People who achieve great things all have one thing in common: They love what they do; passion is the fuel that propels men and women toward significant measure of success. So finding something to pursue for which you are passionate is the single most important predictor of success. Your true passion should be easy to recognize, because your true passion will stir you emotionally; it will consume you because you care so much about it.

Great achievers know that a life driven solely for money will fall short in driving your greatness. Dr. Dave Martin in his book, The 12 Traits of the Greats, points out recent psychological research has demonstrated an undeniable link between emotions and performance; good emotional feelings are associated with superior performance. Personal feelings of fulfillment, happiness, and significance are the fuel that propel people to greater achievement. If what you do every day does not excite you, then you have probably fallen victim to disengagement and a path to mediocrity.

We all must eventually make a choice between the path of safety and predictability where most others walk and the lonelier path of passionate pursuits. Unfortunately it is all too easy to trade momentary comfort for a lifetime of regret and frustration.

Fear is the primary deterrent which holds most people back from pursuing their passions; the fear of being alone in their pursuits as well as the fear of uncertainty and failure is what forces people to settle. Another deterrent to passion is self-doubt; disbelief in oneself is the biggest killer of dreams. The only difference between the person of mediocrity and great achievement is a person’s belief he can actually turn his dreams into reality. People will often allow their negative emotions to steal their dreams. Stop listening to your fears, self-doubt, and wants for immediate comfort; start to move forward toward something that is meaningful to you.

How do you go about discovering your destiny? Listen to the whispers in your soul; pay attention to the yearning in your heart. Consider the following questions:

What books or articles attract your attention?
What common themes move you in movies?
Who do you most admire? Why?
What type of conversations draw you in?
About what topics do you feel strongly?
If you were allowed to make one change in the world, what would it be?
What do you enjoy doing over and over again?