How to develop a PASSION – Fitness & Grit

Today’s topic is how to turn your interest into a passion for achievement.  I will integrate the content from the book 《Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance》with my personal opinion for illustration, discussing:

  1. The relations between Talent, Hard Work, Skill, Achievement.
  2. How to turn an interest into a passion and the difference between them.
  3. What is Grit.
  4. Using a Fitness journey as an example.


#1 Talent, Hard Work, Skill, Achievement

Talent is a natural gift that are born with.  It could be born with high IQ, high learning ability, strength, athletic etc.  These advantages can help them to stand out from the rest.

Skill is developed by learning and practising, and it is highly correlated to hard work and achievement.

  • Talent x Hard Work = Skill
  • Skill x Hard Work = Achievement


  • Talent x 2 Hard Work = Achievement


So, Hard Work is more important for achievement than Talent.  Reminded me of Will Smith’s speech.

Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.


#2 Turn an Interest into a Passion & the difference between them.

Interest: you may find it intrigued and amused.  You will spend some times and efforts on it.  You will see some improvement which then keep you going.  You could have many interests like singing, guitar, swimming, science, arts, dancing etc.

Passion: the advanced version of interest.  You will spend tons of efforts and time on it.  You would like to master it by keep improving yourself in this area.  In the process, boredom and struggles are guaranteed.

Often, you can only have 1-2 passions in a period of time but many interests at the same time.  Passion is the drive for mastering the skill.

Long term Interest + Mastery = Passion


How to turn an Interest into a Passion?

First, you have learn what are your interests.  Explore many things as possible when you are young like sports, music, movie, writing, traveling, cooking etc.  Once you have tried them all, you will know whether you are interested.  If you aren’t, leave it and move on.  If you are interested, then you should keep doing it.

While you digging deep in it,  Boredom and struggles are guaranteed.  You have to go through them in order to step up your game.

There are 2 culprits holding you back:

  • It is not a genuine interest for you.  The interest used to fun and amused to you, but not anymore.
  • You lack of Grit.  The improvement and fun you once have cannot help go through the hard times.  That is a sign of lack of grit.


#3 What is Grit?

Grit is a combination of several characteristics including: Hard Work, Self-Discipline, Consistency, Long Term/Persistence, Passionate, Resilience.   The one with grit is someone who can work hard for a very long period of time for the things they love even if they face difficulties & obstacles.  Grit is an ingredient for success.


Fitness Journey Example

I will then illustrate the above concepts with Fitness Journey.  It can also be applied other interests as well.


Phase 1: Interest

When you first step into Fitness world, you exercise and learn some basics.  Watch some videos, go to gym with friends etc.  After a while, you experience gains in body shape and strength.  You skill improves when you put on more efforts.

  • Skill = Fitness Knowledge, Experience, Physique, Stamina/Strength etc.


Phase 2: Serious

When you passed the beginner phase, your progress become slower.  In order to improve yourself, you need to invest more time and energy.  You learn more about training, nutrition.  You stick to workout programs.  You control your diet. etc.  You hopefully want to master it through long term commitment.  It takes real grit to persist.


Phase 3:  Struggles

You will encounter the many obstacles along the way.  Like losing motivations, feeling bored, plateaus, injury, real-life problems etc.  They are meant to test your grit to see whether you can takes the setbacks but still keep on going.  Whatever your skill level is, Phase 2 & 3 are keep repeating: commit, setbacks, commit, failure…


Phase 4: Passion

When you have endured the long term commitment, you skill become mature.  When you are good at this and then the interest is a Passion now.  But still, you keep improving yourself by learning and training.  Meanwhile, you can utilise the skills in other areas like contributing to the society, coaching, promoting etc.


The above is the journey of how a interest turn into a passion.  It sounds easy, but it is not.  Whatever interest you are engaged in.  It takes years to decades to master it.  Mental and external obstacles, difficulties, setbacks are guarantee but success is not.

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