People ask me if I love writing and get surprised when I tell them that I don’t…in fact I hate writing. This article for example has taken me 2 weeks to complete…aargh.
The only thing I am passionate about is sleeping, having passionate sex and scrolling through other people’s social media pages so that I can laugh at them. I am also passionate about making change (my campaign manager said I should add that, in case I plan to run for President in the future).
So then the next logical question is: “so how come you write a lot?”
I mean how can you do something you are not passionate about and yet do it so frequently. I often ponder on that question myself….
You see for years we have been told…find what you are passionate about, pursue it passionately and you will become successful! But that is bullshit.
In fact in my short time of mentoring people on social media marketing, I have found that the most passionate people are the least likely to succeed. You know the ones who tend to succeed? The ones who were willing to do the work, the ones who needed the money, the extra income, not the ones that were passionate about baking cupcakes because they sort of liked cup cakes….no…the ones that wanted to bake cup cakes because they needed the additional income or else their son will not be able to go to school!
The truth is that passion is a bullshit word. Used by successful people cause it sounds sexy. Be passionate and you will succeed…huh. If that was the case I would be in the porn industry sleeping around (remember I like sleeping…not that type of sleeping…ok let’s just move along)…
When I attended the University of Houston in 2000, I needed a job. Any job, because I had to pay my school fees or get kicked out of school. So my friend Kunle Osho (now works in California) and I would sit down with a list of on-campus jobs (about 50 of them) and start cold calling them. We got the wtf response most of the time, people telling us to stop calling because there were no jobs…but did we stop? Nope…we kept calling. Not because we were passionate about the job we were going to do, but because we needed the job…and most importantly we were willing to do the work (cold-calling) that was needed to get the job…
Anyone that knows me, knows that I hate getting up in the morning. Not because I am lazy, but because I do most of my writing at night (3 am to 7 am) and by the time I am done writing I can barely get up in the morning. But when I was senior in University, I would wake up almost every day at 6am and drive to a chemical plant 10 miles from my school campus to do a job that I hated. Everyday 5 days a week…I did it not because I was passionate but because I needed the job and the experience. Looking back now, I don’t know how I was able to pull that off….o now I remember…by shitting in the company toilet for 30 minutes everyday even though I was sleeping 99% of the time.
But back to writing and the bullshit stereotype of success…
I have seen and met people that are passionate about writing. They are also good at it…better than me. But they never write, or rarely write. Why? Is it because they can’t write? I don’t think so…I think it is because they are lazy of the bullshit of passion.
They like many others have been told to do what they are passionate about…what they enjoy doing and they will somehow become magically successful. But what they have not been told is that that passion thing is fucking hard! That even if you love writing, that there are going to be those days when you will fucking hate it, where you will rather be doing something else than writing. But that if you are ever to be successful you will have to do those things you fucking love hate…not because you are passionate about them, but because you want to be successful.
Muhammad-Ali-I-hated-every-minute-of-training-but-I-said-Dont-Quit.-Suffer-now-and-live-the-rest-of-your-life-as-a-champion. Writing is truly difficult…the editing…the drafts…the laborious typing sessions…the long nights when inspiration hits you at the moments when you want to sleep…but still you have to do it. In fact I have done it for years not because of passion or any of that bullshit, but because I want to become as good as (if not better than) Seth Godin (that’s the truth). And because of that I push myself to become disciplined with my writing.
I carry a journal everywhere, I am constantly taking notes, jotting things down on my phone, making sketches on the back of napkins. I even have a dry erase marker in my car which I use to write on the window of my car, in case an idea hits me while driving. I ensure that I write as often as I can, whether it is good or not. And that is how I have achieved my little success.
You see the truth is that successful people are successful not because they were passionate about what they did, but because they wanted to be successful! The end! They wanted it so bad that they were willing to do whatever it would take to make them successful. They did it over and over again, until they got good at it, until they became successful. Little wonder why Muhammed Ali quips “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” His driver was not the passion of boxing like we have been wrongly told, but rather the fact that he wanted to be champion. That’s what got him through the shitty training days, that’s what made him a world champion.
So if you…yes you reading this article…want to be successful, you have to understand that passion is bullshit! That you would have to get up and stop philosophizing about how passionate you are about shit and actually start doing shit…even the shit you don’t like. That’s the truth!