Smarts vs. Passion

by Whitney on January 30, 2014

There are smart people and there are passionate people. Smart people show up, do good work, and then go home. Passionate people can’t help but show up early, drive everyone crazy with ideas, suggestions, and numerous attempts at solutions that result in both success and failure. They stay late, and they annoy the smart people because they make the smart people look lazy. When they fall down, they can’t help but get back up, and try again. Smart people annoy the passionate people, because the smart people are just trying to get the A. Passionate people don’t care about the grade, they care about learning something, and being better.

Smart is boring, and easy, for the smart ones. Smart is safe and smart is average.

Passion is life, and risk, and adventure, and unpaved roads, and massive fulfillment.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly January 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm

This describes my husband (smart) and me (passionate). Love it! Gives me clarity. Thanks for sharing!


Analiese February 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Agreed! Except, I think what you’re describing could be more accurately described as “compliant” rather than “smart.” I know many passionate women who are also insanely smart,, women who are able to execute ideas in a disciplined way and who use their intelligence to further their creative passions in a way that gets results. I don’t think we need to draw a line in the sand between those two qualities. I totally get what you’re saying, but something in me cringes at teaching women and girls that they are either one or the other.


Brittany @ Freckled Nettles February 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I couldn’t have said it better myself <3 Sweet Note Bakery is my baby (we're a wholesale GF bagel company), and our team goes stir-crazy with new ways to grow. Thanks for sharing!


Katiejane Easey February 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

I’ve just found you thanks to Courtney who I’ve been following for a while. The things that you’ve said here so resonate with me, particularly over a tricky work situation I’m dealing with – my boss is smart and I’m the passionate one! Thank you for making it simpler, now instead of going head to head with her, I’ll just accept she’s smart – and missing out on life!


Gina February 11, 2014 at 1:13 am

I think sometimes too smart people are afraid of and sometimes threatened by passionate people simply because they don’t understand that level of emotion and commitment that comes with passion.


Jeff Goins May 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Like a good punch to the throat, this took my breath away. Well done, Whitney. I loved this post!


Whitney June 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Thank you, Jeff! Really appreciated your great advice the other day, and I really appreciate how you authentically lead your tribe! Thank you for being such a giver!


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