Be offended

I want to do work that I am proud enough to sign my name next to – that I am going to be offended and genuinely upset if it does not work out. Is that a weird benchmark?

I feel like we spend so much of our lives hedging. Especially nowadays. We spend so much of our lives preparing for the future. Of setting ourselves up. Of buying optionality. That we just live in the moment anxiously. Is that really living?

We want all of the money in the world. So that one day we can go on vacation. And do what? Do we think that once we have it all we will be able to just go and sit on vacation and be present?

Perhaps we think that – but I do not think that is reality.

At least not for me. I feel lucky. I do not have to worry about survival money. I never REALLY have. I mean I have had to work. And I was not given money to like live really. But I’ve never been fearful of starvation. I’ve never worried about not being able to pay rent really. So yes that’s lucky.

And beyond that I have enough money to be able to do things that a lot of people can’t do. And I’m grateful and proud of being able to afford life.

But I know that this is only one metric of progress. Because my ability to focus and be present. That part of my bank account is lower than I’d like. My ability to enjoy without worrying. My ability to not think about the future. My ability to actually live. Like is that my measure of progress? Perhaps more so than money that is what I actually care about.

Anyways the above is a tangent from the point I started with. Which is that I want to do work that I can actually sign my name on. But it’s scary! Like I want the ability to lose so that I have the ability to win. I want to take that leap of faith. But I have spent so much of my energy afraid to take the leap. So much of my energy hedging. Of building the portfolio. Of buying optionality.

I always used to hear that argument in college, and I always thought it was silly. People would be like I’m going to do this job so I can then get this job so I can then get this job etc. etc.

Why not just do the last one? Why not jump to the main event?

I ask that question and yet I find myself waiting. Myself, too, not sure what my life’s work should be. And so I distract myself with motion. I think I’m getting things done. I think I’m making some semblance of progress. But I know this is wrong. I know I am barely thinking. I am just following the wind. The system of sorts. I am just floating.

And floating works. Works to the extent that I make lots of motion. I mean I can really ramp up the motion. I can especially convince others of my motion.

But I know. I know this energy is for what. Speed is not velocity. Direction matters. And I know that if I’m not geared up to do work that actually matters, I wont. I know that the default state for me is not hard work. It’s not the hard thing it’s the easy thing. The easy thing is not the low lift thing. It’s just the natural thing.

And what I crave at least in theory is doing great things. Great work. Work I can be genuinely proud of. That’s an output though. The inputs are what I can control. And i know that right now I’m not doing them well. I know that. I feel that. My body knows that. And so that’s the quest I’m on in my heart. To find and do great work. It’s already in me, I know that, too.

I want to do work that I care so much about that I am genuinely offended when it fails. No hedging.


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