When I first wrote this, I had just listened to a podcast between Tim Ferris and Derek Sivers. I’ve since listened Derek’s podcast with James Altucher. Derek can be found at sivers.org and you’ll want to find him because he’s very positive and he’s accomplished a lot without having to be an asshole or stress himself out too much.
In fact, that’s what made me look at a little bit more from him.
And I learned a couple things.
One of which is that he reads a lot of books.
I read a lot of books, too. But unlike him, I am a bit of a fatalist when it came to remembering what I’d read in those books. I sort of figure I will put the info in my brain and hope my subconscious will absorb it, even though I don’t remember anything after a few weeks.
He, on the other hand, writes his own personal reviews and then puts them on his website so he can remind himself what he liked about the various books. And he shares the goodness with others.
I’m not that organized – but I’m grateful that he is.
In a video I saw of him, he talked about the value of not telling your goals to others before you reach them. The reason is because you get a certain satisfaction from sharing their magnificence and then it robs you of the desire to actually accomplish them.
I’ve experienced this first-hand—I once bought a condo that needed a lot of work. But the “potential” was so much better than any reality I could afford, that I just kept it in it’s unfinished state for 3 years.
Eventually I would finish it – and it turned out pretty good. But now, potential had morphed into reality, and now, instead of talking about how great it would be or could be, well, I simply had to be happy with what was.
Look, I know the research. I know that people that are comfortable with delaying gratification are more successful. And yet, I never know how long to wait. I hate delaying gratification, and so I let myself enjoy the satisfaction of saying I’m going to do something and that feels so good that I look for other immediate dopamine hits and that lands me into the dark playground and I don’t accomplish anything my better-self wanted to do.
Nobody loves more than me the notion that you can live your dreams. You really can.
But for most people, it doesn’t just happen to you—you have to work for it. And there are no guarantees. And chances are, if you really do focus on pursuing a dream, or a passion, or an ideal, you’ll fall short of what you were going for.
But I’ve also learned that falling short of a dream pursued feels better than living a passive life of distraction and comfort and depression.
It’s not easy. You’ll compare yourself to your cohorts and peers. You’ll feel like you’re too old to do this shit. You’ll feel like you should just get a regular job and move to a regular neighborhood and live a regular life.
But nobody lives a regular life. Look under the hood and you’ll see that the happiest people are those that have worked hard, have simplified, and have put their most important wants ahead of fleeting diversions.
So maybe Stay Hungry is still the best advice. Eventually, your resourcefulness will become your source of comfort.