Breakthroughs Are Bullshit


I’ve had a lot of people ask me about “revelations” or “a-ha moments” or “breakthroughs” in regards to travel, business, and life.

I talked about this with Baker last year but it’s time for a refresher.

If we set out to do anything with the intention of looking for a breakthrough you know what happens? We don’t enjoy the process. And worse, we end up disappointed when the breakthrough we were looking for doesn’t happen.

So let me rephrase: breakthroughs are not bullshit. Searching, waiting, wishing, and hoping for breakthroughs is bullshit.

A lot of us get caught up in this trap.

I liken waiting for a breakthrough to playing the lottery. Yeah, it could happen. But I like to make things happen instead of leaving things up to chance.

You want breakthroughs?


  1. Stop watching TV.
  2. Stop reading the news.
  3. Stop reading blogs.
  4. Stop being like everyone else.
  5. Do something out of this world.

I get a lot of e-mails, most of which fall into 2 camps.

Camp #1: Sob stories and excuses.

Listen, we all have problems. Every single person in the world has 84 problems. (Contrary to what Ice T and Jay Z tell us.)

I know life can suck. I’ve been there. But you know what? Talking about it, complaining about it, and tell people about it does nothing for you. It magnifies your problems and makes you feel even worse.

Camp #2:  Action plans and epic shit.

A great example of action plans and epic shit is happening right now. Satya Colombo e-mailed me about a month ago asking if I’d be involved in something he put together called the Freedom Business Summit. 12 entrepreneurs sharing their philosophies and strategies for success.

I had never heard of or spoken to Satya before. Not a single interaction that I can remember.

Yet I immediately said “Yes, I’d be happy to be a part of it.”

So did Chris Guillebeau, Danielle LaPorte, Leo Babauta, Everett Bogue, Gwen Bell, Corbett Barr, Tammy Strobel, Johnny B. Truant, Mark Silver, Charlie Gilkey, and Mary Jaksch.

He got all of those amazing people together because instead of dreaming, complaining, making excuses, or waiting for a breakthrough Satya took action. He looked rejection in the face and told it to piss off.

I want you to do the same.

Although you might not know it or feel it right now, you have my full support to blow people’s minds. :)


  1. Awesome words.

    Success comes when you are prepared (no tv, practicing your craft) and when you are paying attention so that you notice an opportunity when it walks in the room.

  2. Karol, I luv your inspirational punches in the face – they feel sooo good.
    Yeah – it’s all about doing instead of thinking your way to death.
    You either have a result, or you have an excuse.

    Officially blowing people’s minds now :)

  3. Hell yeah Karol. Just in the past week, when I’ve told people about quitting my day job, I’ve had three or four people say “gee I wish I could do that but I can’t because “. My answer is always the same “Then do it.”

    I’ve really been pondering that post Sean Ogle did last week about effort (“The Real Secret About Going from Good to Great”) and it’s very true. And your post helps me realize I’m guilty of not thinking big enough, often enough.

  4. I love the way you and Everett Bogue can kick me in the butt with a post and I end up feeling better about myself because of it ;) I started blogging at the beginning of October with this attitude…If I wait til I learn everything about blogging, I’ll never actually start the blog. So I started the blog, and I make an effort to learn something new about WordPress every time I post. It’s working great, and I’m getting some nice feedback from readers!

    I love breakthroughs…but my best ones are always the ones that hit me sideways.

  5. Whaa? You mean you DIDN’T want me sobbing and puling on your shoulder??? How could I have been so wrong??? ;D

    Seriously, Karol, this is a great post, short, sweet, sharp, to the point. Satya is to be admired.

    And Mars–you’re good, you know you’re good!

    I am officially stopping thinking things to death now. Write more, brood less!

  6. Great post, Karol! I like to think of this as, stop whining and start doing! We all can fall into a trap of whining and complaining, but it really does nothing but drag you down further (and sometimes take others with you). I sometimes fall into this, but I try not to, of course. :-) Thanks for the post!

    • Agreed, Cynthia! I’ve always thought of whining like throwing up…I have a journal page on my laptop reserved for verbal throwing up, so I can whine about stuff, get it out of my system, feel better, then hit the delete button a couple days later. It works great, and no one else needs to suffer thru my whining.

  7. Dude — you rock. Getting the balls to ask you and everyone else on here to join was pretty fuckin’ scary, but believing in myself enough to pull through the resistance and get it done was even harder. Still fighting every day! The greatest victories come from the hardest won battles…

    I’m rooting for everyone who has a dream to get out there and make it happen no matter what the odds. Thanks so much for all the inspiration and ass-kicking Karol. Really grateful.

    • Hey Satya,

      Man you are badass! That’s all I’m gunna say.
      Actually, that’s not all I’m gunna say. It’s really cool to see someone take a leap and do something BIG like you’re doing!!! I mean, babysteps are great n all, but damn taking leaps is so much more fun and exciting.
      I’ll definitely be taking a look at this.
      Gracias por la inspiracion!
      – LAUREN :)

      • Thank you Lauren so much – really cool to hear that from you, it’s been an adventure for sure…!

        (p.s. in answer to your other comment — I have Argentinean family, so I think you were channeling some deep shit ! :) —
        “Hasta LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!”

  8. What you are saying true, you can’t wait for opportunity to knox, you have to pursuit, digging, scratching, fight for it and with high spirit.Thx for the motivation.This is great stuff

  9. Whining keeps you from taking responsibility & moving forward (plus it annoys the crap out of everyone around you). Dale Carnegie said, “Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.”

    The only thing stopping me from accomplishing my goals is ME. It’s time to get out of my own way. :) Your posts always seem to be just what I need, thanks again!

  10. “He looked rejection in the face and told it to piss off.”

    that’s what I’m talkin about!

    So many people get stuck in the ‘what-ifs’ trying to avoid rejection… and they’re probably the same people that have those sob stories. What’s crazy to think about is that it takes the same amount of time to compose a sob story email as it does to compose one that contains a step in your action plan.

  11. Hey Karol!

    What’s fascinating about breakthroughs is that inherently, a “breakthrough” is best when it comes a bit unexpectedly… like the best kind of breakthrough is the one that comes as a side effect of what you were out busy doing. or it can just come unexpectedly… but that’s always the ultimate breakthrough experience… one I wasn’t expecting to have.

    So, yes… I’m echoing the other people here and have copied the sentence “He looked rejection in the face and told it to piss off”, and posted it to my wall (like my real wall at our apartment here in Auckland, not my Facebook wall).

    It’s a good reminder to not get bogged down in things and to just go and get the right things done.



  12. I can’t tell you how much this post was needed today…or I should say the last couple days. I am not going to spend another minute on how my plans have been altered (I don’t like things changing) but I am going to make another dream come true!!! Yes I CAN. Totally going to check out Satya’s project, very cool. I might also add some pink or purple to my hair just to keep me sain. lol No more complaining or thinking about the bad…only focusing on the good. Thanks for keepin me in check!

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