The ‘Give a Damn’ Factor

This morning when I woke up the last two things I wanted to do was exercise and work.

You know what I did today, in addition to the dozens of small tasks that consumed my time?

I worked and I went to the gym.

It wasn’t fun. In fact, I struggled frequently in both endeavors. But I still did what I needed to do.


Because I give a damn.

This may sound dumb to you, but it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to success in any form. You have to give a damn, plan and simple. It is the foundation of every bit of progress we make. It is an absolute essential.

You have been told this in various ways throughout your life, but any successful adult will tell you most people never listen. They want things, they might even have talent at them, but they never really give a damn. They expect passion to be enough, but it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong. Passion is important. It is the second building block of success immediately following giving a damn, but without a foundation it is still not enough.

There are thousands of people who want any position in life you seek to hold professionally, possibly millions, but when you get down to it there are a few hundred – at most – who are truly qualified for that position. If you are fortunate enough to be one of those capable of doing the job well you still have to stand out as a leader, and that begins with giving a damn.

Giving a damn may sound easy, but it is a daily struggle everyone faces. There are a million excuses we tell ourselves to get over the fact we aren’t doing the things we want to be doing, and the only way to make that stop is by making a conscious decision daily to live in a different manner. To do the things you don’t feel like doing because it is what needs to be done. To going the extra mile when others would rather go home. To make sacrifices, within reason, in pursuit of a better life for yourself and those around you.

If you have struggled with this before now, don’t fret. Everyone struggles every day. It is how we respond to that struggle that defines our path in life.

Life won’t wait for you or anyone else. Start today.

James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also the host of the Inside Music podcast. 

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.