Categories
Productivity & Work

How to prevent grit from becoming the grind

We need passion to prevent the grit from becoming a grind.

It might take years to discover what occupation or hobby ignites our interest.

Our intuition tells us if something is there — there’s no need to manufacture a vocation that’s missing a calling.

That hustle muscle

Enthusiasm is an extra muscle. It provides added energy for the road ahead and pushes us forward despite failed results.

Conversely, we don’t like work that feels like work and erodes our lives with it.

We should expect ourselves to do great things without added pressure. Take this advice from author Peter Bregman on finding our most important work.

So instead of worrying about what life is going to be like tomorrow, focus on these three things today. Answer these three questions: Are you working on something meaningful and challenging—something for which you have about a 50 percent chance of succeeding? Are you relating to other people at work or socially—people you like and to whom you feel close? Do you feel recognized for the work you are doing—paid or unpaid? Can you influence decisions and outcomes? If the answer is yes in each case, great. You’ll be motivated. Wherever it’s not, create those opportunities immediately.

Peter Bregman, 18 Minutes
Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Work first, passion second

“Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”

Cal Newport

Passion is something you discover after the work has been done.  You can’t possibly know what you’re passionate about without experimenting first. 

You may have an idea about what you like.  That’s a good start. Now put it into practice and then ask yourself the tough questions:  

  • Are you naturally good at it? If so, are you likely to get bored?  
  • If you’re not a natural, is this something you can get good at with time and patience?  Do you like it enough to persist?

The above questions are essential to discovering whether or not you’re actually enthusiastic about something.  

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. 

Steve Jobs

Passion emerges through a diversity of experiences that allow one to tie it all altogether. A beginner’s mind, an open mind — are essential ingredients to railing against monomaniac passions that keep you in one place.

If you have an idea, test it.  Test it not just to see if it works but also to see if it excites you and if it’s something really worth pursuing.  

I realized why I need to start a new company. Not for the money. Not because I’m ‘bored’. But because a company is a laboratory to try your ideas.  

Derek Sivers

Figuring out what you love to do takes a combination of gut and experimentation.  Like a frog hopping between lilypads, it may take a few jumps before you discover which vocation makes you feel most alive.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Bounce back

Why does every new passion start off with a rush of positive energy and excitement and then die?

Alacrity lives for the short-term. What’s new becomes old. Boredom strikes, a new and superior product emerges that we have to have. We also give up on our passions. The work involved outweighs the sticktuitiveness to achieve it.

Passion is a tricky subject. We can cultivate it through gratitude, but it’ll never reverberate with the enthusiasm it once did. Maybe, it is time to try something new.

gif via Anna Salmi

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Pursue the irrational mind to get what you want

You have to be a little irrational to get what you want. If you’re too practical, you may curb your chances from the start.

The whole point is to at least give the moon at least a shot, not because you’ll achieve exactly to your wishes but because you’ll be motivated to keep pushing forward.

Playing in the NBA is a pipe dream for most of us. But by playing basketball you may acquire the leadership and motivation to move on to coaching or take what you learned and apply it to something else like another sport, job, or side project.

The whole point is to build up enough confidence to take action, to persist a little bit, but also to identify your strengths and see new opportunities. Your job is to find the gaps and build up the courage to fill them in.

You have to be somewhat unrealistic to give anything a go; otherwise, you’ll hesitate and hold back. You’re just shooting to make a point to yourself that anything is possible if you believe in the unbelievable.

It pays to be ignorant.

Categories
Creativity Psychology Quotes

Alan Watts: Your Life is Not a Journey With a Destination

Life is not a journey. A journey assumes an end point. A journey prepares for the future and precludes living and playing in the present.

Life only looks linear because that’s the way it’s been set up. We go from elementary school, high school, college, and then go into the workforce where we get trapped and continue to reduce ourselves to lemmings. Instead of going on a journey with a destination, dance with the moment and enjoy the progress it takes to get there.

“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.”

Alan Watts
Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Corrupted by careerism

Everybody is saying the same thing about finding their passion. They’re just using different words to express it.

“The best philosophers were not academics, but had another job, so their philosophy was not corrupted by careerism.” – Nassim Taleb

“Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.” – Gustave Flaubert

”The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the assignment covers both bases, but not often.” – Hugh MacLeod

In short, there are two types of work:

  • Work that you do for fun
  • Work that pays the bills

You rarely get both.

PS. There’s more on finding your passion in this week’s Philosophy/Productivity section of my newsletter.