A few years ago, Donald Trump was on TV and described his two major keys to success.
(1) You have to do something you really love.
(2) Be willing to overcome any obstacle – even go through a brick
wall, if necessary – in order to achieve your dream.
Now, while this may not sound like particularly new information
to anyone who has read a lot of motivational material, let us try
to look at it with new eyes. After all, it’s coming from one of
the most financially successful men in the world today.
First of all, you have to do what you love. There is even a book
with a title like this, “Do What You Love, And The Money Will
It might seem intuitively obvious that it would be nice to do
what you love. However, the point that most people miss here is
that almost NOBODY does what they really love. That is why so
very few people are outstandingly successful at anything.
Instead, for a whole variety of reasons, MOST people do what they
do NOT love. Many feel constrained to do so by the need to earn
money. This is the biggest single reason given.
Our life choices are motivated by desire for money to a far
greater extent than we imagine, or will ever accept. Many people
who claim to be uninterested in material things are nevertheless
working at jobs purely for the money, and not for the love of it.
The need for money is the substance in which we all move. Like
water to a fish, or air to a bird, we move through it,… but it
is totally invisible to us. Our motives for much of what we do
are concealed, even to ourselves
What is even more surprising is that many people, even when they
DO have the opportunity to exercise choice, will still not do
what they love.
For example, take someone who joins a Multi-Level Marketing
scheme to sell vitamin supplements. Did that person do it out of
genuine love for the products, and welfare for the people he/she
was going to introduce them to? Was it for love of the business?
Or was it just to make some extra cash?
You would hope so, and in some cases, it is true.
Actually, the most successful people in that sort of business ARE
the ones who love what they do, love the products, genuinely use
them, and want to benefit other through them. Those people make
the best salesmen. They really DO succeed because their sincere
enthusiasm is contagious to all whom they meet.
However, you can’t fake it. Insincerity, hunger, that dollar-sign
glint in your eye… it all communicates louder than mere words
ever can. And that’s the main reason why most people fail in MLM,
or in any other activity you might care to choose. They didn’t
love it for itself. They loved it for the result it would get
Most would-be writers don’t really want to write. They want to
“have written”. They want the results – the money, fame,
recognition – that comes from being a world famous writer. But
the long hard hours of sweating over a keyboard, fighting for
inspiration, throwing out half the stuff you write?…
Actually, success factor 1 that Donald Trump mentions is an
absolute necessity for success factor 2. You simply CANNOT muster
the will, energy and persistence for great success, if you don’t
love what you are doing.
It takes many many hours to become great at anything. Some people
estimate that it takes 10,000 hours to become world-class in the
field of your choice. However, most of those hours are going to
be spent in obscurity, pounding your head to a pulp against
seemingly unrelenting brick walls. Even to the most enthusiastic,
the goal is going to seem impossible at times.
How much worse then will it be for the person who does NOT love
what they’re doing?
The modern world seems to have turned this equation on its head,
and that is why there is a lot of confusion out there.
Previously, you actually had to be able to sing in order to
become a famous singer (sounds kind of obvious really, doesn’t
it?) However, nowadays the cynicism of the music industry has led
to a situation whereby they actively seek to recruit the right
FACE and BODY, to fit together with two or three others of like
mode. They then create a “pop group”, and TEACH these people how
to sing, dance, write songs, and perform on stage!
This is one example of how the values we have been discussing
have been turned on their head. It’s also why some of the old
names are still around forty years later (Dylan, Rolling Stones,
Clapton etc.) whilst you cannot even remember the faces from last
year. The former already knew how to sing and perform years
before they were ever famous. AND they loved it BEFORE they were
famous. They would have persisted even if they had never become
This specific example demonstrates why people DON’T do what they
love to do. They look at the end result – usually money – and
shoot for that instead. They think that once they have the money,
THEN they’ll be happy.
Certainly, you can achieve SOME degree of success at something
you are not that interested in (I achieved a Ph.D. in a subject
that I immediately gave up forever after the graduation
ceremony!) However, you are never going to achieve “greatness” at
it. Nor will you ever be truly deeply happy at it.
Incidentally, this is also why so many extremely wealthy people
continue to work long after they have enough money to last them
for a couple of centuries. It’s a point that most unmotivated
poor people, who hate their own jobs, totally miss…
Why does Gates, Trump, Forbes, or anyone else you care to mention
in their league, continue to work longer and harder than most of
their own employees (who actually NEED to work)? It’s because
they LOVE what they do, and that’s how they got to be where they
were in the first place!
The story is told of how a woman started work at Microsoft many
years ago, and was surprised to find a man lying fast asleep
under a desk. She was about to call Security, when she suddenly
recognized him. Bill Gates. He had been working there all night.
They say that when Michelangelo was working on a major
commission, he would neglect to change his clothes or take his
boots off (let alone take a bath) for weeks on end!
THIS is called loving what you do, and putting your entire heart
and soul into it. Spending every spare minute thinking about it,
and missing it every minute you are not doing it. It really is a
like a romance in many ways.
So, you need to ask yourself….
Do YOU love what you do? Do YOU have the energy that can move
mountains? If not, the best advice that anyone can give you is
Find out what it is you love, and start doing that. Maybe you
will begin in a small way at first, in your spare time. But water
the acorn. Over time, it will grow. Hopefully, you will find a
way to make money with it too (Hint: Combine what you love with a
good dose of marketing to create a commercially viable activity
that will support you). Then, you will find yourself in the place
you want to be.
Better to risk yourself a little, and take this approach than to
find yourself at the top of the ladder, only to discover it’s
leaning on the wrong wall. Or worse still, not even find yourself
halfway up that ladder, and spend the rest of your life wondering
That’s where most people are in our world. Don’t let it be you.
Copyright 2012. Asoka Selvarajah . All Rights Reserved