I just wrote the following post as a comment on Tim Ferriss most recent blog post and felt so strongly about it that I thought I should share here. If you want to know why I wrote this bit, go read Tim’s article after.
I think that if you’re smart, entrepreneur, success driven and creative, you’re f*cked. Honestly you are, and I couldn’t wish that to any of my worst enemies. You’re prisoner of that crazy brain of yours until you tame the beast. The problem is that I only want to start new projects and businesses & I don’t care about living the conventional life. All I care about is becoming millionaire and becoming successful. But strangely enough, I don’t really care about money either: i just want it because it’s more practical and allows me the freedom to do what i want when i want it (i.e. never allowing anything to stop my creativity or thirst for knowledge). I’m hard wired for success: it’s a freaking obsession.
I just could not ever imagine myself living my life without wanting to become the next Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson or Elon Musk. Or anything else; smaller projects are just not motivating for me. In fact, the bigger and bolder the project, the better I feel in the morning, the happier I am, the more I want to run & train, the more people I want to meet. Challenges do something crazy in my brain. And it feel good.
I remember reading “The Game” by Neil Strauss and how he said he was sh*t scared of living a “normal life” in the suburbs and I totally feel the same. I NEED more. I need to be challenged, pushed, to innovate, to think, to build, to solve ever more complex problems, and to do something that stays in history books for hundreds of years. I want to be a real life Tony Stark.
Brainwashing yourself to Success
I want Tony Stark’s house and lifestyle and because of that I work 16+ hours per day, rarely get out, learn anything anytime I have the chance, read, learn, read, learn, when I walk, train, when I am in the subway. I even put all podcasts and videos that I listen to in 1.5x or 2x speed so I can listen to more of them and learn faster.
Heck, my morning alarm is a playlist of 16 amazing speeches (playing on random) that I wake up to EVERY morning: Gary Vaynerchuk Passion speech (2nd video of the link), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secrets of success, etc. I do that to brainwash myself: if I can’t directly work with them, they’ll still brainwash me every morning dammit! I am so scared of not having success it’s the ONLY thing that matters at this point in my life. I don’t want to be left behind of the arena of success. Tim can’t have all the fun for himself, so I think ;).
So that’s why me, you – I think – tend to work ourselves to exhaustion. But the thing is that I can’t imagine doing anything else, I can’t see myself at a normal job, or just working less and hoping I make it in 10 years. I can’t imagine “toning down my ambitions”. To do WHAT else?
There’s no shortcut: you’ll need to put in the hours
NO! I want to make it NEXT MONTH, not when I’m old! And so I think it’s just how it is: I was born with that crazy brain and drive and I love it. Yes I said it: I love it. I am not complaining a single bit about it, I love being how I am and different even if mastering my own crazy brain is the single thing that consume most of my time.
I genuinely love the climb (like Gary Vaynerchuk), the hardship, the crazy hours, the times (many) I felt like crawling in the floor to a corner and crying and quitting, but then looked at what i’d get if that happened and felt ill. I’ve got to accept it: i’ll work my ass out, putting aside sanity and social events and relations because that’s how i’m wired. Gary told me to crush it, so there I am. And then one day (hopefully soon) i’ll succeed and live the real life of my dreams, doing anything I want when I want and be uberly happy of the effort and success. And that’s all fine.
At that point somebody will come and tell me “You’re so insanely lucky to be on this beach (or wherever) as long as you want when me, I have to get back on my plane and work 50 weeks before I come back”.
I’m not lucky, I created my luck by increments of 16 hours!
When you’re smart, the problem is not making money or reaching success. The problem is getting outside your own freagging head! It’s taming the beast so that you can channel its energies in something that’s actually productive and value-adding to others.
We all start at ZERO (0)
But this world is competitive… and we ALL start at ZERO. So if you don’t put the hours in like crazy from 20 to 30 years old, I think you’ll never achieve success: you MUST learn the foundation of many things and practice and fail and THEN you’ll make it. If you take it easy and work 8 hours per day, not rushing anything, playing Xbox at night and having a social life every night then I’m sorry but the odds you become successful are next to nil.
The choice is yours, it’s the red or the blue pill. And be happy about whichever you choose.