Why all you need is a spark.
I first thought of naming this story “The power of goodness” or something along those lines, but I remembered that that’s such a cliché. So I decided to go with the ‘spark’ analogy. Now, sit down. It’s story time.
No matter who you are now or what you do, you’ve done some good at some point in your life. That might include giving some money to the poor, volunteering, helping an old woman with groceries, or in my case, fixing the computers of everyone who knew me; I was the computer nerd guy (aka the guy who knew how to use Google properly — shhh, they don’t know that yet.) I think that the best thing about doing good is how you feel after you do it. That rush of happiness and energy keeps your spirits up for the next couple of hours or days. And for me — and lots of other people I know — that means an even bigger push to do more good. And you get more of that feeling, and you do even more good. You’re stuck in this infinite loop which is nothing but beneficial to you — and everyone around you. To me, that’s a big part of success.
No matter what you do, the beginning is hard. We get into something with high spirits, and then the first obstacle hits you in the face. And then another hits you in the stomach, and a final right hook leaves you sitting in the ground, confused about what happened. But somewhere in the background you hear a voice saying “Wow, that guy knows how to take a punch!” So that pushes you to get up. You start moving, overcoming the obstacles, and you start hearing more cheers in the background. Then you fight even more, and somehow you beat the obstacles, and you have all these people patting you in the back, giving you high-fives and cheering you. You’ve won. The more you fought back, the more support you got, and the you fought back even harder in return. It’s a highly functional, self-sustainable success system.
Now, I’m not saying all you need is good words from other people and hard work to win. I think there’s a more complex mix of character traits and other external factors that you need to succeed. But that continuous support means that you’re doing something right. Your mom or the friend you grew up with might be supporting you because they love you, but no stranger is going to get out of his path and pat you in the back without having a good reason. And for me, that’s a clear indicator that I’m on the right track. By the way, those pats usually come after you’ve started gaining traction. That first voice in the background was probably your mom’s or your best friend’s, not some stranger’s, so you’ve also got to pay attention to the small voices at first. They might’ve been cheering for you for years and you haven’t been hearing them.
With that being said, as usual, I’ll add a little personal story here. I’ve been described from multiple of my friends as motivational and optimist, but I never thought of sharing my worldview with people that I don’t personally know. I used to inspire the hell out of my friends and try to unlock their true potential, but I never thought of trying to do that for the masses. I always felt like you needed a more personal touch to inspire people. I also felt like I hadn’t done enough of success and ambition as to speak to a diverse group of people about it (and to be honest I still don’t feel like it, but nevertheless here we are, and it’s been going great!) But then, I started watching Gary Vaynerchuk videos, and that pushed me to start documenting my journey. That was my spark as for sharing my story. Now I’m getting daily support, advice, and critique on my stories, which has helped me grow and kept me motivated to write even more. I’m even getting good feedback from people that I admire, who only knew me as ‘that guy that goes to every event’, but knew nothing about me personally and how I see the world.
And that’s how success has been working in my life so far. Not just in writing, but in pretty much anything that I’ve been successful at. It’s an intricate mixture of different things, but this motivational-loop has always been a big part of it, and I believe it might be really helpful for you too. Now, go out there, find your spark, and stay true to it.