of emotions that came from that experience but I learned much thanks to it. We spent hours testing software, writing, recording, correcting, exchanging ideas, learning and more importantly, sharing a passion that we still share to this day in a movement that we still believe in.
We didn’t only share the passion for iPads and productivity but also the passion for working from anywhere. After all, we wrote the #iPadOnly book together without ever seeing each other face to face.
Thanks to Michael, I have learned that it doesn’t matter what your passion is, it matters how far you are willing to go with it, how much you are going to learn from it, and most importantly who you are going to share it with. With this book you got to experience Michael’s passion the same way I did.
Happy Birthday my friend, it has been an honor witnessing your passion with you as my friend, co-writer, and one of my productivity superheroes. I toast from the other side of the world. Here’s to many more years of you sharing your passion, your knowledge, your experience and of course, your Nozbe!”

I’m thankful for so many passionate people in my life

Over the years of running my business, I met lots of passionate people who inspired me to do what I do. Who helped me shape my personality with their passion. Some I know personally, others I simply follow online. Yet they all shape me as a human being and their passion influences me.

In the book I included quotes by David Allen, Guy Kawasaki, MG Siegler, Fred Wilson, David Sparks, Michael Bungay Stanier, Ryan Carson, David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried, Al Pittampali, Alexis Ohanian, Tim Ferriss, Steve Pavlina, Neil Patel, Leo Babauta, Stever Robbins, Michael Hyatt, Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin, Graham Allcott, Brian Tracy, Scott Belsky, Chris Brogan, Mike McDerment, Matt Mullenweg, Jason Womack, Michal Szafranski, Grzegorz Marczak, Maciek Budzich, Augusto Pinaud, Victor Mazur, Simon Grabowski and others.

Special thanks to all these guys who sent me their quotes and stories right away despite of a very short notice. Thanks everyone for all that you do.

Special thanks go out to Lori Anderson, Nicholas Moon and Krzysztof Wysocki for your thorough review and great corrections. Thank you so much!

I’d like to also thank my family to whom I dedicated this book. Especially my wife for constant support, my daughters for giving me a reason to be a proud dad every single day. My brother, for being my best friend ever. My parents, who shaped me as a passionate entrepreneur.

Finally I’d like to thank my “work” family to whom I also dedicated this book. Especially to Tomasz and Delfina for being with me from the early days of my Nozbe journey, sticking with me for all this time and supporting me with their passion. To Magda, for helping me put this book together, to Radek, for an amazing book cover, and to Rafał, Krzysiek, Staszek, Radziu, Bartek, Piotr, Iwona, Zofia, Marta and Waldemar - you really are the most passionate group of people I know. Thank you for the privilege of working with you every single day.

The End

If this book impacted you in any way, don’t stop here - share it with others. You’ll find tweets and many other resources on the book’s official web site. Dare to share your passion. Thank you!