What has helped me a lot over the years is moving from the idea of discipline to the idea of devotion. Pavarotti once said, “People say that I’m disciplined but it’s not discipline, it’s devotion, and there’s a big difference.” There is!

I discovered that I couldn’t white-knuckle the projects I had in mind—and I’ve done more than fifty books to this point—and tackle them just by dint of will. I had to access a place of love, interest, passion and curiosity, all of which are rough synonyms for devotion. Since I’m not a spiritual or religious person, I see devotion as a very human-sized thing, as the way we make real whatever we feel is important to us.

Like many young men, I initially came from a rather grandiose, arrogant and narcissistic place , rather than from a loving place; that shift in the direction of more devotion and more love probably coincided with having children. So, my top tip would be: discipline is great, but the amazing things that we would like to accomplish require devotion!

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