Before I get started, I feel I have to share a disclaimer! I AM NOT against positivity. If I am against anything it’s the idea that a positive attitude alone is all you need to succeed. That’s what I’ll be discussing if you choose to continue reading.
Let’s take a look at a couple quotes that are frequently shared across the Internet. Quotes that make me grit my teeth, roll my eyes, sometimes even smack my mouse down hard.
Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. ~David Frost
Do what you love and the money will follow. ~Marsha Sinetar
If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. ~Marc Antony
Now, the fun part for me. Debunking the ridiculosity (one of my made up terms that truly fits the topic) of each of these quotes.
None of the three quotes above factor in what we know to be true about success. You have to work for it. Nowhere is anything but loving what you do mentioned. Love what you do and that’s all it takes. What a crock of crap!
There’s no mention of the hard work. The fatigue. The customer complaints. The looming deadlines. The computer crashes. The software failures. The warranty issues. I could continue with this list for paragraphs.
I’m thrilled to do something I love in order to make a living. But let’s be perfectly clear. I work my ass off. Every single day. The alarm clock sounds off early and sometimes it’s quite dark and cold before my day is through. When projects are due and deadlines are looming, I often have to knuckle down on a weekend rather than getting out for downtime.
Positivity is fantastic as long as it isn’t used to mask reality. Too often I see quotes that don’t factor in the reality of running a business. It’s not easy. It’s not a perfectly pink primrose path. Sometimes you end up walking over a bed of nails or hot coals. Sometimes you have to grit your teeth and dive into a mess. Hard work trumps a pithy quote any day of the week!
Here’s a quote that actually makes that clear:
To do what you love can sometimes be stressful. ~Toni Braxton
Positivity is a wonderful thing. I truly believe that. But positivity that isn’t grounded in reality, that doesn’t factor in that we don’t live and work in a bouncy pink bubble doesn’t do anyone any good. Positivity in the face of challenges is what takes people to the top.
When positivity is promoted as a cure all that doesn’t require hard work, sacrifice, knowledge, learning and creativity, it’s a disservice. Positivity is part of success. Perhaps the biggest part. But it’s not enough alone.
There is no positive without the negative. It’s all a careful balance. A life with only sunshine and no rain clouds would lead to scorched earth.
Do you think you balance positivity with reality? If so, how?