What Makes You Tick?


“Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.”  – Hugh “GapingVoid” MacLeod

A recent chance remark by an associate got me thinking… about what makes me tick.

You see, I have this track record of “chasing and changing” targets.

  • I specialized in an uncommon field of medicine, becoming one of barely 50 dedicated practitioners in India
  • Then, in a completely unrelated field, I became one of the top 50 specialists in the world
  • I took up an ambitious non-profit effort that seemed “impossible”, and got it to work well enough to fund 125 heart surgeries for kids
  • I built a rather profitable business – and could have grown even bigger, if I had continued to develop it

But after doing these things… I’ve given up on them!

To pursue something else.

Many people think that’s CRAZY! (Maybe they’re right)

But I’ve written a novel. Consulted with a start-up company. Charged $500 to write an article. And raised huge amounts for charity by conducting special events.

To my way of thinking, the “conventional success” of reaching the very top in a very restricted area of expertise sounds… very dull.

I truly admire (and even envy) those of my peers who can perform delicate, complex operations day in and day out. To me, doing that the first time is an exciting thrill. Developing a system to replicate it is a worthy challenge. But running that unit on a day-to-day basis would be a bore!

That’s just me. Because I find a challenge far more exciting than the result!

It’s why I dabble in other things. A new specialty. A novel line of interests. An unproven idea.

The challenge of pushing hard against my own limits, seeing how far I can go, learning and growing to make that effort… those are what keep me eager, hungry, raring to wake up every morning and get going.

A little more money in the bank, a little more fame and reknown, a little more “success” in a field I’ve already tried and mastered (or failed)… these don’t excite me quite as much.

So, I figure, that’s the reason I flit and fleet from one challenge to the next.

That’s what makes me tick.


If you too like to flit from one challenge to the next, you’ll enjoy reading my book.

Our next article is a poignant post about growing up – and it may even make you a wee bit nostalgic. To get notified when we post it… join our email list.