Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

What if you didn’t need money or attention?

2014-03-19

You know that feeling you have after a big meal? Where you’re so full that you really don’t want anything more?

Ever wonder what that would feel like in other parts of your life?

We do so many things for the attention, to feel important or praised. But what if you had so much attention and so much praise that you couldn’t possibly want any more? What would you do then? What would you stop doing?

We do so many things for the money. It’s so deeply built into our culture that it takes a real effort to realize it’s the reason behind so many of our actions. But what if you had so much money that you couldn’t possibly want any more? What would you do then? What would you stop doing?

And then…

If you stopped doing all these things you’re just doing for the money or the attention, what’s left? Who are you, if you don’t do these things?

Many of my friends are touring musicians. One has been quite unhappy with it lately. Though it was once her dream, now she’s just doing it for the fear of being forgotten. But if she stops, what’s left? She’s defined herself by this pursuit for so long.

Many of my friends are entrepreneurs. A few have mentioned this hollow conflicted feeling. The world doesn’t want what they’ve got. They’re following the current tech entrepreneur stereotype — building an app and pursuing investors — though they’re doing it only for the jackpot. But if they stop, what’s left?

If you were completely satiated, then what?

After an understandable period of relaxing, what would you pursue?

Don’t say “sit around and do nothing”, because that’s still just relaxing. I mean after that, when you’re ready to be useful to others again.

What would you do then, if you didn’t need the money, and didn’t need the attention?

(Photo by ZeroOne).