Staying Up All Night and Getting Lucky

Are you trying to get lucky?

No, not that kind of lucky, I mean, are you trying to get a lucky break? Trying to get on the fast track to success, become an overnight sensation?

"The Dip" by Seth GodinIn The Dip (a short book that’s worth reading twice), Seth Godin shows that there’s no shortcut to success. In fact, becoming the best in the world at something, no matter what your “world” or your “something” is, requires a lot of hard work.

It might even require staying up all night.

“You’re here to solve difficult problems. The Dip is the reason you’re here.”
– Seth Godin

Godin suggests that becoming the best in the world at anything requires that you stop looking for shortcuts, or avoiding the difficult problems. Pushing through the Dip is means leaning into the difficult problems and refusing to quit. It means sticking with a problem longer than others that will make you the best in the world.

The Life of a Project from "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin KleonThe Dip, the grind, sometimes looks like the “dark night of the soul” (which has a similar-shaped graph…). It’s not always fun. It often means digging in and slogging it out.

If you’re like me, you hate this kind of advice (even though it feels kinda true). Who has the energy to stay up all night, especially with all the other things we all have going on? I feel exhausted just hearing one more person tell me I need to try harder, work longer, do more.

But there’s another side to this coin.

Godin suggests, not only never quitting, but also quitting early with everything else. Quit most things before they get difficult, before you feel like you need to quit them. Focus your energy on just a couple things, things that you refuse to get distracted from.

(Because the onions need space.)

I’m probably the worst person at saying “no”, because I hold out hope that I can be the best in the world at just about everything.

But, till we learn to quit most things and work hard at a few things, we might never get lucky.