“Live with passion!” –  Tony Robbins

In this month’s issue, CRL recognizes three local individuals with the distinction of  “People to Watch.” This is an honor to be recognized as a rising and influential star in the community and join me in congratulating the three that have been honored:

Aliki Serras, owner, Reel Seafood Company

Kathy Sheehan, mayor of Albany

AnneMarie Mitchell, president, Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association and CEO of Legacy Timber Frames.

I was recently asked what is common among people destined to grow and prosper. The easy answers would be money, luck or another type of on-the-surface assessment.

But that is not the case. From my experience, high-achievers have discovered the secrets in how they drive themselves and relate to others. The common characteristics are:

They define their own destiny
They do not wait for others to define their destiny; they do it on their own. They have a plan and they work it each and every day. As they grow and morph, they change the plan because they are open to change.

They are resilient
When they fall down, they jump right back up, learning from the experience. They don’t wallow in the “oh gosh, look what happened to me.” They move forward and don’t live in the past. They can’t change their past, so they don’t let it hold them back (and we know that happens to many people).

They are focused
They are focused each and every day, on the positives and the opportunities, and they are proactive in solving challenges. Focus brings clarity and with clarity one can truly pursue their dreams and goals. Lack of clarity is like jogging in a cloud; you’re moving, but you don’t know where you’re going.

They give to others
They give back to people or the community in one way or another. They see how they can help, and rather than say they are going to do something to help, they do it. Giving back defines one’s brand of caring and contributing, and this is very valuable.

They strive to achieve
Achievement can be defined in many ways. It may be in business, with family, in the community or in an area of interest. Achievement is paramount in a winner’s mind; they always strive for it.  Even if it’s big or small, when they achieve, they move forward.

They connect
Connections are powerful.  Winners connect whenever possible; they value their connections and protect them.  Networking yields connections and building meaningful relationships that are mutually beneficial.

They have passion in my opinion the most defining characteristic.

Achievers have passion for what they do or they would not do it. Their passion fuels their success. One must have passion for the work they do in order to be happy and fulfilled. Devoid of passion, work becomes a money chase and that becomes wearing over time.

It is so alarming to hear of the number of people who lack passion for what they do. They become disengaged, discontented and disenfranchised. They aren’t happy, which affects all parts of their life.  I see many of these people in my practice. But what is encouraging? They know it and they are committed to doing something to change their situation and discover their ideal career path. 

Unsure if you are really passionate about something you do or want to do? Here are 10-questions to help you.

It’s important to determine if your passion is truly a passion. One can have a false lead without validating their passion.  From Richard Chang’s book Passion Plan comes 10 questions that can help you determine this. Simply answer each question with a Yes or No. The more questions you answer with a yes, the stronger the passion is to you. But you must be truthful and honest with yourself! Have fun:

  1. Do you lose track of time when engaged in the activity?
  2. Do you perform beyond your normal capabilities when engaged in it?
  3. Is your energy level higher when engaged in it?
  4. Do you get excited in anticipation of engaging in it?
  5. Do you dream about the activity?
  6. Is your enthusiasm for it consistent over time?
  7. Do you feel more confident or empowered while engaged in it?
  8. Do others notice you based on your involvement/performance in it?
  9. Do others rally around you or want to be involved with you in the activity?
  10. Do you feel energized after engaging in it?

Be the person to watch.

Define your future – discover your passion.

Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie.  You can reach him at 641.8968 or or visit


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