The two things you need to do anything in life

Let’s debunk the misconceptions around building your own side project and career development.

A common question I’m asked is how I come up with and execute on all the ideas I have for my blog, newsletter, podcast and basically the brand I’ve built so far.

To my surprise, many people seem to believe that I’m some kind of well-educated and connected person who has some kind of secret advantage that allows me to do these things or maybe this is what they tell themselves to feel better about not doing their own thing.

Yet in reality the truth is not quite so sexy. If you think that you can’t create your own side project or you need some kind of formal education or access to secret networks, then I have some home truths for you.

There is nothing extraordinary about me.

🧠 I’m not the smartest – academia has never been my strong point.

📣 I’m not the loudest – I’m a natural introvert so networking can be an odd experience for me.

👤 I don’t have bulletproof confidence, I’m just like everyone else.

💨 I’m not the fastest to capitalise on opportunities.

But, I do have two things and these two things are what I believe are the most important traits we all need to do anything in life.

Will and Discipline 

I may not always have the skills but I have the will to learn and grow.

I have built the discipline to keep doing what needs to be done to achieve my aspirations, no matter what they are. It was the Navy Seal commander Jocko Willink who said the now famous phrase “Discipline equals freedom” and I wholeheartedly believe that.

I may not be the smartest, I may not be the loudest but as The Rock says, I’ll always be the hardest worker in the room.

At the end of the day, I’m human just like you. 

No matter where you are now, you can build something of your own. It doesn’t need to make you rich, build a massive network or allow you to ditch the 9-5. You can just make something that makes you happy too.

So, from one complex human to another – believe in the enormity of the possible.

Will and discipline could take you further than you imagine.


For more thoughts like this, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I share insights, experiences and reflections on learning, personal development and managing the monkey mind.

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