What defines dedication? Is it any different from hard work? Is it born within some people and lacking in others? Can it be learned and mastered? When you have a particular goal in mind, more often than not one that will require a considerate amount of effort to achieve, what do you think of first? Do you think about how you’ll take the right steps to reach it? How you’ll start? Do you just run with it and address obstacles as they arise? As long as you devote yourself with passion you will reach a level of dedication; it seems fitting that nothing meaningful is ever accomplished were it not for dedication.
Dedication is not something we can pick up one day and put down another. Genuine passion, reason, commitment, and effort is what brings a vision into reality, something impossible without dedication. Begin to question why you do x, y, or z. Only by regularly asking this question can we hope to create a habit of dedicated effort. Finding what makes you excited can help you reach your ultimate vision. If you’re curious about how you can better define a vision for yourself, consider reading my post on defining a vision.
All of us care about something, whether it be the ones we love, a popular movement, a goal for our progression into college and beyond, or anything and everything else. We come to find ourselves devoting consistent amounts of our time to these things. Enter prioritizing. Whenever we find ourselves having to make a choice of what to spend our time on, we always pick one thing over another. If you’re a student, odds are this will go towards family, friends, classes, sports, and applications, along with any other commitments you’ve made. Take a close look at what you’re involved in outside of the things everyone is required to do, and you’ll find that whatever you’re doing is something that you have given priority to, not out of necessity but out of genuine interest. The battle over where to allocate valuable time becomes much easier when we are personally invested out of our own desire rather than out of a need to meet demands imposed upon us. This translates into a need for all of us to act upon high-value activities. These are just what they sound like—things that we do that are meaningful and helpful to our growth and ultimate progression to our goals and vision. Dedicated people not only participate in high-value activities; they excel within them. They have assigned a degree of importance to each activity that merits devoting significant amounts of time to its completion day in and day out.
The Passion Postulate
The phrase “practice makes perfect” is synonymous with commitment, for it is only through consistent time invested out of obligations that many of the goals we have are met. The fuel for why we engage in this consistent practice is passion. Were it not for passion, our work would be dull and our lives ultimately lacking in one of the larger spheres within the realm of fulfillment. Notice the frequent use of devotion within this post. Dedication and devotion are congruently reliant entities; it would not be dedication without devotion, and only through sincere devotion can dedication be achieved and visions fulfilled. Passion in the work we do defines meaning in it. The highest quality work we produce has, if even in trace amounts, passion within it. The presence of passion, however small or large, is what makes our work radiant. Similarly, the lack of passion makes this same work dull and frustrating. The same idea applies to many facets of life, but when it comes to choosing a major in university, many students feel the stresses of practicality to be too daunting to risk a passion pursuit. My own response to this is to delve deeper into yourself. We spend far too much time looking outward and too little looking inward.
A Glimpse Into Yourself
The answer to your “why x plan of study” isn’t solely outside. A huge part comes from within your own sense of reason and love for a particular vision, be it for yourself or humanity at large. Conveying this sense of passion and the dedication you’ve found through it is what will ultimately allow for you to show your genuine interest(s). It would be a waste to look anywhere and everywhere but the most important place of them all—your heart and mind. Passion will not only fuel dedication; it will help you exceed your goals. Success is inevitable provided that the proper steps are taken and a sound heart and mind drive the journey. To learn more about a mindset conducive to success that will benefit you on your journey towards it, consider reading my post on a success-oriented mindset:
Practicality stems from a sense of reason, housed within the intellect. Passion stems from a sense of love, housed within the heart. In order to become dedicated and exceed our goals, we ought to make full use of introspection into both of these places housed within us. Neglecting one would imbalance us, and neglecting both will destroy us at an even faster rate.
Life is short. Time wasted is life wasted, and life isn’t something we have the luxury to waste. May we look into ourselves lest we regret after losing our sight, for sight is among the greatest gifts we have been granted.