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John, I have to disagree. I think the Big Shift holds enormous opportunity for introverted people, insomuch that introverts tend to be more introspective. If we indeed are experiencing a shift from explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge, we need more of the deep-thinking "mental processors" like yourself, Clay Shirky, Andy McAfee, etc to make sense of all this information. Furthermore, I think introverts tend to fare better for creating deep relationships as they are more discriminating (extroverts tend to skim the surface of many relationships). These deeper relationships yield more trust and, as a result, are longer-lasting and more productive.

Queen of the Rant

Why then do relationship lose the passion after a few years?
Relationship Rant


Thanks for posting this sir. I work in an industry full of big personalities and it's hard to stand out if I don't say anything. But this idea of building relationships through passion is not only smart, but very doable for the typical introvert because it makes interactions start off as something very objective based and rational.


As someone who was also shy I identify with this post and with the notion of "Shift" where connecting with my passion - and with others, especially those extremely different than me, around a Sweet Spot of shared passion or other mutual benefit has generated many of the most satisfying growth and creative experiences. Sometimes the online tools enable those connections to blossom between people of different thinking styles and speeds too.

Also Cass Sunstein's book, Going to Extremes, cites similar conclusions as Bishop and his statistician co-author discovered.

Rune Kvist Olsen

Passion, is a personalized force that enable reshaping relationships. The personal power in releasing passion at work, can be attained through the Leadingship Approach. Read more on the link:


Shelley Gable

Wow, I can really relate to this. I've also been shy most of my life. Interestingly, those who know me through work and other activities I'm really involved with are sometimes surprised to hear me describe myself this way. I guess when I'm really passionate about something, I feel more compelled to put my two cents out there. Loved your reflections on this - thanks for sharing.

Sio Hui

Passion is basically a strong belief, which could be both a fixation or 350-degree view. Martin you must be speaking with a lot of conviction

John Hagel

Russell—I like the idea of universal awareness and self-acceptance. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Also, I’d argue that there are some personality traits that are more helpful professionally than others. For instance (as I explore in this post), shyness often has a detrimental effect on one’s ability to network, which will put shy people at a disadvantage in a world of shift. Passion helps us to “just be” in the most authentic and productive way.

Anna, James, Rebecca, Roxanne and Ron—thanks for your comments!

Martin: Great questions. I will do my best to answer them on this blog in the weeks to come.


Passion is definitely not an illness nor is it fixation to exclude all others.

Glad well talks about the 10000 hour rule, that it takes 10000 hours of study/work/attention/passion, to be an expert. The beatles spent that playing three shifts a day and several on the weekend in hamburg, working on knowing as much as they could and working and experimenting hard. They still had time to do other things, but their passion kept them keen and excited about their art.


Not passionate about currency; passion is currency.

Anna Pollock

I've believed for some time if an organization's people shared a common sense of PURPOSE that ignited and harnessed their individual PASSIONS, then PROFITS would follow.
Great post - thank you

Russell Hinds

people are insecure generally in one way or another, so what about just being, and accepting one another, giving feedback, help when one can, and accepting oneself, shy, shallow, aware, unaware, passionate, ambivalent, etc. and perhaps learn what your strenghts and weaknesses (or traits, tendencies) are and be aware and mindful of those and their impact on you and others. or in the simplest case, just be.

Account Deleted

Terrific post!


I see passion as the engine for human evolution, the fuel for expanding consciousness. Why else would it be part of who we are?

roxanne duchini

I personally think that passion is a "basic instinct"(like love)...fundamental for all livings ways;even more is a surviving tool-
Lucky the ones that find it,and happy the ones that have it:)
thanks for sharing.


All passions have shown to be tending towards integration into one, eg, "Matthew's Passion" or "John's Passion". This is what shaped our Western culture, providing us with basic identity. Connecting with others is seeking, finding and following that basic passion and where it came from. I believe it is like confirmation, especially when it is independent: there is a thrill in independent confirmation of the sort that inspired Karl Popper to come up with his theory of falsification. As long as what we believe about the other or our environment, and ourselves, is challenged but not falsified, we can passionately hold and keep it as our Truth. This is especially true for intimate relationships. Almost thirty years ago, I believed that we all lived in our own world and were only connected through behavior. Now, I think we must always be connected to our significant other, by independent confirmation of the forms we recollect and construct, from the depths of our being to the utmost periphery, believing them to fit our one and common world intuitively yet precisely, until we realize our dream, or we realize our mistake.


I hear a lot about passion. But what is it? I don't consider myself passionate about anything, but other people tell me they hear it when I speak about some things.
Is passion actually a form of mental illness where a person fixates on one thing to the exclusion of other considerations, meaning that a 360-degree view of something is incompatible with passion?

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