you have to really want it

Published on May 15, 2020

You have to really want something to get it.

Breaking into a career in technology is not easy. I would regard it as one of the greatest challenges I have ever faced. Finding a job in tech was easier than I thought it would be, but that was only because I had done all the work beforehand. I had built side projects. I was writing every day. I was consistently building my network.

If you really want to achieve anything -- whether it’s finding a new job, getting fit, or whatever goal is personally meaningful to you -- you have to really want that thing.

I have recently been thinking about why I am not reading more books. I am not beating myself up about not reading more books, because I am consuming a lot of other great long-form content. But when I thought about why I’m not reading books, what came to mind is that I just don’t want to read enough.

Inverted, this means that if I want to read more books, I need to really want it. I need to be saying to myself “this is a goal I really want to achieve, right now.”

I was reading an interview yesterday with Kobe Bryant, where he was asked how much he was willing to give up for success. He said that he didn’t have many friends, he has “like minds,” with whom he speaks on a regular basis. He didn’t aspire to be a “great friend” because he wanted to work. Work was what mattered most.

This principle applies to making any progress in life, whether it is personal or professional.

If I want to read more books, I have to really want it. It will be hard to read more books. I’ll have to give up reading some long-form articles, which I enjoy doing. Or I’ll have to stop writing as much, which is something I enjoy doing. I’ll have to make some kind of trade off to find the time to read. And to make any change, you need inertia.

I really want to work in technology, and it is something that I do every day. As a result, I do as much as I can to build a reputation in technology. I help others. I stay up to date with the technology industry. I work as hard as I can, subject to the constraints of my other commitments. My focus is on thriving in a career in tech.

If you want to accomplish something, you need to really want it. Do you want to start a side project? You need to really want it. Then you need to do the work. Do you want to eat healthier? You’ll never be able to substitute the muffin for an apple if you don’t want to get healthier enough.

This may seem like a simple rule, and it is. Of course, you still have to invest the effort of actually making progress toward your goal, but it is easier to get started once you know how much you want something.

When you have the drive -- a great feeling of motivation -- then anything is possible. If you sort of want to make a change, but are not sure, that change will not be made.

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