Do What You Love

This is a transcript based on my April 9th, 2013 WAKE UP! podcast.

It’s a beautiful day to be alive! It’s springtime in New York, and everything is coming alive.

Imagine doing the things you are genuinely passionate about, the things you love to do, today.

We are now in the second quarter of the year. Remember this: however the last three months went for you, the game is never lost in the first quarter. It’s a good time to check in at the end of the first quarter with your coaches. Have you done that lately?

Knowledge and inspiration are great, but it’s action that counts.

Any wake up call that I can give you is only as good as the action you take on it. (I’m speaking to myself here, first and foremost.) That’s the key difference between what I’m doing with Digital Experts Academy and most of the other, purely motivational programs out there. Sure, they make you feel good, but what’s the worth of that if they don’t guide your actions to take advantage of it? You’re missing out on the full effect if all you get is that feeling.

Did you take action on what we talked about last week? If not, it’s OK. You have another chance this week.

No game was ever lost in one minute, and no goal can be derailed from one week’s results.

It’s a good idea to look at the pattern of action we’re taking and see if we’re on the right path. Personally, when I am at my best and doing what I love, that’s when my results are the best. It’s not about obsessing over a result I want. The things we want in life – money, time, happiness, fulfillment – are byproducts. They are not a means to an end. They are the product, the end result itself. For me, the ultimate dream is to do what I love, and what comes from that are the byproducts of doing that. That’s where the time, money, happiness, etc. come from.

The people I know who are most obsessed with a specific byproduct (money is a good example) are the people who struggle the most with it. That’s not true entrepreneurial thinking to me. Other people are fortunate enough to have a hobby they love meanwhile earning a living; that’s the spirit of entrepreneurship!

What does it take to identify what you love and figure out how to make that your profession?

I came up with my X, Y, and Z factor methodology. The answer to that question lies in unlocking your hidden potential through those three factors.

Imagine if you got to do what you love to do today. (I don’t mean a walk in the park, although that’s a great thing to be able to do.) You’ve got to do something you’re passionate about – it could be a hobby, marketing, working with your hands, anything. There’s a niche for whatever it is; and the people who own that niche are the ones that love it the most.

Whatever your niche is, if you want to make it possible to earn a living with it, you have to go all in. That’s something I was raised to do in everything I put myself into.

Make it something you’re proud of.

What makes you want to go all in? What do you love? It might be completely different than what you think you should be doing.

Being able to make a living while doing what you love is the ultimate dream, the ultimate win-win scenario.

Let me give you an example – I have a friend who is a successful attorney, but his passion isn’t law. It’s comic books and graphic novels. He loved them since he was a kid. A few years back, he decides to write his own. He gets it produced and published, and it makes him a little money. But he put his heart and soul into it. The next year, he was asked by his publisher to do another one, and he did, running his law practice the whole time.

His next novel sells a little better, and starts generating some buzz. He writes another series of them and gets more popular, featured at Comic-Con and getting his known around the industry. How cool would it be to have a side project like this generate money? Something you always loved and always wanted to do? Most people would tell you the chances of that are nil.

They are wrong. My friend stuck with it, and now he’ll be writing a series for DC Comics. That’s what happens when you put sustained energy and focus into something you love. It means you’ll bring your best and create something special that only you could; there’s value in that.

My friend might have gone to the Ivy League school and had the successful job, but he never forgot what the little kid in him loved to do. And he turned that into an incredible opportunity.

There’s nothing more important for me than to be in control of what I do and when I do it. I want to spend time with the people I love, have amazing conversations with amazing people, and eat amazing food. That’s what I love. What do you love? There’s a million ways to give a voice to that little kid inside of you who loves something. You’re NEVER going to be truly happy or fulfilled until you start spending the majority of your time doing what you love.

It’s no more complicated than this: you are going to be good at what you love. It may not be what you think it will be and you have to want it badly enough. I wanted to be a fighter pilot, farmer (like my dad) pro baseball or tennis player, and a cyclist growing up. I didn’t want any of them badly enough to be willing to put the time in and sacrifice enough to take my shot at them. I didn’t have enough love for them to be willing to make that sacrifice. And what I really wanted was to be able to spend time with the people I love, and I just wasn’t willing to take myself away from them for the time I would have to for making my pro athlele dreams a reality.

Give yourself permission to think about what it is that you really love, what it is that makes you happy.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I ask you this: what do you love? Creating a life by design starts with that. Are you giving yourself permission to do the things you love? Or are you denying yourself?

Do a little bit of what you love every day, and watch what happens from there.

When I do that, the first thing I feel is gratitude. I take bike rides with Miki on the back of my bike sometimes and I absolutely love it. I don’t dream of being a professional cyclist anymore, but having that time with her and hearing her giggle as we ride together is absolute bliss to me.

Make life a balancing act.

Last Monday, I just wasn’t “feeling it”. I had to get Miki to school and had a ton of things to take care of. I was feeling angst about getting it all done, even after writing everything down on my whiteboard (which usually gets me ready to tackle the day.)

What’s going on with me? I had to do a little check with myself. I had to do things I didn’t feel like doing. I became an entrepreneur, so I could do the things I wanted to do when I felt like doing them. So I can do things from a place of inspiration, not necessity. So I thought, why not food shop today instead of Friday like I usually do? I love to cook and eat, too – why not try food shopping today and see what happens?

That did it. I went to Whole Foods, stocked up on a lot of organic food that I love, got home, and felt like a million bucks. I had so much gratitude that I got to buy all this great food that I love. I felt no pressure, just completely relaxed.

You can probably guess what happened next! I was in an inspired state, so I got to work and had an amazingly productive three hours after that. I could have sat down earlier and tried to grind it out. That wouldn’t have been anywhere as productive. The end result of doing what I loved first was that I did what I had to do better. Let me see if I can get into that feeling of gratitude before I get to work…

Do the things you love!  Go for it!  Do lots of it and you will be great at it! Who knows where that path will take you.

You can’t be inspired and creative if you’re not grateful at the same time. It just can’t be forced. For me, I have to feel grateful to be inspired. And my day ended up being amazingly creative, even though it didn’t turn out how I first expected it to.

When you feel good and you’re inspired because you’re doing what you love, chances are you’re going to be good at it. Don’t let anyone tell you what that should look like. That’s the path your heart is pushing you towards. Take it and watch what happens. Watch what you can do. Do what you love, do lots of it, and I promise you you’ll be great at it.