Your passion is your blindfold.
Determination despite reality is a symptom of a zealot crazy person. Though giants like Steve Jobs were hard working machines, I don't think that passion is their drug of choice.
Yes, achieving and creating something great sometimes requires you to put your head into the dirt and dig away until you find what you're looking for.
But you will die of a lock of oxygen before reaching your goal if you don't pick your head up and get a fresh breath of reality.
Passion is a romantic story we are told again and again. Hustle in the same vein.
The same encouraging phrase that the generations before us have given us as a means of building us up, is the same idea that buries us in the holes we are digging.
"You can do anything you put your mind to."
While it's important to note that you can, in fact, make amazing changes by defying the structures that society has built, it still remains true that navigating around them with our blinders on, creating our own path, is like swimming upstream.
It's unwise to be passionate about something you haven't mindfully investigated to a great extent.
It's like a beginner basketball player "inventing" a solution by passing the ball through their opponents legs, confusing them, and getting the ball to a team mate in scoring position.
In a flash of inspiration, they saw their goal, and now nothing– not even their peers, can get in their way.
Imagine them spending days and weeks perfecting their amazing trick, sweating until 4am every night, refining this game changing maneuver.
The player finally gets the chance to show it off and realizes quickly that others are keen on this sort of thing, because they've seen the Harlem Globetrotters do this a thousand times.
He was drunk on passion.
It sounds ridiculous to lock yourself away and try to develop something that more experienced players have already dismissed as futility.
It would be insane to work tirelessly at something that every one of your peers knows is a dead end.
But that's sort of what we are urged to do.
Granted, there are the outliers, but they are the exception and not the rule. They are the one in a million, and certainly not what our greatest teachers would advise us to emulate.
I don't see many inspirational social media posts about seeking mentors that know 400x what you do, researching the life out of a topic before diving in, or sitting in deep thought reflecting on why you even even want to work on your solution in the first place.
Yet these are the things that make the work 400x easier. These are the things that make the greats the greats. They know they don't know what they are doing, and their submission of ego and willingness to learn is what makes them able to create million dollar companies in record time.
And more of something that isn't great is probably taking up too much space in your life.
This isn't said to discourage you from striving to achieve something that is difficult. Your goals should seem difficult if you've taken the time to examine the enormous complexity of the task. Having respect for the difficulty of the feat, and operating with mindful determination to achieve it, is the most productive and healthy mindset.
Working only on what is in its honeymoon phase (the exciting, new, easy, and fun) would lead to a string of abandoned projects, filling you with self-doubt and defeatism. That's because everything gets hard. And since everything is difficult, it's wise to do your investigation both internally and externally.
Internally, via contemplation and meditation, to figure out why you're doing it, and externally, via mentorship and research, to make for your greatest gains.
Sincere investigation and acceptance of your intellectual infancy are what will make your journey more fruitful, because those are the building blocks of growth.Want some ideas on getting more out of less dedication?
What do you do now?
- List the top 5 most time consuming things you do for your business – write the amount of hours you spend on each task per week.
- Write down what you get from each of these tasks – you need to quantify it with numbers or deliverables (if it's just a nice feeling that you get, consider doing it a bit less).
- Pick which ones are worth it for you.
- Ask someone (who knows more about this) how they do it.
- Ask them what they notice to be the top 3 time wasters for people in your industry.
- Compare that to your top 5 list, and eliminate as many as you can. Delegate the ones that are less fun.
Now for your experiences…
Ever realize you've wasted so much time on something barely beneficial to your business or life?
What did it take to change your mind and your habit?
Some some love below. It will definitely help other people in similar situations.