People that are indifferent to success…

I was having a conversation with Ross today about Yvon Chouinard because Ross had found a book of his and begun reading it.

He’s an interesting guy, Chouinard…One trend I’ve been seeing a bit lately is how people that are indifferent about success almost end up becoming successful despite themselves. CHouinard ‘never wanted to be a business guy’ and yet here he is, running a huge business.

It’s interesting. I guess it’s just what you stress about and what you don’t. He stresses about being able to go surfing at any time and letting his staff do the same. He doesn’t stress about being the guy to run a big company one day.

Coincidently, Julien Smith also spoke about this today in a long post of his titled How to Change Your Life. Here’s a snippet:

“The goal is not to succeed. It is just to sit and do it. As I’ve said before, ugly is just a step on the way to beautiful. If you sit down and expect anything, you will freeze up. So just sit down with no expectations. Like the gym– the goal is just to go and do your best, not to deadlift 500 pounds, but to lift just a little more than last time. And even if you failed at that, it’s fine, because you’ll be doing it again next week. No rush. Just sit down and begin.

Perhaps people like Julien and Yvon experience what we (I?) define as success because they just do what they want and need to do. Instead of trying to build a huge business and be a ‘business guy,’ Yvon set about making really good climbing utensils for his friends.

What looks like indifference to me is actually just focus on an area I don’t naturally define as ‘successful.’

So the lesson? Don’t focus on the success you want. Focus on the thing you need to do everyday to be happy.

5 thoughts on “People that are indifferent to success…

  1. Yep, agree 100% – Another similar I like to live by is this:

    “The having is in the doing” – it reminds us that the activity is the objective. And whatever comes of it is OK. Because the net result has already been had through the doing… but like you say, it often results in other forms of so called success, financial or otherwise.


    1. “The having is in the doing”

      Couldn’t agree more! It’s just a challenge sometimes because, as you’re doing, it can be tempting to think about how successful you’ll become doing it…which means you put a higher price on ‘success’ rather than on the doing. Vicious circle.


      Doing something awesome? Apply for an Awesome Foundation Sydney grant!!!

  2. My background in sport talks taught me to focus on the process and not the outcome. Similar concepts but easily transferable into all walks of life.

    1. Thanks Brooksy, awesome advice. You’re right, the process is always better to focus on. Any advice on how you focus on the process when you’re in the moment of performance?

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