Passion LOVE to Create


History is replete with examples of people who achieved extraordinary goals by means of their brilliance or sheer will, but rarely without passion. History is also replete with people who never accomplished much of anything because they could never bring themselves to pry themselves away from mind numbing inactivity. Designers usually are passionate about the concept generation aspects of design; however, details can often appear boring, but the details are every bit as important to a design as the overall concept if the goal is to bring to market a truly inspiring product. 1The difference in a product that is just created verses one that is created with 􀀼Passion􀀼is like the difference between a handshake and a honeymoon! 


The first step in developing a personal passion plan is to realize that that there are different orders of 􀀼Passion􀀼as a catalyst for accomplishing a goal, ranging from the simple realization that a task needs to be accomplished in order to pay the rent and buy food, to the realization that the idea on which you are working could change the world. The second step is to gauge the task at hand and select an appropriate level of passion, for if one expects to save the world by mowing the lawn, one may be in for a letdown. The third step is to think of how you and others will benefit from what you are doing, and how big a "thank you!" you will get either now or in the future for accomplishing the task. The fourth and perhaps most critical step is to think of your most desirous intellectual and physical activities, and realize that the task at hand can be a means for you to better enjoy the things you love most! 


Just about any activity can be conducted in a manner that helps one to grow in the context of their goals in life both professional and personal. With this in mind, consider the some of the author’s fun functions: 


• Most desirous intellectual activities: Designing and building new things, playing games, and solving puzzles


• Most desirous physical activities: Exercise, Snowboarding, SCUBA diving, triathlon...


Physiologically, passion goes hand in hand with the release of endorphins in the brain. Hence to feel good when doing details that may otherwise not be big endorphin releasers, map the activities onto other activities that can help to stimulate endorphin release. Mental tasks can be mapped onto games and puzzles. While doing mental tasks, one can also incorporate light exercise which is a proven endorphin generator. Some activities, such as washing dishes or doing the laundry, require such a low level of brain activity that one can do them while also designing new gadgets to help to accomplish the boring task. Table 1 provides some examples. 


Table 1: Injecting passion into common activities

Activity 活动

Intellectual Mapping脑力映射

Physical Mapping体力映射

Background research: Creating a list of functional requirements, investigating what has been done, conducting surveys...


You are creating a treasure map that will lead you to the buried treasure (contained in the wallets of countless consumers!)


Go for a walk and meet customers. Walk and observe others using competing products.


Making drawings before making

stuff in the shop


This is a video game! As you detail the parts imagine them being machined and assembled.

Keep your eyes open for shortcuts to minimize the number of parts and make them effortlessly snap together in an obvious way.


Create a dance that makes you the part as it goes through the manufacturing process, and do the dance. Walk through the factory imagining each step of the manufacturing process.


Writing reports


Create poems to describe ideas. Using the Nth, Mth… letter of each page, create secret messages…


Do chair-based exercises and stretches (very important for



Washing dishes


How can I design a self washing dish? How would I automate this? What if I could read water molecules’ memories?

怎么设计一个自清洁的碟子呢? 怎么实现自动化洗碗?要是我能够读取水的记忆,我可以做点什么呢?

An opportunity to do calf and balance exercises!


“Curiosity, like coffee, is an acquired need. Just a titillation, at the begin- ning, it becomes with training a raging passionNicholas S. Thompson 


Imagine your robot zooming ahead to victory, AND the satisfaction you will get knowing that you engineered every aspect of your machine. You used physics to catalyze the creation of creative concepts, and your machine performed as predicted. It was built on time and on-budget! You now have the capabilities and the confidence to conquer any task. You see yourself leading the Mars Lander design team… Now, start thinking of strategies to win! 


1. Great insightful books about passionate designers include: Robert A. Lutz, Guts, John Wiley & Sons, New York; Ben Rich, Skunkworks






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