Emotion is often relegated to the realm of "fluffy", soft or irrational things. Away from the arenas of success and progress. When we talk about change we often concentrate on statistics or intellectualise the issue to the point of distancing ourselves from the human element behind the endeavour. Rarely do we connect our individual selves to the place, people, or living things at the heart of the change. It is as if we are external actors who are in no way connected except for the intervention we are wishing or planning.
But when we engage our emotions, when we allow our passion to move us, we can empathise. We can truly affect change. If you believe in such, it is as if we finally align with the universal spirit and our actions become more powerful and effective.
Napoleon Hill, author of the classic bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, asserts that emotion is necessary in order to engage the subconcious and, once engaged the subconscious helps create opportunities for success. He states:
"Thoughts, mixed with emotions, amplify and grow until they become a dominating and motivating force."
The force of passion
I observe that most people who excel in their careers, are people who follow their passion. When you look at artists, athletes and other people who pursued "alternative" careers, they did so because of love, because of passion. No one decides to become a singer in order to pay the bills. Such careers do not guarantee a comfortable life. That's why so many parents discourage their children from following such and instead encourage law, medicine, business and so forth.
The irony is that, when you look at it, anyone who is a truly great success, whether they are artists, athletes, doctors, lawyers or businesswomen and -men, they truly love what they do and that passion drives them. So if your passion is painting and instead you choose a "sensible" engineering path – you might have a comfortable life but, had you painted, you might have had an exceptional life where you are more than comfortable and most importantly, you are fulfilled inside – true success!
"Success follows doing what you want to do. There's is no other way to be successful."
— Malcolm S. Forbes
Emotion and change
In conclusion, emotion can influence change and passion can be channeled into progress and success. True love creates the necessary conditions for it to endure and even thrive. If we harness our love for Africa – if we let it shine and allow it to influence our actions – we can contribute to the advancement of the continent.
Title inspired by Alice Walker's book of the same name.