Ancient Chinese Advice More Necessary Than Ever

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

― Confucius

We’ve all heard this. But I don’t think all of us live by it, or truly get it.

How does this apply to you? Well, let’s see…

  • Are you waking up every morning and rushing to work because you can’t wait to create for your passion? 
  • Are you waking up every morning and rushing to work because you slept in from hitting snooze too many times because all you want to do is sleep and not go to work?
  • Are you doing a bit of both: work on your passion in your spare time after your pay-the-bills work is done?

My advice is to carve out as much time for your passionate work as possible. There is nothing wrong with moonlighting your passion if that is the situation you find yourself in. Keep doing it until it is enough to fully support you.

If you are already working your passion, keep doing it. My advice for you is to make sure you focus on your best work and avoid letting all the other stuff that is loosely centered around your work distract you. This is especially applicable if you find your passion growing and bringing you more success. As this grows, a bunch of other stuff will start seeming like a valuable use of your time. But it will never be.

Your art should always be your focus focus. Follow Pareto’s Principle and stick to the 20% work that gets you 80% of the results.

If you let all the other stuff get in the way, you’ll end up getting any real work done. Don’t succub to the artist’s dilemma: when the artist becomes popular, he has less time to produce art.

Whether you become popular or not, the Internet provides a mountain of distractions that all look like “shiny balls” worth a bounce. Trust me, they aren’t.

For example, the 20% that produces 80% of my results is writing. It’s easy to get sucked into spending my time on things like optimizing my blog, checking stats, looking for new marketing ideas, and so on. But I’ve learned that the only thing that really matters is producing more quality writing. So I focus on that. (Since I started focusing on my writing, I’ve finished 6 books and have 3 more down the pipeline.)

What if you are stuck in a job because you have bills to pay or a family to support?

take-the-plunge

The plunge is scary and deep but totally necessary

First, start saving for the “plunge.” You will have to, at some point, quit and pursue your passion full time.

Life is risk, but more importantly, its stupid short. Whatever fears that float around in your head about money or circumstance need to be quelled as complete and utter nonsense. You will figure it out.

A fact of humans is we usually have our greatest breakthroughs when our back is to the wall. For most of you, you will never achieve greatness until shit gets really hard. This is why risk will end up being your best friend no matter how illogical it might look on paper.

And really, why would you live a life that is anything but what you want? Really… think about it. Your life might be over in a few years, or tomorrow, so stop sitting around biding your time pretending you have so much of it. None of us have so much of it, yet we all can have enough of it if we use it properly.

That said, you can make the plunge a much less scary proposition—or a complete no-brainer—by moonlighting your passion long before quitting your crappy day job. Get your first client, sell your first product, make your first dollar, then scale it up. When your passion becomes enough to support you, quit your day job. (Or quit when your passion is 1/4 or 1/2 to supporting you as that will force you to hustle.)

It’s really as simple—and as hard—as that.

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments… I’m always interested in hearing the limiting beliefs that people hold when they talk about topics like this.

-Colin

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