Recently I finished reading a book called “The happiness of pursuit” by Chris Guillebeau. There I learned a lot about the advantages of going on a personal quest. What you are reading here, is me getting back to my quest.
After reading this book, I set several goals that would create something of a quest. And, one part of that is writing 100 blog posts. I was doing very well and published several posts on Webmaster.Ninja and WhoAPI and then “life happened”. My bookkeeper sent me a lot of things to do, I let some “opportunities” distract me and I flew to Spain. But, with this post, I am fighting back, I am returning to my path.
So what is this about? What does “Find your rock” mean?
Last month (February 2018), I was in Florence, Italy with my wife. We went there for one specific reason. I wanted to see the statue of David (by Michelangelo). Naturally, Florence is so much more! Besides David, the rest of Galleria dell’Accademia is just amazing. Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, and perhaps the best thing, Uffizi Gallery. So many masterpieces over there. Botticelli’s Primavera, The Birth of Venus. It is impossible not to get inspired by maybe the best Renaissance artists. Without a doubt, Florence is the epicenter of the Renaissance. It may sound like I know what I am taking about, but in reality, my wife has a master’s degree in Fine Art Education.
Compared to Renaissance, in this day and age, it has become increasingly difficult to focus on your work. Ryan Holiday writes a lot about that. To focus on the present moment. To find your true meaning or reason for doing something. We get distracted by social media, and “important work” and we mistake movement for achievement. So here’s what I mean by “Finding your rock”.
Michelangelo mastered his rock
When you see the statue of David it just overwhelms you. It is magnificent. Perfect. It screams. Dominates. You try to imagine what all those poor, sick, uneducated, short-lived people back in 1504 thought once the statue was unveiled. Have in mind that this is a 5.17-meter (17.0 ft) marble statue. Yes, this masterpiece was once a marble rock. So literally, Michelangelo found his rock. He knew every second, that unless he is hammering this rock, nothing is happening.
Every action he takes has to be in direct line with that rock. This rock is waiting, hiding a masterpiece, and only Michelangelo can reveal it.
What is your rock?
Have you found your rock yet? Are you pounding it with all you’ve got every day? Or, are you still looking for it? Confused by all the options that are out there.
One thing I am sure of is that unless you find that piece of marble (skill, product, company, book) and you are not giving it all you’ve got, nothing is happening. This led me to the conclusion that it is very hard to achieve this (even if you have your rock in front of you). And while I was reading “Market wizards” by Jack Schwager I again found a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche. He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
He who has a why to live for, can bare almost any how.
This wasn’t the first time I’d seen it. I found it in “Man’s search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl. You see, without reason, without a “why”, every attempt is futile. Simon Sinek says, “Start with why”. Perfect! Have a reason, understand it, and then execute.
You can see how important a reason someone has by seeing their results. This is visible absolutely everywhere. Just this morning, I’ve seen a short video on Instagram about Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid lost 0:2 in the first leg against Wolfsburg in the 2015/2016 Champions League. In the rematch, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 3 goals, and they proceeded to the next round with a 3:0 win. There were more than 22 people on that field, and one person decided that their team was going through.
Don’t get me wrong. I played soccer for years, and I understand it’s a team sport. But when someone scores 3 goals in a 3:0 win (after losing 0:2 in the first match), there is more to it. Ronaldo has a reason, and it is more powerful. Ronaldo found his rock. We just see the tip of the iceberg, and all we can do is stand in awe.
Stronger the reason, the easier the game
As I explain in the video below, once you have a strong reason, it gets easier. I found many reasons why I shouldn’t be eating animal products, and suddenly it became extremely easy not to eat chickens, pigs, cows, etc. But years earlier, I struggled with my goal of reducing eating hamburgers, processed meat, etc…
This is also evident in more radical examples of how some people stop smoking when they get cancer (like my late grandfather) or how otherwise poor people are able to fundraise $100,000 for a cause that’s extremely important to them (sick children, hurricane victims, etc.).
How is it possible to make such shifts, and do the impossible?
I am sure you’ve seen this. Maybe you’ve even witnessed this firsthand? After a little bit of thinking, I remembered the story of Buster Douglas. According to the rumors, his mother told everyone how his son would knock out Mike Tyson. Unfortunately, 2 days before the fight, his mother died. On the day of the fight between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas, what do you think? Who had a better reason to win? Sure, the explanation could be that Don King rigged the fight, but count the number of punches Buster Douglas received. Including the uppercut that laid him down.
There are so many motivational and inspirational books from Norman V. Peale, and Robin Sharma, saying at one point or another how we should change our attitude. We are using just a small percentage of our brain, but when you have a reason, and I mean a really good reason, weird things start to happen.
So that’s it for me. I hope that you have a great reason for achieving whatever you want to achieve. And I hope that you will find your “rock” soon and that you will turn it into a masterpiece. As for me, I am just warming up. One down blog post down, 91 to go.
I’ve been an online entrepreneur for more than a decade. Back in 2011, I sold my first small business. 500 Startups alumni. I love to read and write in every shape or form. Founder of WhoAPI and webmaster.ninja and website investor.