Motivational speaker Eric Thomas made this phrase famous, “I don’t need no alarm clock! My passion wakes me up!” And I wonder if this is as powerful a truth as it seems to be to all of the people I see reposting it and putting it in their Instagram bios. I’ll tell you right now, if my alarm clock doesn’t wake me up, I’m not waking up for a very long time. I hear a lot of people talking about waking up with purpose, hitting the ground running every morning. Words like “hustle” and slogans like “rise and grind,” “I work while the competition sleeps,” and all the other overachieving sentiments propagated by fitness influencers and entrepreneurs flooding the internet. I’m no Dwayne Johnson or Grant Cardone, but as I’m just barely beginning to develop the building blocks of my business life, I wonder not what will be the most epic or explosive, but…what will be most sustainable?
And I’ll tell you something else. Sleep isn’t as much of a hindrance to my passion as it is a passion itself, the more sleep evades me due to my work.
Joking aside, I’ve never experienced enthusiasm for anything that lasted an entire work week. I can’t remember even having such fervor for anything an entire day. I’ve never been able to hold attention for that long. I’m going to want to eat at some point. Walk around. Look at something other than a computer screen for a few minutes. I need to divert my attention elsewhere. Of course, like everyone, I will have sudden bursts of energy and creativity. I have been “in the zone” many times and felt like I was building incredible momentum. But eventually the momentum veers, decays. I have to do something else. So my question to myself is, am I lacking passion? Or is this idea of an insatiable drive actually lacking total reality? Do the extremely high achievers ever feel what I feel? Or is it possible for me to feel what they feel? Which end of this spectrum has the most genuine existence? Are the “hardest workers in the room” fronting for some reason? Are they trying to motivate themselves? Or are they really obsessed to the point of literally not needing an alarm clock because their passion for their career, mission, assignment, wakes them up every morning, and they cannot wait to continue achieving? Are they only expressing the highlights of their process, like a Rocky movie workout montage? Or are they genuinely wired to be consumed with accomplishment? And if they really are this way, is it possible for me to become that way? I have glimpsed passion but I have never lived in passion. When I wake up, all I think is that I would much rather not be awake. And then it takes me a good hour into the process of getting ready for the day to even begin thinking about the events and tasks ahead of me for the day. Am I lazy? Am I merely sleep deprived? Let me know what you think.