Famous NY Times bestselling author and influential business leader John C. Maxwell says passion is the energy that will drive you to accomplish what you want in life
Can you really stay passionate for years? Definitely! If it’s your true passion, the energy won’t fade away.
John C. Maxwell is known as ‘The Most Influential Leadership Expert In The World’ and the #1 business leader. He is also a NY Times bestselling author who sold over 26 million books in 50 languages.
John’s accomplishments are extraordinary. Yet one thing always remained constant: his passion. ‘I was as excited when I started without anything at all as I am now.’ It also gives him the excitement to emotionally connect with people.
John says that you have to start out passionate as it will give you the energy to carry on. ‘I call passion the Great Energizer’ He says that once you find your passion, you’ll be driven by it to finish the task and accomplish your goals.
John points out we are defined by our choices: ‘The choice you make, makes you’. Therefore, it’s essential to make wise ones.
Do you have something special? Build your success and remember to share it with your friends and spread the passion.
Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer
Award Winning Author & Speaker
Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays, the best way to end a week and start another! Our guest today is the author of over 100 books and sold over 26 million copies – the legendary John Maxwell! John, what an honor to have you here!
John: It’s my honor to be here with you! Very excited about what you do!
Moustafa: I’m excited! I mean, I’ve heard you earlier talking about passion and purpose.
Moustafa: And I wanted to ask you: how important is passion and purpose in life?
John: Well, I call passion the Great Energizer. You show me a person who has passion and I’ll show you a person who has energy. You show me a person that lacks passion and I’ll show you a person that lacks energy.
In the States we call this ‘high energy people’, ‘that’s a high energy person’ or ‘that’s a low energy person’. And I say ‘No, no, that’s a person with passion, they’ve got energy. That’s a person without passion, they don’t have it.’ so the moment we understand that passion is the fuel, it energizes us to accomplish what we want to, then it’s now the issue of ‘What do you want accomplished and how much fuel do you have?’.
If you don’t have that much fuel in your tank, you might have some really fine goals, but it’s never going to be achieved without that passion that burns within you.
Moustafa: So how do people find that passion? I mean you’ve found that passion, you’re helping people but you sure have a beautiful story earlier.
John: First of all, I think you find your passion by asking two questions and that’s ‘What’s my gift to this? What am I good at?’. It really doesn’t do me a lot of good to be really passionate about something I’m not good at. You know, the good news is I’m on fire.
The bad news is nothing’s catchin’. So ‘What am I gifted at?’ and then the second thing is ‘Have I really discovered what my purpose is? Why am I here?’ and, you know, two great days in a person’s life, the day they were born and then the day they discovered the ‘why’. Well, you discover the ‘Why?’. I call passion a lot of times the ‘Why?’ of life, you know what it is.
When I say you find your ‘Why?’, then you’ll learn the ‘How?’. Once I know why I’m here, I want to figure out how to accomplish that and I’ll figure out what I’m going to do but if I don’t have that passion, there is not the energy that drives me to discover the ‘How?’, that energy that allows me to finish the task when I need to finish it.
Moustafa: I love all this talk and it’s all very beautiful and always great to say ‘Be passionate, it’s all great and everything works out for you’ but well, people are looking at you and saying ‘Well, he’s already successful. He’s already doing great. Then it’s easy to be passionate when you’re doing great.’ How do you find passion when times are tough?
John: Oh, well, you know, first of all people tell me ‘Well, John, you must be really excited because you’ve sold a lot of books and things’ but let me explain something to you. I was as excited when I started without anything at all as I am now. And what I’ve learnd a long time ago is the fact that if you don’t have passion without something, you won’t have passion with something.
Moustafa: I love that! If you don’t have passion without something, you don’t have passion with something.
John: Absolutely! But if you have passion with something, you have the energy in between. So it isn’t an issue. My passion is not fueled by what I’ve done, my passion by what I do. And there is a difference between those two things.
Moustafa: I love that! My passion is not fueled by what I’ve done, my passion by what I’m doing.
John: That’s exactly right. So if I don’t love what I’m doing now, there is no hope for me. I don’t even try to motivate people. ‘How do you motivate people? I hire motivated people’ – it’s very simple. I’m not trying to get someone on the team and then motivate him. I’m trying to find someone who is motivated and get him on my team. So it’s like an attitude. How do you find people with attitude? You hire them. If they have a good attitude, hire them. If they don’t have a good attitude, don’t hire them. Because a lot of things in life are a choice and no matter who you worked for or what you do, you got to make the choices that will make a difference in your life.
John: In fact, I love this – John Wooden, my mentor, taught me this: there is a choice you have to make in everything you do so keep in mind that in the end the choice you make, makes you. The choice you make, makes you. It does impact you to that degree.
Moustafa: I love it! What an amazing way to conclude. The choices you make…
John: Make you! Absolutely! So I determine, you determine, you get to determine those choices that you make within your life.
Moustafa: I love that! Talking about also another thing that we’ve got is the speaking thing and you’re a phenomenal speaker on stage. I’ve seen you engage people, you’ve reached millions and hundreds of thousands and all that. What makes a passionate speaker on stage?
John: You have to value the people you speak to. I was getting ready to speak at a large conference recently and a younger kid that was on the schedule program, he was on before me and he’d come up and say ‘Hey’. I’ve been his mentor from the distance but whatever. So I’m getting at five minutes before speaking in the room, he comes up to me and says ‘What are you thinking about right now?’. I said ‘I’m thinking about the people’.
He was like ‘Are you not thinking at what you’re going to say?. I was ‘No, no. I already know what I’m going to say. I’m thinking about the people because what I’ve got to do now is take what I want to say and add value to the people I’m gonna talk to.’ And the only way that you’re gonna add value to the people that you’re talking to is by valuing them. You know as well as I do. When someone communicates with you, you can tell whether they value you or not.
And when I look at the people that I speak to, I put a number 10 on their heads and I say ‘ Ok, they want to receive this, they are gonna do something when they receive this. This is something that’s going to help change their life and I talk to them as if they were a 10. And I teach them for their 10 and I’ve found that basically you get the response from the audience based upon the number you put on them.
So I value them, put a high number on their head and get a high response back. Just as if I could talk down to them as if they weren’t going to learn or they won’t going to grow, or they won’t getting better. I would get the same low response back.
So I look at speaking all the time as if… I’m not a speaker, I’ve never delivered a speech. I’m a friend. I don’t want fans, I want friends. And all I want to do is to connect with that person and give them that sense that I believe in them because that in itself allows them to make the changes that they need to do.
Moustafa: Oh my God. This was amazing! I mean, you pretty much distilled a lot about the spirit of speaking by just being there to serve, rather than to speak.
John: Why I think so? It’s wonderful when the people believe in their leader, but it’s even more wonderful when the leader believes in the people. I think it’s true with speaking. I walk out on the stage and I immediately connect with people because I believe in them. They can sense. They feel that belief. And there’s an emotional connection that happens. Now. The moment I have their heart, take them anywhere you want to go.
Moustafa: I love it! Let me throw you a bit of a curveball. I’m sure you were on a stage once and you had a tough crowd. You gave them 10s on top of their head but they weren’t playing as 10.
Moustafa: How did you handle that?
John: Well, I walked off the stage and said ‘Well, they gave me the number that I am’.
John: I never look at the audience to say ‘tough audience’. I always look at me and say ‘bad speech’ or ‘bad talk’.
Moustafa: I love that. So no matter how tough the crowd is, you got to find a way to deliver.
John: There’s one way. I’ve had places where I’ve crossed over culturally, international, people that I’ve had to go through interpreters with and it was just tough. It wasn’t easy. But at the end of the day, your belief in people will override your speech. Always remember that. Most speakers think their speech overrides everything so the speech hits the essence of everything. To me, that is just a vehicle for me to connect to people. And so it’s never when I’m finished if they liked the speech or if they liked me. The question is ‘Do they know I like them?’ and if they know I like them, we’re ok.
Moustafa: Well, I know me and the audience like you! John, this has been amazing! Thank you very much for being so awesome!
John: Thank you! Good to be with you!
Moustafa and John: Passion!
Moustafa: Thank you very much! This has been awesome!
John: Thank you! Hope it helps you.
Moustafa: What do you think? I would really love to hear your opinion. If you’ve found this episode as useful as I did, leave your comments on the blog below and do share it with somebody that will benefit. And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques and exclusive interviews that I only share on my website, go to Moustafa.com. And until next episode, live passionately!