Finding the pain that makes you do crazy shit to succeed

Jun 7, 2015
A few years back I was so hungry to exit the "rat race" of 9-5. Every day I'd just be stewing on the 90 minute commute to work. The thought of continuing this for another 40 years pissed me off to no end.

This pain and hurt led me to do stuff like work a ton, work until 3am many nights, isolate from family, family members thought I hated them, almost get a divorce, was a salty scruge in general, and eventually I made some good money and achieved a life of freedom that I've always desired.

Now that "phase 1 freedom" has been achieved - the fire has subsided and I feel too damn lazy. I really would love to figure out something that would get me back in that state of mind -- minus the family tensions of it all. I think I'm better equipped to compartmentalize the wolf these days and even now my wife realizes why I did what I did.

I am continuing on business, but I look in the mirror and I don't see a wolf anymore. Things are going well, but I work like 1 hour a day and always wanna find someone to do the work for me. I feel like I'm not hurting bad enough to go get it like a savage and 10x this biz. I'm as free as I want to be & make my own rules. What else do I need? I like to chill out on my back deck and go fishing on occasion. I drive an old truck. I'm not into possessions. Probably need to find internal motivation rather than external.

Michael Jordan would completely obliterate opponents because he claimed they talked shit about his game. Years later he admits that many times it was a lie he told himself in order to gas himself up. He manufactured that 'pain' in his mind and it made him perform his best. Is my motivation a matter of finding within myself what gases me up (and it's different for everyone)?

How can I trick myself into thinking I'm starving out here?
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BuSo Pro
Dec 31, 2016
Hey man,

I also had pain that motivated me to work, literal physical pain, that threatened to put me on disability pension. I'm not where you're at, I think, in terms of security, but I do feel the lazyness in good months.

When I feel lazy though, I think back to those 3 hellish years I lived in shoebox rooms, broke, destitute and sick.

Like they say, Never Again.

Something I learned hitting absolute rock bottom, was detached, brutal honesty. How did it happen, that i found myself in such a low situation? I started questioning everything I though I knew. I questioned too much. Along the way, I like to think I finally understood myself and made peace with my strength and weaknesses. My real dreams and my real fears.

I now understand what is real security, what is fake. What is good for me, what is bad for me.

Do you know that about yourself?

What is your actual ability to withstand a critical illness for yourself or your family? What if you became debilitated? What if your house burned down or you were robbed and developed PTSD?

How secure are you really, is what I want to ask.

Maybe it isn't about money though.

I could be about your living situation. Maybe internet business is just what will keep you going for your next project. I'd like to move into the countryside and live off the land to some extent. Maybe raise a family if god provides that. That's another level of self sufficiency and fullfillment. That's something I want personally.

My advice is then to try to be really honest with yourself. Are you lazy or content? Are you safe or lazy? Try to put all the ego aside, just look at yourself like you would look at a friend. Then give yourself the brutal, but positive advice you'd give that friend.


Sep 3, 2014
Pain is only a motivator until the pain is gone. It's an extrinsic motivator that evolutionarily serves only to help you escape the environment and situation causing the pain.

You need an intrinsic motivator. Pain pushes you away from something, and then stops once you've escaped. What you need now is something that pulls you towards your goal.

I'd ask you, "What is your reason?" You no longer have one, at least one that's not obvious. You likely have a solid reason to work more than 1 hour a day without trying to outsource it, but you aren't aware of it at the moment because you're distracted by the vacuum left behind when your pain subsided.

Pain isn't the answer once complacency and comfort come into play. It takes something much more abstract, etheric, lofty, and positive.

Cash Builder

BuSo Pro
Jan 14, 2017
I got my first “good” job 4 years ago, and I hated every minute of it. I had a good salary, good promotion prospects, but as soon as I got that job, working in an office with people I didn’t connect with, I knew it wasn’t for me.

My motivation comes from never wanting to be in that situation again. I have my own business now, and I work 10 times harder than when I worked that job.

when you wake up in the morning, think to yourself, do I want to go and work for someone else and make them money, or do I want to make myself and my family money, while answering to no one?

The thought of having to set an alarm every morning and go and do something I hate is all the motivation I need.
Jul 26, 2019
You say you can do your work in one hour and still manage to handle the financial site of things and enjoy a certain amount of freedom. Living in general, so to say.

And you say that your reflection in the mirror shows no wolf, but deep down inside you still feel like one.

Wolfs are pack animals. They hunt together and have a social hierarchy. Didn’t need to tell you that, but here I am...

Still, a wolf alone dies.

Metaphorically speaking you’re a wolf that is hunting alone. Hence the absence of the reflection in the mirror. In your world you’re already the alpha. There’s no social order that is clearly defined, because it simply doesn’t exist.

If you truly believe that you’re a wolf, go find your pack and rekindle that fire that got you going in the first place.


Digital Strategist
Nov 26, 2014
Im gonna take this in a different direction.

I'll prob. get flamed. I don't care.

What's so bad about being lazy?

You mentioned you hit the life you wanted and now you are lazy. So what?

Here is what you didn't mention, that the laziness has you broke. If you ain't broke, then why care.

Do you see what I am getting at?

  • Some people want to do what we do, so they can be the alpha of that industry. Cool, I get it.
    • This is the MJ's, Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs, etc of the world
  • Some people want to do what we do, to have freedom to do whatever work they want. Also cool.
    • These people shouldn't feel like they "have to be the MJ's of the world"
  • Some people want to do what we do, to pay off college and bills and just have money. Also cool
    • You don't have to be a MJ to acheive this

See what I'm getting at?

What's your real goal here?

I hate my day job. I really hate getting up at 6am to spend an hour to get ready ( now it's 7am ) and then I have to drive a broken down truck 60 minutes into town ( now it's 8am ) and work for people I hate ( Im an INTF/INTP ) on projects I think are stupid.

Then I get off at 5pm, but it's more like 5:30pm bc of idiots at my office that want to have a last minute convo or need at clock out time. I spend another hour driving home ( its 6:30 pm now ) and have to worry about cooking supper, helping kids with homework, house chores, and the fact I don't make enough money to keep my bills paid.

I finally shut my eyes at 2am over all the anixity and stress and work I did and some side projects Im trying to get off the ground... just to repeat this shit in another 4 hours.

My goal in 2006 was just to escape ANY part of the above example.

I could have done ANYTHING to achieve some of that, like take a new REMOTE job where I work from home.

That would have solved me driving for 2 hours a day, leaving the office late, and having to prep for work in the morning which could have saved me hours of time daily. As well as kept me home to help my kids with homework and doing hosue chores while "working" remotely.

If that was my goal and I got a new job and worked remotely and that was "it", I should be happy if that's all I ended up with. Right?

If I got lazy ( lets pretend I found someone online to do my work for me, while working from home ), should I be concerned? No.

Because I ended up with what I wanted. Get it? I got what I wanted. Why care if I now sleep all day if I continue to have what I want? It boils back down to I got and continue to have what I want.

What's your real goal.

hungry to exit the "rat race" of 9-5
achieved a life of freedom that I've always desired

It sounds like based on the first quote, you wanted to exit the rat race.

Based on the 2nd, you did it.

What's the problem if you became lazy now? If you ain't back to broke, why stress over it?

Lazy people are some of the most productive people in this world BTW. If you don't know why, maybe you need to look it up.

Sounds like you need an alignment to find your real goal


More info:
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Escaping Neverland
Mar 19, 2019
Do you like what you do? Like really like it? I'm probably not the best person to be giving advice, but the issue of a lack of motivation is something I've dealt with on a fairly regular basis over the years, and it typically arises when I'm doing work that doesn't allow me to go to bed at night satisfied with what I did all day.


Head Chef @ Linkplate
BuSo Pro
May 24, 2015
I think @Ryuzaki nailed it. Once the pain subsides and you feel like you've achieved your "goal" - motivation and productivity drops. You enter the comfort zone and eventually start asking yourself questions like: Why am I doing this?

Finding "your reason" is a journey in itself.

I had lost the wolf, same as you, for months on end. I had no motivation, worked for 1 hour a day with no energy and procrastinated. I felt like I had accomplished my goal and now its time to relax.

It wasn't until I went to visit a client that I saw what my work was doing. I was actually helping people earn a living and my work directly impacted them and their families. That gave me a sense of purpose! I had no idea that my efforts were providing so many with opportunities.

That sense of purpose, in turn, translated into more effort and energy at work. Helping people was the reward/sense of accomplishment I was missing. I also failed to realize that my work was also helping to provide for family members (outside my household). That augmented my sense of purpose and drive.

All that being said though, regaining that sense of purpose and drive brought back the wolf, but its not the same wolf that I started with! The new wolf is wiser & smarter, leading the pack. It's not the same hunter wolf that started all this.
Jun 7, 2015
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses - I knew I'd get some great stuff creating this thread including all the different takes and angles.

I've typed up and then deleted about 500 words about all this stuff but I felt I was just rambling in the end. I think everybody has their own unique situation and need to spend serious time figuring it out. Attitude is everything.

To keep things as simple as possible, I'm looking at what makes me the most excited to get outta bed in the morning. I think that is what I want the most. A feeling of excitement and lust for the day.
Jul 5, 2018
This is really interesting. I want to add another perspective on the table that I don't see too much. And a lot of you guys can probably get help from this.

Something similar happened to me. I was working from home on a youtube network, 17 years old, I was doing good and with just 2-3 hours of daily work, sometimes not even that much. Some months I was earning more money that both of my parents together (It was a normal salary from Canada, but I come from a little town in south Spain, and the salary is way smaller for people here)

I did all of this because I was burning out on school, I totally hated it. I had to do something, this was on the golden days of YouTube, I had a channel, I knew some people, and I managed to get the job.

Anyways, after 1 year. I managed to buy my own little flat on a close city, and I was living with a stupid salary here for my age, parting, buying a ton of stupid stuff without thinking about it, and spending less and less time on that job.
Two years later I was barely working, and I wasn't fired, but they lowered my salary a lot, so I just left to "make my own business".

It happened to me something like in the fucking school. Why I wasn't able to work on my dreams? I wanted to travel, build cars, work on tech projects... And yet I was wasting time and "escaping".

So I learnt something new after researching a lot about this. I learnt a bit of psychology. I'm not an expert at all, but It's one of those handy tools that I keep on my belt.

The next thing I'm going to say will break a ton of typical beliefs.
I learnt that: You can't be happy all the time. And with that, If you need motivation to do something, you are fucked.

This can be really complex, and I even had to go to a psychologist to validate all of this and make sure that I was going on the right direction. I wanted to write a book about all of this, since it totally changed my life in every way.

It's hard to explain it in a short post because It's something deeper than you might think, like marketing, seo and all of that.

The first important thing is that: You just can't be "happy" all the time. And what I mean by happy is feeling that thing in your gut that feels like a "happy drug", "being in a cloud", "feeling full or fulfilled"....

To "be happy" you have to understand that some "bad" feelings will come up like the good ones. And that rollercoaster is just how your body works. Those feelings give depth, "scare" you if a lion is running towards you, "stress" you if you have to remember something important, "rewards" you if did something good...

Understanding this, most of the time. If there is something that you "need" to do, to feel good, there is probably a fear behind it. So you have to analyze it a bit, and go as deep as you can.
For example this could go like this: I'm afraid that I'm doing nothing > Because mainstream tells you "need" a purpose to be happy > I don't feel on a cloud every day > My life is wrong and I need that something else.
Or if you "are shy" could go like this: I'm afraid of doing something "weird" in front of people > Everyone will notice > Everybody will think that "I'm weird" > I will end up alone > I'm afraid af of being alone.

And this keeps going like a cicle if you don't stop it. I "need" a "purpose or something to achieve" to "feel good" but once you "make it" now it has to be "bigger" or something different to "feel good" again.

I have to point out that every person is different and those fears will change, and the "deep fear" in your subcontious mind can be different in every person. A psychologist will help you find that deep fear and will recommend ways of "letting it go" which is basically removing it.

For example, in my case, one of my big fears, which is taking me a bit to "let go". It's the fear of not "living enough", which makes me live this scenario again and again and I end up "escaping".
- Right now I don't have a job, I'm losing time, I can't manage to make a business on my own so > I don't have money to do what I want, my parents tell me to get a job > I don't want to work on a 9 to 5 cell > I don't want to "lose my life"

And this creates a cicle: I'm afraid af, of losing all my life doing nothing which leads to tons of stress, which leads to "escaping" eating bad, watching YouTube or Netflix which leads to even more stress and even more fear of "losing all my life doing nothing" which leads to harder "escaping"

Thankfully I'm slowly breaking this loop hole, I'm doing a few things to let go, if you guys want to hear some of those I could write a post or something.

So after explaining all of the above: How the hell can you "be happy"?
So the best approach is to avoid trying to get this freaking "happy drug feeling" all the time. Through you entire life you will feel "good" and "bad" every day, and that's completely normal. Once you understand this and you stop trying to "make it" all the time, you'll "be happy" with those normal up and downs.

Now the next move, you should try to remove all your fears and "needs" so that you "just live the moment" and you are "not on your head all the time".
To find out what you "really like" and what you passions are, can be a bit tricky. Since there is not just one life-time purpose or anything like that. You might like a ton of things. A good exercise to find out would be to put yourself alone in the earth, without people and without money, What would you do just because the sake of it?
For some people this might be obvious, others will need more time, that's normal and fine.

In my case right now, I love tech, cars and bikes, travel, food, real state, I'm getting into chess lately... So I would just ride around in cars and bikes, going to the beach, to cool mountains, design my own robots, cars, bikes and tech stuff, design and build cool houses, cook more exploring more flavors....

How can I trick myself into thinking I'm starving out here?
Zach I want to show you this view. You are already living one of the best times in history, with your own business and the luxury of being able to have people working for you, most of us here are dreaming with that, and yet you are looking for "more". If you keep trying to "trick" yourself, you are creating another loop hole.

Steve Jobs was one of the richest guys in the world and the guy had a simple house and not too many luxury stuff because he was just passionated about tech and creating awesome products, he didn't care about the money or investors. Warren buffet has billions yet he keeps working being 80 because he loves investing.

Some of them might love what they do and just do it "for the sake of it" which is the ideal, you are free of extreme stress and needs. If some of them "need" more money, this just leads to a loop hole of trying to do the next big thing, more stress, more escapism, and less "being free".

So I would recommend removing your fears, finding what you like just because you want to do it. Maybe you might just find out that you love your business, and end up becoming the next Elon Musk. Or maybe you have enough money and you want to do another thing, is all up to you. Maybe you want to travel, maybe you want to invest in another kind of business, who knows? You have an entire world of possibilities to explore :smile:
Just avoid doing stuff because of a "need". That "motivation" of tricking yourself, trying to "be more rich", trying to "show up", "showing a person that told I wasn't able to, I did it" is a fuel a bit toxic that will run out sooner or later.