To antithesize yesterday’s post a bit, you must not be too quick to surrender failed projects. Give obstacles their due perspective and time before you put your hands up and walk away. If you’re stringing a project along because you’re no longer interested in it, then mark it a failure and leave it be. But if you’re stringing a project along because of obstacles you cannot overcome, take an extra minute to consider the whole thing. What will it take to overcome this problem? Can you do it alone? Do you care enough to inspire the resources of others to help you? If you do not care enough to try and inspire the world with your work, walk away. If you do care, don’t give up and figure it out.
Quitters give up because they don’t care enough. Do not be a quitter. Pick projects you believe in and believe in them until the deeds are done. The second you stop believing, you lose.
Weeks in a row of sleepless nights. Stress, conflict, strained relationships. No social life, terrible diet. Racked brain, philosophical despair. All in the name of a project. Pushing for a huge deadline, kicking and screaming. Crossing the finish line at 4am and dropping dead to a deserved full night sleep. The punchline? Waking up and wanting to do it all over again. If that’s not passion, I don’t know what is.
…with genuine passion as your alley. Your passion must be sincere; you will not overcome the steepest obstacles if you merely lust over the hype train. With a true fire burning at heart, nothing can stop you. The destination may look or feel different than you projected, but the passion helping you get there will not let you down.
If you do not believe in what you are doing, you are unlikely to succeed. No level of responsibility, compensation, or flattery can change your mind. Only you can tap into the higher context of your personal values and goals. Only you can know what makes your heart tick. Figure out what you believe and you can find your place in the world. If you truly believe, nothing can stop you.
You could die tomorrow. Probably not. But who knows. Today may be your last. The activities, tasks, and adventures before you may fill your final chapter. Coast through it if you want. Or face it with a mortal passion. Accept every challenge, job, and event as if you will never get the opportunity to do it again. Pour your heart and soul into it. Give it all you’ve got.
If you find the work unworthy of your mortality, you better find something else to do before it’s too late.
I’ve seen a lot of relationships collapse because partners failed to compete with the work or passion of their significant others. Especially in Hollywood, where living the dream and working 18 hours per day takes priority over all else. There are two different kinds of people – those who live for life and those who live for their dreams. The former tends to put people first; the latter tends to put the mission first, whatever that mission may be. There’s no right or wrong, better or worse. But when you are trying to engage in an intimate relationship with another person, it is very important to identify the type of person you are with. The disconnect comes when one party invests first in the relationship and the other invests first in the mission. You can fight the disconnect all you want to. But when a person’s love is unwavering or his or her mission is unwavering, you may never win. If the mission comes first, you need to fall in genuine love with the mission. Or move on.
Pay attention to the moments in life where you lose track of time. Most signify passion, joy, or discovery. Take note of the people, activities, and environment; cherish and hold them close. The variables of these moments should be tracked, preserved, and repeated as often as possible. Only within moments so rich can you defy the power of time itself.