Sometimes you just hear what you need to hear – exactly when you need to hear it. And that is awesome when that happens. I’m a human. I have good days and bad days. The other day I was having a day that wasn’t “bad” thought I would say that my mood wasn’t in a zip code that is defined as good. Just a kinda stressed out day out on the sales trail.
Then it hit my ear holes. Spontaneously from a Joe Rogan interview with Annie Jacobsen. Annie is a investigative journalist and 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist. She has done in-depth books on everything from UFO’s to the CIA. Though many would argue that those are not very far apart. Here is the transcript:
Annie: Well that’s the Pink Floyd line. Living lives of quiet desperation:
Joe: Well, that is Thoreau’s quote. That most men live lives of quiet desperation. It’s one of my favorite quotes ever because it’s true. And I’ve been that guy. You are just in this world where you can’t wait to just run away.
Annie: And how do people get stuck there. How do you think you get stuck there?
Annie: Bills? Like financial bills?
Joe: Yeah. Bills and commitment. You have an apartment you have to pay for. You have a car you leased. You have a wife you have to feed. You have a child that you have to raise. You have your mortgage. You have your this and you have your that. It’s where it all comes from.
Annie: Where do you think that opportunity plays into that?
Joe: Well the opportunity usually takes place when you are young and you don’t have any responsibility and when you have your options. Your options are severely limited the more you gather responsibilities. Like, if I had to – as a 51 yr old father of 3, married man who pays taxes and has a house and a mortgage and a business and all that jazz. If I had to quit everything now and struggle like I struggled as a stand up comedian, there is no way it would work. But he only way that I can be this person now is if I took those chances at 21. When I was dead broke and had my cars repossessed, and all that stuff. That’s the only way you get where you want to go. You have to – you have to take a path that is dangerous. And most people want to take the safe path. And the safe path leaves you stuck in quiet desparation. Almost every time. And it’s hell. You’re selling insurance or some other shit that you care Zero about.
Annie: But can people make that change? I believe people can..
Joe: Yes, you can. But you have to plan it out. You have to put aside enough money so you have a window. And then you have to have a plan. Then you have to spend all of your waking hours outside of your shit job you do planning your escape. And you have to come to the realization – very clearly- that you fucked up and you got stuck. So whatever you are doing – you have to do it like your life depends on it.
Whether it is that you are trying to be an author and you’re gonna…..if you’re gonna try to be an author and you are working 8 hours a day plus commuting plus family responsibilities. Or whatever else you have. Whatever other time that you have, you have to attack it like you are trying to save the world. Your are trying to save your like. Like you are going to drown .
That 1 and a half hours a day that you have to write? God Damn, you better be caffeinated and motivated. You gotta go! You gotta get after it and you have to be disciplined. Most people don’t have those things. And they don’t really know what it’s like to go after something. To really go after something. To know that the consequences of not going after that are horrific.
And that’s how you get out of your life of quiet desperation. Nobody said it’s easy.
It shouldn’t be
If awesome was easy, everyone would do it. And it would be ‘normal’ instead of AWESOME.
So, thank you Joe for helping me get centered back to the point of why I do what I do. Or do what I’m doing. It’s not fun and it’s not easy. Sleep is becoming of secondary importance.
Nobody ever asks Zuckerberg or Gates: “Well yeah, but how much did you sleep in the first year??!” Though I’m sure plenty have googled WHERE they sleep now and said “It must be nice.” ‘
Zip back to that first year of building Facebook and they would probably look at your sleep schedule and say “It must be nice.”
For those who don’t know Joe, and want credentials. He’s a long-time stand up comedian, back from the days when it didn’t pay much all hustle. He’s had notable gigs on News Radio tv show, Fear Factor a couple of years, and the voice of the UFC. But here’s the thing, through most of that, he did a podcast. He’s done over 1300 podcasts!!! Thirteen-Hundred! Do the math of how many years of “side job” that is when it didn’t pay. Oh, forgot to mention that many estimate him making $30 million a year now.
Not go look at your life. Wait, not your life – your emotions. How do you FEEL about your life most of the time? If it’s not good, and feel like a hamster on a wheel, skip back to the top. Read it again. And make a PLAN.
Come up with a plan. Listen to Simon Sinek every night for 2 weeks and find your Why? What life do you want is great. But WHY do you want it?
Who else has done it? What would it take.
Then commit to doing the things that it takes to get there. And have the discipline to do it!
My mentor Neil Strauss has a great analogy for it. Think of it as 2 trains. 2 trains are going down parallel tracks close to each other. The first train is your day job. The other train is your dreams. The 2nd train is way behind. But the first train stops every day. And that’s your time. Your time to get your other train moving.
It’s your time to get the 2nd train up to speed with your first train. That way when you jump from the first train to the 2nd train, they are moving at the same speed!!!
Yeah, it’s going to take twice as much coal. You have to accept that. And you are going to have to shovel twice as much coal as the other train guys!! Can’t lie about that.
But zoom out. Look realistically where are the train track going?? If you do nothing, where is your train going?? Are you the coal shoveler or are you the engineer? If you are shovel guy, you are going wherever someone else has decided you are going. You…..don’t….have…..a…..choice. If you are already in QuietDesperationville, that’s a State – it’s big and you are stuck.
Make a plan to get out. Give up some TV and sleep. Do something different. Do something extra. The only way to get Extra is to Give extra.
Extra Plug: If you spend your days and your drives listening to music or “morning zoo yuck-yuck” radio – dude stop. Just…don’t. Start making a change there. Put some better stuff in your brain. The Rogan podcast is awesome. Listen to some Tim Ferriss. And, if you reallllly want to make a change in your life and want the cocaine-on-the-rim-of-an-espresso version – The Gary Vee Audio show. I’m tellin’ ya…….