Every once in awhile we meet someone who has seemingly supernatural focus. They spend zero time watching TV or playing video games, they spend close to no time in time-wasting activities or situations, they don’t eat sweets, they work out, they just seem to have their shit together.
And we wonder “Alright, how in the hell are you that focused? What magical cocaine are you blowing that gives you that kind of energy? How could anyone go to work and come home just to continue working!?”
And here’s what I realized: Those magical cocaine-blowing-insanely-focused people have a strong sense of why.
Why the hell are you doing all this?
“You see, if your dream is dead, so is your passion. “No passion” numbs you to the greatest violinist in the world while he plays in the train depot. “No passion” leads to mediocrity and the land of everybody. “No passion” leads to unhappiness. “No passion” equals no wealth. If you’re struggling for motivation, re-energize your dream and align it with a road capable of burning a trail to its reality. Dead dreams can’t burn trails of passion. Passion fires your will to do what is necessary beyond what others can’t. Fastlaners work unlike everyone else so they can live unlike anyone else. Ask yourself “WHY” You are doing things. Proving someone wrong? Taking care of someone? Want to pursue your dream without worrying about money? “
-The Millionaire Fastlane
It’s one of those simple truths. People who have found that “why” have a hell of a lot more fire.
Want an example?
Read any business bestseller on amazon.
Now read The Millionaire Fastlane.
Now guess why the Millionaire fast lane has spawned an immense movement, (just see how many Facebook likes the page has). Got a theory?
M.J. has serious fire when he writes. It’s something he really believes in – that we shouldn’t have to deal with bullshit like trading 5 days of work for 2 days of freedom, or 40 years of work for retirement.
That “get rich slow” is some bullshit that get rich slow gurus used to get rich fast.
That there are much better ways to get wealthy, make a difference, and do what you love.
My fire comes from the fact that everyday I see the same parts of life that leave me feeling pissed off and discontent.
I see young people squandering their precious time and then bitching about hating their lives. I listen to friends bitch and moan about their existence and then once 5 pm hits, do nothing about it but go grab drinks and come home and watch TV.
I see young people – who still have fire and zest for life – give up on doing something they enjoy because of laziness or because they don’t see anyone around them doing what they love.
I see people all around me, day after day, that are fucking miserable and going through their lives without even thinking for 5 seconds if there’s a better way to do what they’re doing.
All of these things piss me off and get me riled up! That’s where my why comes from, that’s why it’s so natural and I’m constantly infused with energy and fire to get shit done.
It doesn’t take effort.
That’s why you need to figure out why you’re doing what you do.
No one else can give you the fire
The second thing about being motivated is that no one else can motivate you.
You can read blog posts and watch youtube inspirational videos all day to no effect.
Motivation that comes from outside of you doesn’t last long. It’s a drug rush – it’s an upper then a downer. “Yeahhhhhh… shit…” It’s fleeting.
It’s like trying to motivate employees, that just doesn’t work long-term (no matter what someone else will say). Great, you’ve inspired someone for the afternoon – now what?
Anyone who has had employees knows that you can never get someone else to care about your business as much as you.
It’s much easier to have the right people on the team who are intrinsically motivated because they enjoy what you enjoy right?
Stop watching those youtube videos if that’s what it takes to go to the gym and stop reading inspirational success stories if that’s what it takes to work on your business. You’re only motivating yourself in the short term.
Forgot what your mom wants, what do YOU want?
Forget what everybody else wants.
Let me repeat that, because this is something that I’ve been suckered into, and many others get suckered into.
Forget what everybody else wants — that includes money, fame, freedom, whatever. What do you actually want?
Read the manifesto and clarify what you really don’t want and what you really want in life.
At the start of this whole entrepreneurial obsession, I loved talking about the Audi R8 I’m going to buy (See this post: Audi R8 by 29 or Bust: Success for 20 Somethings), because I was still operating under society’s concept of what “success” meant.
Success was clear: wealth at a young age, the CEO of something big and important and outward wealth. Right?
For me, I know nothing is worth making me miserable in the short term, I don’t give a shit how many Audi R8s i’d get in 5 or 10 years. Not worth it.
After having made myself miserable for almost a year because I put too much commitment to “anything goes, just get it done” type entrepreneurial work ethic, I know i’m not willing to do that ever again just for the end result.
Don’t lose yourself in the chaos.
In a book called Finding Your Own North Star, the author talks about how there are two selves that we have.
The first is your essential self – you – which deep down always knows what it wants and what it doesn’t want. It guides you to where you want to be via intuition and other signals – however, they can be clouded when you listen to much to your other self, the social self.
The social self is sort of our going out face. It does stuff to be polite, it does stuff in the interests of others, it does stuff to not offend anybody, it prevents you from being an animal and acting impulsively. But It can also control you and enslave you by living someone else’s life.
Your social self is in overdrive if you keep saying “I want to be an entrepreneur so I can earn $2349023480234 dollars and drive a ferrari!” That’s a shallow pipe dream with no thought — it’s just society’s old school definition of success and wealth. That’s fine if you really want that, but deep down, are you quitting your job to be an entrepreneur.. for that? For the ferrari?
I doubt it.
What does your intuition say about all of this? Follow your intuition – it’s more accurate than you think.
You deep down always know what you want.
Fight now or forever be miserable
The older we get, the harder it is to find that fire. I don’t know why, but the older we get the more our social self comes out and the more we deep down lose the passion to do what we’ve always wanted to do. It can be revived like anything else, but it slowly sneaks away and hides after years of neglect and being ignored.
You’re not going to find your fire by watching another motivational youtube video, you’re not going to find your fire by reading another blog post (a little ironic..hahah), and you’re not going to find your fire by watching movies or talking to people.
If you have no backbone you’re not going to have any fire. So let me ask you this:
What the hell pisses you off and gets you angry?
For me, I can’t-fucking-stand watching people live miserable existences when they have options to change but are simply too lazy to put in time and effort.
I can’t stand watching 20 somethings work miserable jobs year after year, bitch about their jobs, but not even give 5 seconds to consider working hard for an alternative lifestyle.
I can’t stand the idea of working the same goddamn job for 40 years, barely increasing my income, and having almost no vacation while getting bitched at by people senior to me.
That’s where my fire comes from.
And you need to find yours before it crawls in a small corner and dies.
More Resources for finding your fire
From Milk the Pigeon:
The Manifesto: Killing Your Old Life and Living the Dream
Books on Amazon: