What is Your Reason?

Ryuzaki

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This quote has been doing my head in:

"When you work, you fulfill part of the earth's fondest dream assigned to you when that dream is born."
That quote implies a lot, and so does my question:

What is Your Reason?

I believe that knowing why you're doing what you're doing removes a lot of hurdles people face. Not only knowing why, but knowing that that reason is a worthy reason.

Motivation isn't a problem with the right reason. Self-starting, procrastinating, becoming petrified with fear, resistance to risk... all of these issues disappear.

Trying to answer the above question forces us to confront the next:

What is a Worthy Reason?

I'm going to just come up with a ton of typical replies I've heard or thought of myself as I've aged:
  • Non-confrontational success is the best revenge against a disbeliever (or some variation of this).
  • I want to be rich so I never have to work again.
  • Financial security would alleviate my anxiety. It'd be a safety net, afford me health care, etc. It'd help me feel safe.
  • Money would buy amazing experiences such as traveling around the world.
  • I don't even care about money, fame, or recognition for myself. But I do want to help reduce stressors on my family and friends and provide them with enjoyment and relaxation.
  • It'd let me be a little more spontaneous without having to always be worried about next month.
  • I want to put a dent in the universe. I want to raise the standard of living for every sentient being ever.
We could go on and on...

Some of these reasons focus on the end-goal and are more selfish than others. That can be okay to an extent since the best we can help others is to first put ourselves in a position where we can help others.

Some, such as the last reason, imply a means. In fact, the means is the end-goal. Only by impacting the entire planet do you even meet your success. The path is the destiny.

How to Form Your Worthy Reason

It seems like the most worthy, mature, and actionable reasons or mission statements include:
  • A destination and reward for the self that provides the ability to reach...
  • A destination and reward for those in your immediate sphere of love, and then an expansion into...
  • A destination or reward for every living being.
"I want to buy a Lamborghini because I want something nice for myself and I love cars." That's not a worthy reason in and of itself unless it's part of a larger, multi-tiered reason.

Once you have the means to obtain the car, you should most certainly reward yourself, but your chances of getting there are slim because it requires maturity to achieve that level of success (for those of us starting from the bottom). And if you're mature enough to reach it, that reason isn't going to light a fire under your butt because you probably don't care too much about material possessions anyways. You've gone quite a while without luxury, which is why you're in the game in the first place.

Forming a fully mature reason should also set parameters around your blueprint to success. Your game plan should begin to write itself to some degree.

Your Reason Is Your Meaning

Without a sense of meaning in life, there's no purpose and reason to continue on. I'm a believer that there's no inherit meaning in human life itself, unless you want to get really cosmic and spiritual. Keeping it pragmatic and mundane, and recognizing that life is full of suffering, you need to have a solid reason to excel to the top.

Poverty
If you reason is "I live to get high so I forget about how crappy this whole situation is" then welcome to poverty. You'll scrounge up enough to get some crumbs, then you'll be at it again within an hour, wondering about your next high.

If you're too full of bitterness, not full of enough drive to overcome the cards that you've been dealt, then you're absolutely screwed. Your thoughts control your emotions and vice versa, and both control your actions. If you can't detach from your thoughts and emotions enough to direct them where you want them to go, you can forget about motivation.

The solution seems to be radical responsibility. Yeah, you're parents screwed up. The imperialists screwed you. God's a dick. If you're looking for somewhere to pass the blame, you'll never run out of scapegoats. Some of it is undoubtedly true but I can tell you that they aren't going to come to your aid. The only solution is to accept responsibility for everything. Maybe before you were born you chose to roll this character where shit would be hard. Take responsibility. Sure, maybe you were born into poverty. Guess who's responsibility it is to climb out? Guess who's fault it is for not having done so yet?

The challenge here doesn't seem to be developing a worthy reason, but in having the internal strength to overcome the terrifying and crushing odds.

Middle Class
Maybe your cards were dealt well enough and a path was laid out for you. Your parents stayed together, neither were addicts, they had good jobs. You didn't experience a ton of trauma. You went to college, graduated and either walked right into a good job or you took over your dad's business, even though there were 25 other more qualified guys who had been with the business for decades waiting for the chance.

You're screwed. You're complacent. You haven't experienced poverty and you take everything for granted. You don't have anything to push away from and you don't have anything to pull towards. Middle class folks don't tend to care about being billionaires. They care about contributing to their 401(k) and Roth IRA's. They just want to know that easy street will extend all the way to the grave. (Of course I'm generalizing and this isn't true for everyone)

The solution here seems to be suffering in your immediate vicinity. Someone's gotta feel physical pain, spiritual anguish, mental suffering... and if it's not you it's got to be someone you really care about. Otherwise you'll do what most people who are comfortable do... they ignore it. They pretend it doesn't exist so their worldview and experience continues to be mini-nirvana.

This is what's going to take your reason from "I just want to keep enjoying this nice lifestyle" to "Damn that sucked. Now I can empathize with all the pain and negativity people are always spouting off. I wouldn't mind using my fortunate position to do something about it." Now you've got a worthy reason.

Extremely Wealthy
You're there. If you're a part of the nouveau riche like we're all trying to be, then you probably had a worthy reason. Hopefully you're acting upon it now. Even if you aren't, staying flush in terms of impact on others is so much better than hurting others.

Of course increasing your wealth is a part of your goal, but don't be a scumbag about it like some guys do. Providing a universe-denting product or service is a fantastic way to maintain your wealth. You deserve it. Colluding with politicians to create tax loop holes, cheatingly destroy competition while creating territorial monopolies, etc... C'mon, bro.

What's Your Reason?

So I ask again... what is your reason? Is it worthy? How far into the future, how far reaching is it? Can a shift in emphasis in your reason change your meaning and quintuple your chances of success?

I'm pondering all of this and you just received my brain dump. I've yet to form my reason 2.0, but I'm going to come back and share it and let everyone deconstruct it and call me out or add to it. We'll do the same for you! I feel like if we can all tweak our reasons and make sure the road is correct, we can accelerate our vehicles safely and get there sooner.
 

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Fantastic post. I posted something similar several months ago, but focused more on the emotional component...

I've tried many different methods of focusing. Pomodoro method, website blockers, Modafinil, Adderall, a highly rigid, optimized schedule, timers, alarms, shock-collars (kidding), etc...

And I've still failed so many times. So many. But I've also had some major productivity wins.

And the wins boil down to this, folks:

EMOTION.


That's it. If you aren't in the right space emotionally, you will never tackle a 10+ hour day of systematically knocking out measurable goals (or even getting to the point of where you create measurable goals). Nor will you have the balls to try again after you inevitably fail at something big.

Let's face: None of us have to grind. Nobody here has to make a shit-ton of money. Or live a location-independent lifestyle. Or ball out. We don't NEED this shit.

So when things get tough, we defer to comfort foods, online magazines, social media, drinking, family, etc. It makes sense. Why work hard when there are so many comfortable escapes around us? We could easily settle. We could probably live "comfortably" for the rest of our lives working a mediocre job and fucking around with side hobbies.

So the reality is MOST OF US DON'T HAVE TO HUSTLE. We might have a few narcissistic fantasies we'd like to fulfill that sort of align with the entrepreneurial path. We might like the IDEA of freedom, luxury, etc. Hell, we might even like the IDEA of hustling/grinding/focusing (its such a great persona to adopt, right? "THE HUSTLER").

...But unless you cultivate the right emotional state, grinding towards success is a futile exercise. You're just going through the motions, and don't derive any emotional satisfaction from working towards an end-goal that's not firmly integrated with the fabric of your being. You aren't in love with the process, because the process has no meaning to you. Your end-goals have no real meaning.

The impetus for the psycho-emotional wind in people's entrepreneurial sails varies. Some people are motivated by trauma (growing up shit-poor and humiliated, seeing parents struggle, etc..). Others are motivated by pure necessity or desperation (lost job while having dependents, massive debt, etc..). Many folks build their self-esteem around achievement and recognition, so they are emotionally jeopardized if they aren't making shit happen (they have an internal baseline for achievement that's much higher than most people).

It doesn't have to be this extreme, though. Like I said, its possible to cultivate your psycho-emotional hustle-juice in a healthy manner. How? I don't fucking know. Introspection, cost-benefit analysis, philosophy -- whatever does it for you. I'm still working on myself every day. But every day, I'm getting stronger, and finding more reasons to keep pushing. I'm gaining emotional momentum. I'm finding real fucking meaning in my financial goals (meaning I've always sensed intuitively, but was never able to really crystallize until recently).

When you do finally find the emotional reasons for putting in 10+ hours of focused work, you'll notice you won't need to experiment with a million different "focus hacks." You'll just fucking handle your shit with minimal aid.
 

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What if I said you could have an entirely worthy reason, that is greedy, while also building a better mousetrap...
 

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This is so essential that until you realize the importance of having a reason you don't pay attention to it.

In my case, unfortunately, most of the reasons I can have are mostly selfish.

I would like to have my own house with a swimming pool and garden, a small orchard to dedicate to agriculture and to be sure that I won't be on the verge of breaking or I'll miss nothing. I would also like my family not to have to worry about their future, and to be able to give them the life they think they deserve.

Thanks for this great thread, @Ryuzaki.