I picked up a book a couple months ago and started reading it when Yessie and I went to Vegas. Unfortunately it stopped there. Recently I picked it back up and started over.

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.

Most of the books I read are aimed at self improvement in one way or another. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts was recommended to me by my best friend at a time when I needed it most. I was going through a tough time mentally and was looking for a way to silence my brain. I was working myself up over things I had no control over and that book has become an amazing tool for me in those regards. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor prescribed ways to change your mental habits. Want to learn how to play the guitar? Remove all of the barriers like taking the batteries out of the remote and putting the guitar right next to your favorite chair. What happens? Every time you sit down to watch TV and the remote doesn't work, you grab the guitar. Simple, but effective.

One chapter out of this new book caught my eye because of the title..."Don't be passionate." I'm a big fan of Tony Robbins and I believe lacking passion can be a killer- in life, relationships, career, hobbies, you name it. So I read on.

The author cited a few examples and mentioned that plenty of entrepreneurs have passion but it's not enough to make them succeed. In his opinion, it is because of their overwhelming passion that they don't succeed. It blinds them to opportunities. We all fail, it's using the information and experience from those failures that allows us to succeed. He makes it clear that he's not referring to 'caring,' yet passion gone awry.

I hear a lot of powerlifters and athletes in general talk about passion. I think you have to have some degree of it to head to the gym day in and day out and beat up your body. Then go home and prepare your meals. Then make sure you get to enough sleep. It turns a hobby into a job. So to continue doing that with no foreseeable/tangible reward takes passion. But I never felt that overwhelming passion. I love training. I enjoy competing. It's on my  mind all day long. But I wouldn't say I have a burning passion for it.

So I thought something was wrong with me. Maybe I'm not destined to be great. Maybe I don't have what it takes. But this book reaffirmed what has always been in my gut, even though I've never been able to put my finger on it....

"A young basketball player named Lewis Alcindor Jr., who won three national championships with John Wooden at UCLA, used on word to describe the style of his famous coach: "dispassionate." As in not passionate. Wooden wasn't about rah-rah speeches or inspiration. He saw those extra emotions as a burden. Instead, his philosophy was about being in control and doing your job and never being 'passion's slave.' The player who learned that lesson from Wooden would later change his name to one you remember better: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

I can't do rah-rah. I may have an inspirational word here and there that I quietly slip to a training partner. But emotions are burdensome, especially with heavy weights on your back.

Passion is great. It's a powerful thing. But did you ever see Ed Coan or Steve Goggins smack their head on the bar to get ready for a squat? Did you ever see Andrey Malinichev or Dan Green out of control on their way to the platform? No. All of these greats are passionate, but they don't waste energy or emotion on unnecessary things. Their passion is for the bar. For the weights. For the lift.

So maybe there isn't something wrong with me...other than the fact that I spend so much time, money, and my health on a sport that seems to only take. Now I for one will be the first to say the sport has given me more than I have given to it. But it will win in the end. It always does.