Because we lose so much energy in general.
Because we don't take care of ourselves.
OP cites Tony Robbins. Anyone who has ever been to any Tony Robbins event knows that he always starts with health (eating right, exercising, and mental attitude) before addressing anything else. Because he already knows what many don't: if you're not feeling right, nothing else matters.
Almost all of us have ample energy in our teens and twenties. But as we get older, we have to make a conscious effort to maintain energy and vitality. Most people I know in their 30s, 40s, and 50s don't do nearly enough. We slow down, put on weight, and lose energy. It happens so gradually that we barely notice. And we blame everything else: family, finances, lifestyle, etc. And we avoid acknowledging the elephant in the room: it's awfully hard to get passionate about anything when we only have enough energy to plop down in front of the TV with a bag of chips.
Most people I know with the energy to accomplish a lot, regardless of age, take care of themselves, especially those working 2 jobs or running a side business.
All of the other reasons (fear of failure, responsibilities, etc.) make sense, but I wonder how many people don't follow their dreams simply because they've run out of energy by not taking good enough care of themselves.
"Sister Marion Irvine did not start running until age 47. She was overweight and smoked two packs a day. Looking for a way to relax after a day as a grade school principal in San Rafael, Sister Marion took up running. ''I needed to use up some pent-up energy, so I decided to give it a go,'' said the 54-year-old Roman Catholic nun, who was soon going 70 miles a week. She started out half-running and half-walking.
In 1984, she qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the marathon by running 2:51 at the age of 54, becoming the oldest to ever qualify for the OTs."
The older you get the easier it is to become overweight, out of shape, etc., so don't lose that energy because when you do it just becomes harder and harder to get it back.
Once I was there I realized it was going to be even harder than I anticipated, no thanks to evacuating three weeks after starting to avoid Katrina, but also, just managing the added responsibilities of a house, diapers, daycare, regular meals . . . it adds up. 2-3 hours a day, usually prime study hours.
And I agree with barrkel. You are taking time away from your kids. And your spouse. Which will increase your spouse's stress. It's not a pretty picture. I still think it has been worth it, but I'm 34 and my hair is turning grey.
(1)I was also going from being an officer in the Navy to med school in New Orleans and asked what would happen if the big one comes, to which the dean replied, in the spring of 2005 "We have very good pumping systems". . .
I noticed that when I actually started working on my business on the side, this topic of conversation started coming up less often. I think seeing someone actually work hard to change his reality sort of ruined the dream. "It's fun to talk about it, but you mean I actually have to do extra work??"
This is easy to say when you're 23, single, and you are almost completely defined by your occupation. Asking a child what he wants to be when he grows up doesn't give you good information; ask him what he wants to eat and he'll say "candy, all the time."
Maybe it's because I just watched Cosmos, but your life is a blip on the cosmic time scale. Make it count, but remember that very few people will remember or care what you did to make money.
That's not to say that you should toil in a job you hate, but there's nothing wrong with not doing your dream job because your committment to your family is more important.
I started working part-time about 5 weeks ago, and it's become obvious that I was fooling myself for the sake of maintaining the status quo. Now that I see that it's relatively easy to find income outside of my day job and that my family can cut expenses if we are more deliberate about how we spend, I wonder why I have always imagined the worst.
The biggest factor is stuff. It's true that what you buy enslaves you. Houses to a mortgage, cars to a loan and expensive insurance, retail items to credit card debt. The more you can eliminate or reduce those expenses, the less of an excuse you'll have to keep working in a situation that isn't fulfilling.
I didn't make the first step for a long time because of some faulty assumptions.
A few years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that he would really like to become an entrepreneur. I got all ears and starting listening more closely. During the chat he also mentioned his desire to invent something new. My eyes lightened up and I tried to extract a few more nuggets of information out of him. You never know - maybe I accidentally bumped into the perfect co-founder for a future venture? As our discussion progressed, I tried to evaluate in what entrepreneurial stage he currently resided.
Me: "What actions have you taken so far?"
Him: "I am thinking of business ideas all the time."
Me: "No, no! I mean: What have you specifically done so far?"
Him: "Reading the news and trying to come up with a business idea."
Me? I just dream is was 2008 again, and sales were 30% higher.
Most people who talk about chasing after dreams are the ones who want nothing more than to run in the rat races that surround them. The same goes for other topics. Most people who talk about virtues of hardwork and other stuff are the same people who have never done so themselves.
I've learnt more about life from such people in a matter of months than my immediate environment in the past 18 years.
In the past few months I've become certain that I will work on my startup no matter what. So what if I am a teenager with a startup (the horror)? So what if I fail? So what if my nightmares of not having a future come true? So what if I don't have money or a permanent work station? So what if no one takes my ideas seriously? So what if I still have truckloads to learn?
I am going to still do it and enjoy every second of it.
Before joining the startup, I sat down with my wife and we decided on milestones, a budget, and a schedule for spending time with my son. I know how long I can afford to wait for ramen profitability, and how much money I need to earn in the first two years. And if it doesn't work out, my cofounders know when I would have to walk.
I won't pretend it's always easy. But I see my son more than most lawyers, doctors or consultants see their children. Since I'm not currently commuting, I spend more time with him than typical parents who attend night school after working full time.
Don't forget: A monthly paycheck can evaporate with little warning, and unemployment rates for 50-year-old programmers have often been brutal. If you're a programmer, and you choose the safe course every month, you don't guarantee safety for your family in 10 or 20 years time.
So live below your means, save aggressively, and take the occasional risk. Start a business. Go to night school. Take a 3 month sabbatical and study something intensely.
This. Commuting is soul killing, frustrating, expensive, emotionally taxing dead time. A few people enjoy driving quite a bit - for them, it's relaxation. But for the majority of people it's awful.
I loved Los Angeles when I visited there for business 3-4 times, so I moved there. I didn't realize how driving as a novelty turns into terribleness. Just getting groceries took 20 minutes of round trip driving - that's 20 minutes that ain't coming back. And I'm paying gas, insurance, registration, and maintenance for the pleasure of having my time stolen from me.
Never again. Walking cities or living immediately by my work in a mini-city-center for the rest of my life. I don't mind commuting on a train or ferry because I can read books, but commuter driving is a huge waste of time and life.
9 months later they shut down the office and fired everyone.
My own father was never a happy man, and he did an awful job of hiding it. He felt his family to be a burden that prevented him from doing the things he really wanted to. I'll never inflict that on my own children - they'll see their father continue to follow his dreams, and I hope I'll act as a good example for them in the process.
Successful risks, or horrendously unsuccessful risks?
An unsuccessful risk doesn't kill your kids. It just forces you to move to the crappy neighbourhood, with the crappy schools, where they'll get a somewhat crappier education and probably wind up with a lower standard of friends and peers. They'll never know what they missed out on, but they will miss out.
What does my kid grow up for? To also end up with a mind numbing office drone job so that he can feed his family and raise more office drones?
But now I'm glad I took this route, because working with researchers, I would clearly get more satisfaction in an engineering-style role than a researcher role. As a result, I have a new dream, and one that I work towards every day after work
When he bought a bigger house instead of following his dream, was it worth it?
Each time he bought a friggin' super size instead of regular on McDonalds for an extra $2 instead of following his dream was it worth it?
I guess it was and that his dream wasn't that valuable to him after all.
"If you had life to live over again, what would you do differently?"
- Risk More
- Reflect More
- Do more things that would live on after you were dead
I only have to get off one more of these :-)
I see my only hope in quitting the day job. How others manage to do significant things outside of the job is beyond me.
Yes, their dreams are not worth it by their own account, and in their own words ("Are you crazy? Where will the paycheck come from?") and most importantly, as evidenced by their own actions. No, they won't sulk about it. Really. Not everyone has the passion it takes to change the world, take risks, or whatever it is that makes people like Jobs and Wozniak do what they did. There are a LOT of people who never let their eye off the ball called the next paycheck. Luckily for the rest of us, these people are called "customers". :-)
I work for a company that was founded 6 years ago and grew to 130 people and 55 million pounds (85 million dollars) in yearly revenues by now. The company never took investment, was started without significant savings by one founder and is still expanding rapidly. We build innovative products, regularly receive awards and make acquisitions. Our profit margins are great. We're more successful than most other companies.
Yet, this company wasn't started as a usual startup. The business started by driving traffic to online shops using google ads. Doing this is actually hard work and it's very unsexy, techcrunch won't write about it and your friends won't say wow. But the company grew from one person to a small team, then to a larger team, the rest is history. Now that we're very profitable we can afford to innovate. Many projects that we started flopped but some survived and are either profitable or growing quickly. I have little doubt that the future of this company is very bright.
Starting a startup is like playing a lottery. Not only you have to invest some of your time and money into it, you also have to be lucky. Actually, you have to be very lucky. The line between success and failure when you have no cash reserves is extremely thin. You are free to take the risk but you should accept that most probably you'll fail.
A better way to innovate is to earn some money before you actually innovate. Our company did it by working in affiliate business, your way may be different. Our company didn't innovate when we could not afford to lose. However, once we could afford it, we opened a sizeable division responsible for innovations and it's paying off. As I've said, most projects fail but fortunately we can afford it. We learn and move on.
There's a difference between doing something and achieving a result. If you want to be a part of a startup, start one, it's free and easy, I've done it a couple of times. If you want to build a business and make money, find a way to pay for your mistakes and bad luck when it happens.
Go out and figure out how to make some money, not millions but a little bit in the least risky way. Affiliate traffic like our founder did? Maybe buying and selling stuff on ebay? Maybe something else. Just build an unsexy old-fashioned business that will generate money and then you'll be in a position to innovate, follow your dreams and all that stuff.
This worked for our founder and I'm pretty sure it's a much shorter path to success than learning to code at night or building the next twitter on weekends. If you want the result, ruthlessly minimize the risk even if it means building a less sexy business first. I guess this won't be a very popular advice though.
The reason I'm asking is that I am the single founder(and sole employee) of an affiliate marketing/internet marketing business that's somewhat successful($XXX,XXX revenues) and I'm wondering what it takes to take the company to the next level and expand like your company did.
I know a lot of affiliates in the same position- living comfortably from their affiliate earnings but no way to achieve a rapid "hockey stick" growth curve. Of course, most are playing it safe and not innovating.
Shoot me an email to ilya[at]unviral.com, I would love to talk about this more.
Then again, we could all be a little happier if our dream was something other than what made us money.
And failure isn't scary, being old and unaccomplished is? Come on, that deserves some more introspection than that! You're still driven by fear if that's the case.
Much more interesting is what are the real motivations if you don't accept fear of failure is the reason. Or if you do, then what to do about it. Or if you ask what is there about failure to be afraid
of (and you aren't allowed to say 'nothing really' because that dismisses the fact that you are afraid of it).
Motivation and fears are way more interesting than this gives them credit for.
Anyway, as for the guy in the story, if the guy's been "always wanting to get into animation and design" for 10 years, I have to wonder if that's just a conversation piece rather than a real desire. Though then again it could be he really is just ignorant on how to proceed, sort of like "I want to be rich" but not knowing a workable/desirable/easy-sounding path to it.
And it's unreasonable to expect everyone to be hard-working on something whose outcome will be largely determined by chance.
I am not going to see back in my life and told that due to this or that reason I didn't followed my dream.. I will give my 100% and let's see whether I ll fail or succeed.. It doesn't matter whether I ll fail... I will rise again and again....
Thanks again!! it made my day :)
To be honest, I would usually have argued.. would you?
Quitting your job and taking a risk is one of those things that you have to come to yourself, or not at all.
And, damn it, we still can't be sure.
1) We forget our dreams and risks because if we have children or just people depending on us to put a roof over their heads and food on the table, we can't just drop everything.
2) Once you live in luxury, it is hard to drastically cut back a few months (like spend 1000 a month vs 3000) and then have enough money saved to just take a risk and hope for the best.
3) Even if YOU can achieve (2), your spouse might not be able to.
4) Loans, assist with this risk averseness, since you don't want to lose your house/invested money. Honestly this is why I am debt free. When a company I worked for went under, people were ripping their hair out, I was just smiling "cool, I got time to look for a better job".
5) In reality, you DO HAVE FREE TIME. I have 1 child (3yo), and a full time job, and a wife in college, AND I find time to r&r AND work on a startup, AND spend time with child/wife. If I have enough hours, no excuse for you. I have co-workers with even more responsibilities than I do AND they manage to find time for a side company.
In reality people who say "I don't have time" are just not willing to sacrifice anything for their dreams. Even if you fail you can at least live your life knowing you tried, if you succeed it feels even better, otherwise your whole life is spent envious of someone else's success.
... Yes, but also no. There are only 24 hours in a day. I've had quarters in school where my day contained roughly one hour of time not spent sleeping, traveling, in class, at work, or in lab. My choices: eat, or do something fun and starve, literally. It was close to two full time jobs, and IIRC I was spending my weekends replacing the engine in my car, which had exploded.
> In reality people who say "I don't have time" are just not willing to sacrifice anything for their dreams
You are technically correct, but some of those things I feel don't deserve disgust. For example, I'm unwilling to give up a minimum amount of sleep, a minimum amount of food, and school. The former two for obvious reasons.
"(for nowhere can one more perfectly immerse one's self in one's self than in a compartment full of silent, withdrawn, smoking males)"
If you still have energy in the evenings, you should consider yourself lucky, rather than be condescending.
That would be a huge problem, for me at least. I've had commutes like that before, and I had absolutely no energy left after the job and commute. Is there any way you can fix this?
Agreed, I posted my story above (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1541331), but I will tack on I also found time to work on a couple of fairly substantial side projects (http://fleurdevieclinic.org/ and http://tmedweb.tulane.edu)