Motivation: Harnessing The Dark Side #0005

After doing this shit for almost 13 years, I can tell you one thing; I am not motivated by anything positive. This is sad, but unfortunately true. I am motivated by the dark side, to prove people wrong. You put a nice shiny medal in front me and I’m not that interested. Remind me of the negative thing someone said 5 years ago about me, then watch me get to work. My ability to remember who said what, when they said it, the smirk they had on their face and where it took place is an unfortunate (but  very valuable) tool.
It can be pretty obvious to others as well, including people that don’t know me very well.

A Chip On Both Shoulders

To illustrate my point, I put a post up the other day on my socials and one of the common comments was from people pointing out something they thought they were the first person in the world to ever discover about me.
“You have issues mate”
“A balanced argument, you have a chip on both shoulders”
“You need to resolved your inferiority complex”
These comments are all spot on, I don’t just have a chip on my shoulder, I have a sack of potatoes. I actually cultivate it on purpose. Tapping into “the dark side” has one of my most valued tools, this may change over the next decade as I mature, but I wont be putting it back in the tool box any time soon.
Any big wins, any real growth in either myself or my section of our business has come from someone telling me I can’t do something, a competitor saying something I know to be untrue, or people saying (and most commonly) that my “success” so far has been luck. This has always been far more important to me than accomplishing things because of a nice feeling of “achievement” after. I envy those who who can make comments about the chip on my shoulder, they are right and they probably lead more peaceful lives. More peaceful…but probably much smaller.

Nice Game Mike

Netflix over the lockdown got a hammering from the nation didn’t it. For many, there wasn’t much else to do. Along with Tiger King, my favourite show was The Last Dance. They released it weekly on the platform, a behind the scenes show of “at the time” footage of the Chicago Bulls of the 90s. I was hooked. The programme of course featured mainly Michael Jordon. If you want to study, what makes good into great, watch this programme. If you’ve seen it, you will know of the scene where Jordan recalls hearing LeBradford Smith (Washington Bullets) saying to Jordan after the 1992 clash with the Bulls “Nice Game Mike” in an apparent sarcastic dig at Jordan’s uncharacteristic quiet performance.
Jordan rages, tells his teammates that the return game (the following night in Washington) was going to be very different, because of this comment. Indeed it was. Jordan used this negative comment to enrage his dark side for a positive outcome, issue was….it never happened. Jordan made it up. The whole thing.
Jordan admitted years later, he would regularly invent dark stories and negative comments to himself to spark motivation.
That’s the issue, the more you win, the more you rise, the harder it is to find dark moments to work against. When you start they are everywhere. When you grow and things become more comfortable, it takes a real effort to find situations you must overcome and people to prove wrong.

Unbalanced Outcome, Unbalanced Approach

People will say this is unhealthy, but nothing about growing a business from nothing into a big company is that “healthy” in the traditional sense of the word. To grow a big business, you are seeking a very rare and unbalanced outcome, to do this with a balanced “healthy” approach (from the Founders at least) is unfortunately not going to happen.
So…next time someone puts you down, laughs at your dreams or says you cant do something…rather than take it to heart, thank them for the amazing gift they have just given you.

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