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The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  680 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Rodale Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  680 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Becky Wade
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Steve and Brad did it again! The Passion Paradox, like Peak Performance, combines real-life experiences with the latest scientific research to give insight on some of the world’s greatest athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, businessmen/women, and more. This time, the duo tackles the loaded concept of passion, diving into the roots of the word, offering valuable examples across a multitude of fields, and challenging many of society’s assumptions about what it means and takes to be passionate. A ...more
Gavin Prior
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a strong 3.5/5, I learned some really good things but this book is pretty forgettable for the most part. Repeating the same shit over and over.
Kourtney Morris
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This was the book I needed to read and it’s a book I want all my friends and family to read. It is incredibly thought provoking and written in a way that isn’t bogged down with science and research but feels very real like a conversation.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wisdom for All

I had this book on my radar after thoroughly enjoying Peak Performance. The authors have created another excellent work here. The research and advice that they present is very insightful and is unlike other books I’ve read on high performance and single-minded pursuits of excellence. The prose is very clean and direct. There is something here for everybody, no matter where your interests lie.
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some very interesting thinking/concepts coming out of this book.
I've never really though about passion as an addiction, and that the negative impact passion could have.
They draw the parallels between passion and balance, but just having the one towards either side is also not great.

The format of the book was great for the content getting delivered.
I listened to the audiobook, and it was a pleasant listen.

I've read/listened to quite a few books of people getting used as case studies in this book.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this relatively short dive into a topic I've never really considered that seriously. I'm not what anyone would describe as passionate about much and while that's still true, there was quite a bit I took away from this book. I especially liked the discussion on passion vs balance which mostly changed my previous opinion on the debate. I also liked the format which referenced quite a few other books and gave both theoretical and practical arguments on the topic of passion.

Stephanie Lam
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for anyone with a deep passion or interest in a specific area or hobby. Great insight as to how to balance what is important in the short and long run
Manos Koumantakis
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately, there's nothing new in this book.
Youmna Harb
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, really enjoyed it. Conclusions are highlighted, and it makes it even more clear.
Simon Hohenadl
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short but very insightful book on how to deal with passion in your life.
Nic Ayson
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I'm going to have to add permanently in my library. I wanted to write down so many passages. Practical advice on how to pursue your passions with clarity and consistency, whilst being kind to yourself in the process. Rome wasn't built in a day - small consistent 'goodness' counts.
Alstin Benton
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book.. not as information driven as other books by Magness. It was easy to read as it read more like a story than a text book. Supported claims with research and followed up with anecdotal stories from pro athletes, actors, and business people. Bullet points at end of sections was a good refresher for main take a ways. Well done!
Lexxis Cherry
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend. An amazing glimpse into the way we view passion and how it needs to change
Victoria Klein
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As an entrepreneur for 15 years, I've been told approximately 14,835 times that the key to success is to "follow your passion."

Guess what? No matter how many times I hear or read that advice, it has NEVER been helpful.

"While there are plenty of voices telling you to find your passion, there are hardly any telling you how to be passionate. The seemingly straight line to success, happiness, and fulfillment that passion promises is almost always a more complicated route littered with potential
Suz Jay
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
“Shedding your fear of failure starts with working to disconnect your sense of self and ego from the external product of your work. Otherwise, failure becomes an attack on your actual ‘self,’ on you as a person.…if you remove your ego from the equation, failure can be a source of rich information and the opportunity to grow.“*

THE PASSION PARADOX with its comparisons between passion and addiction hooked me immediately. The book contains an introduction and a conclusion along with eight chapters:
Blake Evertsen
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
- Got sucked into reading this after the first few pages and interesting points the author was making about passion.

- Passion is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it has taken highly motivated, committed individuals to the top of their respective games. On the other, that same drive can also be seen as a neurotic drive that ends in uncontrollable obsessions, addictions, immoral behavior and cheating. Thus, "passion must be handled with care."

- At the neurochemical level, passion is our
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Usually I don't read books like this. When I do, I don't think much of them. I picked this up because I read an article by one of the authors, but I had low expectations. My expectations were wrong.

The Passion Paradox is a book with practicable insight into what why driven people are passionate, and how they can avoid burnout and maintain a "harmonious" rather than "obsessive" mindset about their passion. Unlike many other books of this ilk, the advice given is actually applicable in highly
Wayne A. Anderson
Passion yes, but reflection always.

I bought this book by mistake expecting another treatise on finding my passion to add to my collection. I decided to read it and want to say it is the best self help book I've ever read. It is going to help me in my quest by raising the issues that the other books either gloss over or don't even consider. Things like, is the hell bent pursuit of your passion invariably in your interest? Is all consuming passion something you turn on and then live with forever?
Brent M.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stulberg and Magness crushed it with their book ‘Peak Performance’ and this is another great read. The book does a beautiful job of clarifying the real meaning of passion, laying out the pitfalls of unhealthy (romanticized) passion and explaining in depth the importance of self awareness as it relates to pursuing passion. The word passion get recklessly thrown around in talks, coaching interactions, relationships etc. it can lead people down an unhealthy path. Give this book a read and you’ll ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
quick read covering things like benefits of intrinsic motivation rather than being wrapped up in the possible external rewards for doing well at your chosen endeavor, utility of "growth mindset" a la Carol Dweck, importance of figuring out something to do next after you retire from an obsessive pursuit such as high-level sports, etc.

subtitle is a bit misleading in the sense that they actually give a nuanced (balanced?) perspective on the go-for-it/"do what you love and the money will follow"
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
What is passion? Where does it come from? How does it effect the choices we make? These are the questions Stulberg and Magness answer through their research in The Passion Paradox. I came to a better understanding of how passion has impacted my own life- focusing on external rewards instead of becoming a better version of ourselves can lead to burnout. Our passions change and we can learn from those we have held. I appreciated their honest insight that passion is rarely (if ever) part of a ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A short book packed with sound advice without any superfluous waffle, it is straight to the point.

Yes you can read most of Chapter 5, the central pillar of the book, in a blog by one of the author but actually the print version goes a little more in-depth and is the better for it.

As an amateur runner who sometimes goes too deep into tunnel vision only to under achieve at racing time followed by periods of low motivation, I hope to apply some of the principles listed in this book in particular
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book offers some helpful tips on how to reign yourself in when you have gotten a little too far with your passion, whatever that may be. There is a balance that all of us seek when we pursue a passion (generally). Sometimes we go too far with it and neglect a large majority of our lives in the pursuit of a passion. The helpful tips and ideas that they offer in this book are some that I would really like to try myself. I do wish that there were a bit more in depth explanations to their ...more
Peter ONeill
Not a bad book, but also not much of a story line. While there are some very good anecdotes that are referenced for material I feel the book lacks a way to connect with the text to nurture and grow existing passions. There are quite a few case studies and articles in this book, which I do enjoy, but the format in which they’re shared makes the book read as more of reference material than a story. I went into the book with the hopes to connect my fledgling passions to new ideas to speed their ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this for my women's professional development book club, and had mixed opinions. I really liked the exploration of how passion could be a positive or a negative force, but I was hoping for more on how to actually discover a passion vs just how to nurture it once you've found it, and the end fell a little bit flat. However, I really loved the sports examples throughout, and definitely felt a kinship with Brad - who had in the back of his mind always wanted to be a journalist, then was a ...more
Marie Wreath
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable read. The material is broken down into logical, even intuitive chunks of understanding. And it leans to stoicism and Buddhism, which makes what could be just more self-help promotion actually very logical and digestible. I love that the real life case studies range from elite athletes to scientific innovators, artists, and CEOs. Lots of research cited, too. And overall, the messaging is all about self awareness and loving a life well examined, crystallizing so many other ...more
Neeraj M
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Herbie Behm
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It I were mandate a class to all college freshmen, this would be a required text. This book is filled with so much useful information for anyone who is hoping to live a fulfilling life. The authors dive into the origin of passion and the often overlooked baggage that comes along with it. They also reveal steps to nurture your passion and what to do when it goes awry. It is written in a way that is simple to understand but makes a profound impact. This is going to be a book I gift to many people.
Lee Murray Brazos Booksellers
Worth the Read

This book takes performance experience and Ossie. And ties them together in a unified treatment. Not strictly for runners, it addresses the subject of passion and addiction and gives structure and direction to subject.

I found many useful tools in here I plant to implement and the chapter on transition was particularly helpful since I retired last year and am transitioning from active work to active participation in some things I couldn’t do while working.

Good for athletes and
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Solidly decent and accessible enough for athletes. Not sure I’m psyched about most of the citations being news articles, but hey it’s pop non fiction. Also it’s nice to breeze through something uncomplicated. It acknowledges a lot of truths that someone wouldn’t recognize in their early adult years.
Top takeaway: basic needs by Edward deci and Richard Ryan. Competency- a sense of control over the outcome of your efforts. Autonomy- or authenticity aka aligning with your inner being. Relatedness-
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