A Trick on Transmuting “Hard Work” Into “Passion”

While work is a means to bring in the cash and pay the bills for most people, here comes this guy who is part of some special few telling you that “I’m not even working a single day in my life!” as he’s flashing his shiny Rolex straight up in front of your face.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about being an entrepreneur –not all of these guys are… I’m talking about whether they really mean what they are saying or not. Have they actually found a way to “not work”?

Apparently, they have.

tipping point book cover

Take Lewis Pugh, for example. He is the first man who has ever swam across the infamous North Cape. He has always been a swimmer, but he did something that nobody thought was humanly possible.

My belief system was splintered… If five minutes in this water had caused so much pain and damage to my hands, what would twenty minutes do?” This was what Lewis Pugh thought before successfully doing the death-defying swim. “What I felt on that stupid test swim wasn’t anything I’d felt before. I don’t believe I can do this.

lewis pugh endurance swimmer
Lewis Pugh via The South African

Were those thoughts of doubt? Definitely! But for sure if you examine again, you’ll find out that those thoughts are not entirely just doubts. You see, while the doubt is evident, on the most part he was learning something from the situation. He was actually evaluating the facts. He was actually studying all the forces in his undertaking.

This inclination to learning is perhaps one of those things we can derive useful from a concept in Malcolm Gladwell’s book: The Tipping Point.

malcolm gladwell book

In his book he tells us that the human mind finds it very difficult to project a pattern. He demonstrates this by making his reader imagine folding a piece of paper fifty times. After imagining the piece of paper already folded fifty times, has it occurred to you that its thickness is already as far as the distance from the earth to the sun? I found it hard to believe the first time, too.

Sometimes, the patterns that our minds project are very far from reality; and what’s even more surprising is that most of the time, our brains fail to project patterns at all… “come what may,” it tells us. This will result to fearful undertaking of tasks, in constant anticipation of what can go wrong.

Most unexpected surprises and “bad luck” in our daily lives – especially in our work - are merely caused by this unfilled gap in the analytical part of our brains. Whenever these unexpected “attacks” come, we assume the defensive, our bodies release cortisol, and we end up stressing our mind and muscles. Sounds familiar? Some people call it Manic Mondays, others call it “hard work” (on a negative tone).

It appears now that the solution is simple and difficult at the same time. In order to at least minimize the unexpected in our daily mental equations, we must come as close as possible to correct projections; we must cover as much learning as possible within the scope related to our work. The methods of achieving this vary. Some spend hours reading the daily news like Warren Buffet, while some others like Lewis Pugh, do constant training and evaluate their bodies’ reactions in extreme conditions relative to their goals.

By doing this, they minimize the unexpected in what they do. Things are less stressful and in turn, work gradually becomes more and more pleasurable. What was once “hard work” becomes something else –something they are in control of. Beautiful patterns and niches reveal themselves and the whole thing becomes something like a game; something fun and rewarding. It has become a passion.

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