What Keeps You Working?
Unlike last week’s question, this is one I do get asked often. Truthfully, I didn’t know how to answer it at first. It took some time and self reflection to figure out, but looking back it seems so obvious now. I work the hours I do because I’m addicted to a feeling. It’s more addictive than any drug I’ve come across. It’s so potent that it can keep me awake for days. I work as hard as I do to chase the feeling of accomplishment I get right before I fall asleep. I love when my last waking thoughts are on the progress I’ve made, or the connections I’ve had. I am an accomplishment junkie. I’m starving to do more.
There is a downside. Like addiction, I’m in pain when I don’t get my fix. I loathe the nights when I’m forced to reflect on a day of leisure and count the wasted hours of not pursuing my goals. Guilt pours over me and if I’m not careful, depression could follow. So, I guess the simplest answer to the question is, I work as hard as I can to avoid the dread.
This is probably not the healthiest relationship with my inner demons, however it’s what works for me. If I ever realize I’m not happy with where I am or who I’m becoming, I’ll double down on work. When I’m working, there’s no time to think about my flaws, missed opportunities, or what life would have been like had I made different choices. I am present in the moment and focused on the task at hand. My Buddhist Nun friend calls this working meditation. I find it calming and centering to concentrate on only what’s in front of me.
I’ll admit to keeping my sights on the future instead of enjoying the journey, at times. I have been building towards this perfect life, one where Hunchback Graphics is operating full time, working with amazing brands, and is able to employ both Dan, myself, as well as a team of other creatives and makers yet to be hired. In this perfect life, I’m able to provide for my family in a way that alleviates them from want, allowing them to explore their passion projects. The only way I know how to get to where I’m trying to go is to work harder, even if that means working on being happy while I am on the journey.
Gary Vaynerchuk (an amazing entrepreneur and all around social media wiz) says it best. “The secret to success is this: work harder. When you think you’ve worked your hardest, go even deeper.” Dudes like Gary Vee and Casey Neistat know that hard work will beat out raw skill every time. Tenacity breeds prosperity. When you hunger for success as badly as I do, the only way to satisfy the cravings is to do more work.