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I Hated Writing and Reading Till I Shifted the Context

Ever since Postmortem of a Failed Startup, people are asking me:
  • Have you always wanted to write a book?
  • Why did you write the book?
  • You must read a lot, too. What do you like reading?
Most people assume I’ve always loved writing. Truth be told, for my first 28 years of life, I hated writing, and I hated reading. Both were forced upon me in school, and I had little interest in what I read and wrote.

So why do I write so much now? How did I get into reading? Am I more mature and appreciative of literature? Yes, but really, it all comes down to context. I now read and write based on things that interest me.

Another analogy: a new friend from dinner last night said she used to hate eating tofu. It tasted terrible. However, she started restricting her diet, and she needed to explore more food options. One of those options was exploring cooking with tofu. She learned recipes that sounded like they would be good, and through experimenting, she now loves tofu.

Okay, let me add that what also motivates us to do anything is understanding the why. For me, I’ve always wanted to be a thought leader and share stories and lessons with others. The blog and book are great ways to reach larger audiences. For my friend, learning to cook with tofu expanded her dietary options while also cooking with a taste that suited her palate.

We typically “hate” several things, but much of that feeling is based on misunderstanding and misalignment of context and purpose. I suggest finding something hated before and do it in a context that is interesting grounded with purpose. It’ll be interesting how your feelings start to shift to “enjoy” or even “love”.

What do you hate doing, but could use a little shift in context? Why do you hate some of the things you do?

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