You May Never Be Successful

So….what the hell should you do?

“Sisyphus” by Titian, depicting the punishment of Sisyphus, sentenced to the punishment of eternally rolling a large boulder uphill.

For every science-backed method that purports to make you a more successful person (by following a simple trick, of course!), there is another science-backed model which says that where you were born, your parents’ income, and the schools you attended have an outsized effect on how well you do.

You very well may never get a book deal

No matter how many pages you write, and how many random publishers you email — it may just not happen. You may never start a company that goes anywhere, no matter how many entrepreneurs you know, and how many podcasts you interview on.

This is also true of billions of other people. You will never read about how they failed, and how sad they are about it. You will never see their Instagram posts showing them using food stamps to buy groceries. You will never see their book on Amazon — the one about how proud they are that they failed. They won’t turn their failure into a successful business in Silicon Valley.

The sad fact is that millions of people have dreams and fail to achieve them each year. Some of them just didn’t follow Norman Vincent Peale’s models for positive thinking (or whatever other popular system you want to swap in), but most just started off too far behind to make a real go of it.

So then what?

Here is what I’ve concluded: if I’m putting myself on a journey chasing after some crazy and audacious goal, I should at least choose something that I love doing — even if I don’t ever make any money doing it. This way, I at least enjoyed the time I got to do something cool before I ultimately had to let it go, or it killed me — whichever came first.

To me, this goal is get people thinking by reading my stuff. As you read this, that’s my only goal — that you stop to think a bit differently than you had been thinking. If you experienced that, then I’ve achieved my goal — and that’s pretty fulfilling to me.