Extreme Success: It’s All About Passion

“If you don’t get up at 3 a.m. and want to do your work, you’re wasting your time.” – Harold Edgerton


Take another look at today’s quote by Harold Edgerton, the pioneering researcher in the field of stroboscopy and ultra-high-speed photography: “If you don’t get up at 3 a.m. and want to do your work, you’re wasting your time.”

Three o’clock in the morning seems extreme to me, but I understand exactly what Edgerton meant. Have you ever been involved in some project or scheme that so arrested your imagination that you found yourself waking up early to get at it — sometimes as early as 3 a.m.?

It’s amazing what you can do when you are consumed by passion. Wake up early. Work long hours. Skip meals. Focus with laser-sharp intensity. And get up early the next day and happily do it again.

You are a lucky person if that kind of passion comes into your life once or twice. If it stays with you for years and drives your career, you are blessed.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be passionate about all three of the major decisions you must make in your life: what you do, where you do it, and with whom?

You can get that passion in your life. You can get it for your job, for your lovers and partners, and even for the place where you live.

Contrary to what some self-help gurus say, passion does not come from choosing the right people and things in your life. It does not come from people and things at all. Passion comes from you and only you. And it goes wherever you want it to.

If you want passion in your life, there is only one way to get it. Care. Care about your job. Care about your spouse. Care about your house, your town, and your country. The more you care, the greater your passion. The greater your passion, the earlier you’ll rise eager to tend to what you care about.