Passion.

I’ve always believed that we should only invest our time into things that we are overwhelming passionate about. In life so many opportunities will present themselves, the majority of them being mediocre. It can be a job that offers to pay more, or even a relationship that offers more promise. But there are only a few great things in life that will make your heart scream for more, that’ll make you want to jump out of bed in the morning eager to get going. If it doesn’t make you feel that way, stay away. If it does …. pursue it, aggressively and have no fear.

Think about your life for a moment. Do you love what you do for a living or do you dread waking up everyday? Your relationship … do you feel it growing stronger or are you working effortlessly to keep it from breaking apart? If you’ve chosen the latter of either one of these questions then you’re investing the majority of your time into something that will never help you reach your full potential. And so my question to you is why? Life is filled with such amazing people and amazing opportunities to ever settle for anything that makes you feel mediocre.

I guess we invest out of fear? Ambiguity plays a huge part in our decision process; we’re unsure of what’s on that other side so we become reluctant to make a change. In most circumstances it keeps us from what we are passionate about. Whether it’s your passion to wake up everyday and do something you love or its your passion to love freely and openly, fearless of pain and suffering, knowing that who you are is everything someone will want … we hold back out of fear. For those of you who do, I want to share a quote with you by Steve Jobs that sheds light on life and our fears. He states, “Remembering that you’re going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose …”. Pretty deep, but true. This life is short, there’s no reason to ever feel you have anything to lose or stay with something or someone that doesn’t bring you the utmost joy. Follow your heart and don’t stop until you find exactly what you’re looking for.

I remember a conversation with my father shortly after joining Apple in 2007. I was young; 22 years old. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision. We sat that night at the dinner table and he asked me if I enjoyed walking into work everyday. I did, I loved it. The people were amazing, the products, well they spoke for themselves. He then said something to me I will never forget. He said, “Anthony, in life do something because you love it. Never chase money, instead chase your dreams. You won’t get there overnight, but if you work hard one day you will”  Seven years later I move on my father’s words; I absolutely love what I do and I’ve found success because of it. Sure I’ve had my ups and downs. Some days aren’t just a walk in the park, but I know that Apple invests into me what I’ve invested into it. As with any great relationship it only gets better with time.

For millions of people around the world Apple is recognized as an amazing consumer electronics company; a company that makes products which become a significant part of your life. For me Apple has been something completely different. It’s a network of amazing individuals, both extremely intelligent and incredibly passionate, that have helped change the landscape of the world we live in. Everyday I am fortunate enough to wake up, go to work and be inspired by each and every one of them. And not only am I inspired, I am humbled and most importantly I am valued. And so my passion is for a company that’s filled with people on one particular mission; to enrich the lives of others. It’s never been about how much money I can make. Money could never buy the joy I feel in my heart knowing I’m a part of something special; something that will last for a long long time.

I’ve brought that same concept to my relationships; I invest in people that give me that burning feeling inside. I spent nearly one third of my life with one woman. I invested my heart, my soul and anything else you can think of into being a good man and an even better companion. Although it didn’t work out the way I had planned, I look back in peace knowing that the both of us gave it everything we had. Sometimes in life things just don’t work, and that’s okay. By design I’ve spent the last couple of years ensuring that I select the right woman for my life and my future. I’m in no rush and I intend to be very selective. Why wouldn’t I be? I want to be able to have the same level of passion that I have for my career for her. I want to wake up everyday and be eager to hear her voice, see her face and journey through life together. I want to feel that same excitement when I kiss her as I did on day one. I want to know that the woman I’m investing in is investing just as much into me. I’m a firm believer that there is that one person out there that is meant for you; someone who will change your life and how you will forever live it. You can’t allow that to be just anyone.

So the question becomes, what does passion look like in a relationship? I think for starters it’s a fire that burns all day everyday. I can be walking down the streets of Manhattan or even be waiting in a line at Starbucks and I see couples so disconnected from one another. Whether their heads are buried into their smartphones, or they lack any type of affection the disconnect is evident a mile away. In stark contrast you can recognize couples who thrive off of passion immediately. Their hands seem to clench together tighter, their eyes look into each other’s that much deeper, and moreover they have this joy about them; it’s appealing. Being in love is one thing, being passionate is another. When your passionate with someone you can’t seem to get enough. Everything just feels euphoric.

You know I feel bad for women today because most men have lost that romanticism, and passion along with it. By default I believe woman are more affectionate beings than men. I feel that’s largely in part due to a mans defensive nature; they have an image to uphold. What’s happened to just randomly pulling your girl close to you, placing your hand on her face and kissing her like you’ll never get that opportunity again? It happens in the beginning so why does it just stop? Forgive me for what I am about to say but in the first few months of a relationship you typically can’t keep your hands off of her, but then it all fades. Even sexually (let’s be adults here), you can’t get enough in the beginning and then it becomes a choir; no more of those sporadic moments. Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear of couples, especially my age, never wanting to have sex I just shake my head. How can you be in a relationship and not want to sleep with your significant other? Sexual attraction is an important part of any relationship, so once that fire burns out you should probably reconsider investing your time into that person. The old adage is true, what you’re not getting at home you’re going to find somewhere else. It should never get to that point. A note to all men out there … make her feel as beautiful as you did on day one every single day, regardless of the time you’ve been together. Even sexually women want to know that nobody compares to them in your eyes. Telling her how hot some girl is isn’t going to help. In fact, your eyes should be nowhere but on her. If you think they don’t notice when you discretely check out another woman, think again. When you’re with the right one, you won’t even want to look at anyone else.

To my point pure passion never fades. It grows over time, making you want more and more. That’s why I’ve recommended investing your time into things that make you feel as such. Love coupled with passion creates an amazing experience that lasts forever. If you at any point have to force your feelings, or feel as someone is forcing theirs, let go. If you walk into work everyday, hate what you do and have to force a smile on your face, be brave, walk away. There is someone and something out there that is bound to bring you all of the joy you have ever imagined.