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What is Passion Quotient?

by Dr. Shanthi Thomas

All of us have heard of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ), but few of us may have heard of Passion Quotient (PQ).

What is Passion Quotient?

Passion is deep love for what you do. Passion Quotient measures how much you enjoy what you do. It is the single minded yearning of the human soul to attain as close to perfection as possible in a chosen field of work. All great work done by human beings in various fields are the results of passionate work, i.e. work done with a deep love and dedication. The concept of Passion Quotient was put forth by Thomas Friedman, the triple Pulitzer winning author and New York Times columnist. According to Friedman, passion and curiosity are more important than intelligence.

How does a person identify his passion? There are various ways

1. It beckons you

A person who is passionate about cricket will stop on his tracks when he sees a bunch of street kids playing on the street. He might even join them. In other words, when one is passionate about something, any opportunity to engage in it will be utilized by him.

2. It puts you in a ‘flow’

‘Flow’ according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a state of mind which one attains when he finds work that is entirely suited to his talents, and in which he can lose himself, even forgetting about time or food or other bodily needs. Work for which one has passion will let a person achieve ‘flow’.

3. Difficulties become challenges to be overcome

When one does something he is passionate about, difficulties will not deter him. They merely become challenges to be overcome. Even the process of overcoming the difficulty becomes something enjoyable.

4. You will learn it quickly

When one has passion for something, he puts his whole self into it, and as a result, it is accomplished with comparative speed and ease. Therefore, someone who is passionate about learning the piano will learn it faster than someone for whom it is a boring chore.

How does your Passion Quotient benefit you?

1. Intrinsic motivation

When you have passion for something, for example, to learn the guitar or to learn about computers, you have intrinsic motivation to do it, which is an immensely more powerful driving force than any extrinsic motivation. Someone who has intrinsic motivation for a job such as acting or singing will do it even if the remuneration may be small. Eventually they will become so good at it that success will follow.

2. Passion brings out excellence

In order for human beings to be excellent at something, he needs passion. The passionate individual will be so immersed in his work that, unintentionally, he will spend more time and energy on it than on anything else. Eventually he becomes excellent at it. For this reason, it is unwise to force a child to pursue something that he has no interest in, even though his chosen path does not seem to be as attractive as what the parents have in mind. Indeed, helping your child choose a career that fits him may be one of the most important tasks of parenting.

3. Passion gives you endless energy

Actors such as Jackie Chan are sometimes called a powerhouse of energy.  They do not seem to tire of their chosen profession because of their passion for it. The same tireless energy can be seen in people excellent in other fields, like Elon Musk or Bill Gates. It is not only the mental energy that passion guarantees. The physical energy also follows once a person finds his passion. And as often happens, excellence brings about success sooner or later.

4. Passionate work gives meaning to life

Anyone who is passionate about anything and is lucky to be able to do it knows that it brings great enjoyment to life. This is because he feels there is meaning in his life, since he is ‘born’ to do this work. It brings him great enjoyment and fulfilment. He feels that his life has a purpose. This is the concept of ‘ikigai’, which is the Japanese term for ‘your reason to live’ or the reason to jump out of bed with eagerness each morning.

5. Passion and curiosity will take you places

As Thomas Friedman suggests, the world now is ‘hyper-connected’, which means that information is readily available to everyone. It is what you do with the available information that makes him worthy of today’s global market forces. Therefore, much more than IQ (Intelligence Quotient) it is Passion Quotient (PQ) and Curiosity Quotient (CQ) that will make people worthy of being employed gainfully in the modern world.


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