What if you’re trying to do something and getting no rewards?

I’m on Clearwater beach right now getting ready to start my 5-day Retreat tomorrow. I don’t have my normal video set up with me, but I’m going to do my best to shoot something on my phone to say hi while I’m here.

In two weeks my show comes out on NBC.

In just three weeks my book comes out in North America.

All this means that my current schedule is pretty unrelenting.

As I write this my trainers are all sat around me on the top floor of the hotel, working on content before we go into action mode for the next 5 days.

Here’s the view from where I am:

It’s always strange the day before going on stage. I sit and think about all of the things I want to convey, and I go through my training manuals to make sure I’m on my game. One of the most important things to do before a speech is to emotionally connect with your material. If you don’t do that you can have the best material in the world but you won’t speak from the heart.

I work incredibly hard and I think about my work a lot. Often people tell me to take a break or to go on holiday. But what they don’t realise is that this IS my holiday. I’m doing what I love. There’s nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing. Maybe that’ll change one day. Maybe I’ll go in another direction altogether. But until it does, I’ll keep doing this all day everyday, because my life is focused on doing what I LOVE.

When I talk to people about their lives and whether they are doing what they love, I often hear this response: “Yeah but for you it’s easier because the successes you get validates the work you’re putting into it. It reinforce your efforts so it becomes easier to work hard.”

There is a lot of truth to this. The successes I’ve gotten HAVE reinforced my behaviour and provided much needed motivation at times.

But here is where this idea misses the point:

I was doing this LONG before there were any successes to report.

For those of you who have been following my work for years, you may remember this video:

I filmed this over 3 years ago when I was living in my apartment in London and none of this had happened. I have even older videos from 3 years before that (which were pretty terrible by today’s standards) when I was really only starting out in coaching. When I first started I was in survival mode. It really wasn’t easy. There was a ton of rejection. Lots of doors closing on me from people who said I was nobody, that I had no experience and wasn’t established enough.

But I did it anyway because, well, what else would I do?

See it’s true that on some projects in life you stop when you’re not getting any rewards.

But when it’s your love, your passion, you do it regardless of the ‘validation’, because you know you wouldn’t be doing anything else in the world.

If your love in life was business, then you wouldn’t stop creating businesses just because one project didn’t pay off. You would just change your approach. If you love business then you know you’ll be creating businesses till the day you die, because that’s what you love.

A painter who is a painter in her heart doesn’t stop painting because no one is buying her work. She paints because that’s who she is at her core – a creative soul who expresses it through her paintings. She doesn’t do it for the money.

I love the lifestyle I get from my public speaking. I love the fact that I get to travel. I love the amazing individuals I’ve been able to meet as a result, and the opportunities it affords me in life. But I was doing this before I had any of that, and I’ll still be doing this when the TV cameras go away. I’d do this if there was NO money in it and I had to sustain myself working in Mcdonalds. I’d be doing this if I had only one person to give a seminar to each week, because I F*****G LOVE learning about and helping people. It’s my obsession.

Everything else is a just a wonderful bonus (most of which I never even anticipated, let alone got motivated by).

Oh and do I need to point out the obvious parallel with your love life?

  • Flirt because you LOVE flirting.
  • Love because you LOVE loving.
  • Be courageous because you LOVE being courageous.

Don’t do it for the rewards – those are all just wonderful bonuses.

I want to leave you with a video today from an up-and-coming artist who is also carving his space out in the world. His name is George Watsky and he’s another great story to follow. His new song is called Cardboard Castles. I have no reason to promote his work other than the fact that his song sums up so much of this blog post, and that I love to help someone succeed in doing what they love.

My favourite line of the song:

“I do things on a shoe string you couldn’t do with a cool mill”.

Because that’s what we do here on this blog. We work with what we have. You don’t have stone? Then build your castles out of cardboard.

I’ll finish with a question aimed at you…

What do you do in your life for no other reason than you LOVE it? If you have 30 seconds tell me by leaving a comment below. I can’t wait to learn about your passion in life.

Massive love to you AND your wonderful life.



I love supporting you through my blog. It’s a place where I can give to you without you having to think about whether you can afford it or not. Having you behind me is what keeps this alive. The best way you can support this free area of my site is to share this post with the people you know and love. Facebook share it, retweet it, leave me a comment… It all helps. Your individual support for my work is more powerful than you can imagine. Thank you.

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188 Replies to “What if you’re trying to do something and getting no rewards?”

  • Oh Matt I love this entry! Especially the metaphor with the painter who paints because its who she is at her core.

    I am passionate about being creative. i love doing acrylic paintings and sculpturing mini creatures such as Willow Swan. Link is there if you are curious –> (http://browse.deviantart.com/art/Willow-Swan-316120043). I’ve been doing it since i was perhaps 8-9 and i love doing it because it is so much more than just a sculpture/painting – its a part of who i am :)

    You have a lovely day!
    Wave x

  • I guess everything I do has no awards or appreciation or even a future but I love painting even though I failed into getting into the college I want, I haven’t stopped creating my ideas because they teach me a lot about myself..

  • Honestly, I’m in a place in my life where I am focused on my work, career and myself. And while I’ve utilized some of the advice from GTG, I am feeling burnt out because in the spectrum of things, I don’t want my love life enough to spend the effort of it.

    However, I am grateful because I can still use some of the advice in my work, career, and other ambitions. I love doing what I do, and I’m going to continue doing it. I love singing, I love helping people through Psychology and working, and I love my life. So while GTG may have not actually snagged me a man… it’s helped me so much in other areas of my life.


    1. Hey Christa!

      Keep using the blog for everything in your life, and when you’re ready to think about your love life, I’ll be here. In the meantime you never know who might walk into your life when you’re not expecting it anyway : )


  • I am pursuing a career in writing/journalism. I’m doing it now for free but hopefully one day I will be paid for it :)

  • I love to write, to play with words and be swept-up by the rhythm of their beat. I also know that being filled with love, sending love out, understanding others and, dang nabbit, just enjoying my soul’s calling to make a positive difference in the world, is the sweetest reward there is. Keep following YOUR soul’s calling, Mr H – and keep spreading that love and light! x

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE Architecture ! it’s less about making cool new buildings, but more about making places for all aspects in our lives and spaces for people to have meaningful experiences. funny enough, any architectural project starts out as a vision (the big idea) then models (cardboard castles, for sure), becoming more and more real every step along the way. I really believe that ‘if you build it, they will come’ – I take the same approach to my love life – you have to make the space for something amazing to happen !

    thanks a million Matthew, for all the positive energy

  • I’m at university and I race for the ski club. I’m not really any good, but I love it so much & have stuck with it the past year and a half and now I’ve seen massive improvements in my skiing!

    I do it because I love it and I never want to stop.

    Thanks for your post :)

  • About 18 months I created NCG Street Pole. I work in health, fitness and movement fields. I teach, create, do my best to educate and share all that i know about wellbeing and physicality teaching different styles from Pilates to pole fitness to now my NCG Street Pole method. I love working with people and doing my best to make them value their physicality and wellbeing!!

    if you get a chance check this little video out! http://vimeo.com/47483135#at=0

    Your great Matthew! Thankyou for this work that you do! I have just finished reading Get the guy and there is sooo much in there that makes sense to me!!

  • One: I make my patients laugh all day. They act shocked. They couldn’t possibly be sick and laughing.

    Two: I make my students figure out the answer themselves…If they did the work they know the answer…they just don’t know they know it. In the end, I end up with renewed energy from their thrill of learning something new.

  • Hi Matthew,

    Thank you, as always, for the inspiring words!

    I love to make people smile. I mean, who doesn’t, right? I try to go out of my way everyday to do or say something to make someone smile. Whether that means calling a loved one to tell them how much I appreciate them, being goofy to make someone laugh or saying hello to a stranger on the street and telling them that I hope they have a wonderful day (and truly meaning it). Putting a smile on a stranger’s face holds some deep satisfaction for me. I feel like that person is going to keep spreading that smile for the rest of his or her day. Ok, maybe I *do* get a little something from that. ;)

    Thanks again, Matthew! I hope your next few weeks go as smoothly as possible. Good luck with everything!


  • Cool song! My cardboard castles are writing stories, etc – mostly romance, LOL, but other things as well. I’m not published, but I write because that’s who I am. I still LOVE writing old fashioned letters to friends and family (very few people do that anymore, but I find it very romantic – now if I could just find a guy who felt that way! ). I can get lost in the pen and paper section of an office supply store for hours. ;) I’ve written all my life starting when I was 6 years old with my very own diary.

  • I love receiving mail from you Matt!! — hehe you’re so my type!!

    Im crazy passionate about writing, sharing beautiful insights and love with others and music.

    I am right at the beginning of my life coaching journey!! You’ve inspired me much Mr Hussey. Especially this entry.

    Jump in for the love of it!!!

    Have a fantastic 5 days!!!

    Ps the paralell is purrrfect

    Love to you!!

  • I love making people around me happy. I love surprising them, drawing a smile on their face and making them feel special. I love helping people as much as I can and more important I love listening to their stories. No judgments, no advices, just being where you are and offering a shoulder to rely on.

  • What a timely article! Saw the link via Twitter. Thought I’d stop by your blog and say hello! I recently shared with my friends that I’d like to make the pretend show I created as a running gag to amuse my friends into something to hopefully motivate others in an entertaining way where I’m able to incorporate my love for song and comedy. Still working out the kinks, but I said to them, even if all that amounts is a fun hobby, mainly via YouTube I’m thinking, I’ll be thrilled cuz it makes me happy. And I’m happy for all your success! Saw the promo for your show on TV the other day. Looks good! And didn’t realize you had a book that was about to release in the US. Pretty cool! Thanks always for the positive energy. All the best, Sana :D

  • I just want to help people. I love to give again and again and again so that hopefully it’ll make a difference in their lives. That’s why I’m a teacher. :)

  • I love going to the coffee shop,making people happy,sitting on the grass on a hot day,playing with my dogs,eating great food,flirting with random men,getting presents,fixing problems,dancing,and flowers

  • My NOVEL

    I’ve been writing a novel the past year.
    It started as a love, but just like relationships, after the inital attraction, you have to have a system in place to keep the magic going. I had a massive surge of motivation in the beginning; ideas, stars, rainbows and whirlpools of inspiration to dip in to whenever I wanted.

    Then, as suddenly as it came, it went, and I was left with a half baked book.

    Persistence saw me through to the end…and a strong vision of the people I’d touch and positively impact through my words fed that persistence like water to a plant.
    I’m sure you can relate with your book too. It’s not easy, but if it were, everybody would do it.

    1. It’s really NOT easy, i definitely learnt that lesson. But I’m glad you went through it, it’s amazing how it develops you as a person to go through the process isn’t it.

      Matthew x

  • I love getting a laugh out of somebody, whether it be to cheer them up or just telling them a silly joke/story. For example I attempted to make pancakes & ended up very confused as to why they tasted like an omlette (yeah I know). Laughter is a great and powerful bond.
    Keep up the good work! :) x

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