"The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done." ~Arnold Palmer

"My troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." ~Walt Disney

Motivation, energy and focus. Those are the things that make up passion. You can get there with yourself and your team through a number of different ways like goal setting, environment, and execution. But one of the ways that gets overlooked sometimes is when someone gives you an opportunity to prove them wrong:

  • They doubt you can do it
  • They are vocal about it
  • They rally others to their opinion

These are hopefully not regular occurrences, but there is a way to turn this into opportunity. The key here is that you don’t agree with the person. You may not have the background, skills, or resources that everyone thinks are necessary, but you are confident in what you can accomplish. A chip on the shoulder can accomplish the same thing as having an opponent in a game. It focuses your efforts on an endeavor that has an emotional effect on you. This creates a need for you, a motivation to win. And as the flames are fanned it creates energy. Passion is what produces extraordinary effort, and having a chip on your shoulder is just another way to elicit it.

Now a few disclaimers:

First - You don’t want to be working angry all of the time and living under the belief that the world is against you. Those chips on your shoulder can quickly multiply and bury you under their weight. The easiest way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to not go looking for chips to put on your shoulder, but simply recognize them for what they are when they appear.

Second – Don’t belabor the point that others don’t think you have what it takes to accomplish your goal. At a certain point, no matter how confident you and your team are, it can get demoralizing and you can start second guessing yourself. You can fan the flames a little if you like, but be careful of burning down the house.

Third - Don’t be a jerk about it when you do win and prove someone wrong. If you feel tempted to go this route it is a good indication that you’ve gone too far and passed into the anger category which will be detrimental to ongoing success.

It is important to foster passion whenever you can. So when someone puts a chip on your shoulder, use it responsibly, don’t just let it weigh you down.

I would love to know your thoughts on this post so please leave your likes and comments below. Also, if you haven't checked out any of my three books yet, give them a look here, I am absolutely positive they will be a great help in your career!