Add ‘Magnolia Palace,’ ‘Woman on Fire’ ‘Girl in Ice’ to reading list

In today’s culture, much is made of finding one’s true passion or purpose in life. Some people describe it as something you find within yourself that you would sacrifice anything for. It gets you up in the morning, keeps you energized and leaves you totally absorbed. But the funny thing about passion is that we tend to associate it with success. We have this notion that if you follow your one true, singular passion, everything in life will fall into place and you will become successful. But is this really true? And how does passion differ from ambition?

Fiona Davis is the author of "The Magnolia Palace" and other historical novels.

Psychologists argue that passion is really an emotion, a powerful feeling that derives from doing something that gives you full satisfaction. In fact, passion is a feeling that can come and go, you can have more than one, and it doesn’t necessarily correlate with success, fame or money. For example, you can be passionate about making a contribution to society, helping improve someone’s life or creating change. All of these things can be labeled as passions, something that fulfills you, absorbs you but doesn’t necessarily correlate with recognition or financial success.

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Ambition, on the other hand, is better described as a personality characteristic. To be ambitious is have the desire or need to gain recognition, respect, power or wealth. Some argue that it stems from insecurity and the need to find one’s worth. Whether or not you are predisposed to be ambitious, it requires setting goals, dedicated effort and a willingness to work with failure.

Christin Hakim

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