Saturday, September 01, 2012

Of passion, conviction, and direction

Of what use is passion without direction and conviction?

Without direction, it is but a driving force that pushes the self, no more and no less. Powerful as it may be, it must be guided and steered before it can bring you to any desired destination. Without it you are but charging your way through the stormy seas without so much as a compass to tell you where to face, let alone the warming beams of the lighthouse. The short success stories always say to never forget your passion, to always charge forward and maintain faith that all will turn out in the end. The longer ones explicitly state never to lose your aim and never to go astray - the faster you charge the further you get from your goal.

Without conviction, then, what is it? But a short burst of emotion. A wisp of flame that burns brightly but soon fades once you question yourself. Am I truly correct? Am I headed on the right path? Without the conviction, the faith in yourself and the belief needed to keep the flame burning, the flame extinguishes as quickly as it was sparked. The winds of the world show no mercy. 

Of what use is direction without passion and conviction?

Direction, without conviction nor passion, lends itself to inertia. One who sees where he must go but will never take the first step. The roots slowly grow, the vines entangle the feet. Soon the moss is growing at the legs and the vines slowly wrap around him. What started out as an excuse now slowly drains his soul, his life, his essence out of him. He slowly becomes an outer shell of his former self, the child who could see every possibility and every path stuck in the shell that couldn't move.

Of what use is conviction without passion and direction?

Conviction without direction is but misguided belief - firmly anchoring oneself to the thoughts of centuries past, the thoughts of the damned, the thoughts of those who do not exist. It cuts you off, severs you from the world, slowly forms an island around you. Soon enough the island is a fortress, the lone tyrant inside protected from reason and sanity.

Without passion it remains as it is - conviction. Nothing more. With no emotional fuel to power the belief, it cannot manifest itself as anything greater than the beliefs held in your head. It becomes a mere hindrance, an object you cast in rebellion against the world that turns against you, but never a force you use to drive yourself against the will of the world.

What then, would you still need, with the three combined?

You need the calmness and maturity to realize that to charge headfirst into life is to overload yourself, that to burn too brightly with the passion of youth will burn yourself out faster than you can manage, leaving yourself an older and more melancholic self than your age should be. That there should be moderation in such faith and faith in such moderation. That Vienna waits for you.

For without maturity, there cannot be control, regardless of direction, conviction, or passion.

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