Tag Archives: passion

Side Effects

by Greg Hague

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

side effects

Continued from yesterday’s story, The Cruelty in Passion:

“Greg,” Chubby said, “even with talent, hard work, passion, and some luck . . . you still might hate where you end up.”

“Why?” I asked with a puzzled look.

“You don’t see the side effects.” Chubby replied.  “It’s like eating fudge every day for a year. You know you’ll gain weight.  But you may not think about the other side effects, like the cost of buying bigger clothes, the heart attack risk, the tooth decay, and the strain on your knees.” 

Dad had a good point. Think in advance –

each plus and minus with all that I do.

Chubby continued,

“Greg, if your dream is to become a schoolteacher, that’s fine, but make sure you consider that you might not make big money doing it. 

Or, if your heart is set on becoming a commercial airline pilot, consider that it may not allow much time with your family.”

That last example really hit home. I absolutely loved to fly.  I was pretty darn good at it, and was fortunate enough to obtain my pilot’s license at 16. And, while a career in the air had seemed exciting and tempting to me, there were side effects I hadn’t considered that didn’t appeal.

The lesson I learned from Chubby that day?

Side effects . . . think pluses and minuses all the way through.


The Cruelty in Passion

by Greg Hague

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

shooting hoops

My hands were blistered and bleeding, my back screamed in pain. I was utterly exhausted, but it was OK . . . until Chubby dumped on my dream.

“But Dad,” I pleaded. “I can do it. I will make the team. I’ll shine on the court. No one will work harder than me.”

“Greg,” Chubby said. “I’ve watched you jump, dribble and shoot. Yes, you’re busting your butt. But you don’t have what it takes.

Face it now. Face it later. But face it, you will.”

I lied in bed crying that night. It was unfair. How did he know? I would prove Dad was wrong.

And I did. I made the high school basketball team.

But I hated that season. It was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.

The coach never put me in a game we hadn’t already won, and then only right at the end. Every practice. Every game. I watched kids who worked less play better than me.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t dribble, move, or shoot like them. It was my first real dose of “hard work alone isn’t enough.”

I remember talking with Dad after the season. He explained,

“Greg, people often let passion lead to a life of frustration. It’s demoralizing to strive for what you can’t have. Smart people assess their abilities up front. They ‘go for it’ where the going looks good.”

With four boys, this is a hard story to write. As a Dad, I want to encourage my kids to “go for your dreams, whatever they are.”

In my heart I want to tell them that nothing is out of their reach. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. It’s not real.

So what do I say?

Identify your talents – your greatest gifts; mentally, physically, artistically and emotionally. Then, “go for it there.” If you love basketball, strive to own the team if you can’t be a star on the court.


“Greg,” he said, “you can have natural talent, work extremely hard, possess intense passion, and even with a little bit of luck, it’s still not enough.  There is a secret ingredient that many overlook…”

Natural Talent + Hard Work + Intense Passion + Luck + ???

Tomorrow, the secret ingredient to finding life’s path.

Can you guess?

Secret ingredient