Of the billionaires Christiana Wyly has spoken with, most did not have a number-one goal to make a billion dollars. Rather, they naturally followed their passion and did what they were most interested in, curious over, and couldn’t stop thinking about. She relates this to a quote from Letters to a Young Poet: “You are what wakes you in the night. If you can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about one thing, then you should do that one thing. If that one thing that wakes you in the night is poetry, then you should definitely be a poet.”
What wakes you in the middle of the night?
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Speaking from those that I’ve spoken to, a lot of the billionaires did not go out to earn a billion dollars as their number one goal. All of them that I’ve ever spoken to have followed their passion, and done what they were most interested and curious about and couldn’t stop thinking about.
There’s this one Rilke quote from Letters To a Young Poet where he’s asking him how do I know I should be a poet? How should I commit my life to this? How do I know whether or not this is really my path in the world? And Rilke says to him, “You are what wakes you in the night.” If you can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about one thing, then you should do that one thing. And if that one thing that wakes you in the night is poetry, then you should definitely be a poet.
So it’s that one thing– I mean for some people that I know they love food. They love food so much and think about it all the time. They think about what to make for dinner from the time they wake up in the morning. Maybe that’s what the passion is, and that’s the beginning of it it’s the seed in it. It’s what you know well is what you’re able to do well.
I think in this particular time in history for those looking for the opportunity, it’s a combination of what most needs doing. What most needs doing for the greatest number of people. What has the greatest impact in the world that also aligns with what wakes you in the night. What you’re most passionate about. What you can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about.