There’s a certain satisfaction in achieving better in life. You have some situation that’s good enough, but maybe something is terrible about it. Work, money, people, life, or anything, really. When that better thing hits you, you can tell: yes! Part of it, for me, is when I remember that I earned it through all my hardships. The other part is the person I was five years ago couldn’t have achieved this, and that’s OK!
We are all at different levels.
I am not a fantastic writer, but I knucklehead my way through it, so I am more likely to get in a good short story or sentence or phrasing just by sheer volume of work. Others have more talent. I gain more opportunities because even now, I could be exploring this city aimlessly, but instead, I focus my mind and thumb on typing out some words.
Every letter is a step closer to the dream.
Even with new opportunities, I want more. I have the vision in my head for my home office, “Zeal,” so clear in my head I can draw it out from memory. It’s got everything I need, all the space I could want, and I can do anything I want in there. Complete autonomy. Just me and the work.
Until then, I progress.
Shed what is unessential. Learn from everyone. The people with just a nice platitude to relay to you act with their best self. The people that cheer you on. Your proximity friends. These small forces are the ones that should come rushing in during our most trying times. The times when we stand up against what we don’t believe in to fight for what we do.
The ability to ask for better.
Better what? If you’re content with life’s pain points, why? Is it a comfortable friction? Why leave that pain point unattended? For fear that pain point much worse will happen? If so, so what? Gamble the safe bets! You don’t need to gamble it all, or even an uncomfortable amount.
Gamble what you’re willing to lose.
I don’t understand, and still don’t understand having written the above over a year ago, the notion of people wanting to keep what’s only decent enough in their life. Why would you be alright with something mediocre, but annoying? For example, the job I’m working now is acceptable enough. It’s nothing fancy. But it gives me a steady paycheck and plenty of downtime.
I don’t need much better right now.
Some people think I’m crazy for not wanting to advance in the company or in other companies, but I’ve already done all of that. I’ve already done the craziest, most complicated, and most crucial work in my field. “Everything I studied in college is outdated.” That’s how much I’ve done over the years. Now, I just want an easy job for a while.
Ideally, I’d like to leave the company for my publishing business.
That won’t be until after I write the second novel, and get the business started then profitable, which probably won’t be for another year at the minimum. Meanwhile, if I can do a job like this where I have enough time to write when it’s not busy, then I can’t get much better. I write about this and advertise this freely almost for temptation’s purposes, but if I get fired for my employer finding these essays and deciding they don’t like this, then I’ll just find another job until I can get that publishing business off the ground.
I am far enough into this career that I don’t need much better.
Let’s say that I were terrible at my fiction and didn’t enjoy it at all, then, yeah, I should probably want to advance myself within my career’s scope. I should hunker down, really hunker down, to learn the latest technology to possibly almost double my income. Not likely, but it’s possible. For most people, that would be their better, but for me, that would be regression. I, personally, am not too fond of Corporate America and all of its bullshit. When people are rude to you and you have to respond with a smile, well, that just ain’t me.
But it is me until I get my business started.
To get there, I have to clear out all of my old drafts, all of my unwanted possessions, and shed all of my unessentials. If the essay isn’t something I can jam on over the next week or two, then I’ll get rid of it. No point letting that dead weight keep you down. Once that’s all done, then I can focus on what I need to do next: clear out old computers, then old media, then old miscellanea until tax season rolls around.
Then after that, May through August will be even better.
That’s when I’ll write the second novel, where I’ll have most of my free time available for that, but I’ll build in self-care buffer time, too, so I’m not pressing on ahead at such a pace where if any sort of resume-generating event or life-changing event happens, I won’t be debilitated. I’ve learned my lesson from the headaches I got while and after writing the first novel, whether related or not, I won’t let them control me more than I have to, which is the same for everything that is “not good” or merely “good enough.”
Only let your quest for “better” control your vision.
I don’t want to live a mediocre life where I can’t do what I want, or am limited in the number of days in which I can pursue my own life. I’m not a big fan of working a dedicated 40 hours per week, 5 days a week, with only 2 days off per week to recover, then mix and repeat for 40 more years. If there’s anything I can do to create a better lifestyle for myself, then I’ll do everything I can to achieve it.
Until then, I work a good enough 9-to-5.
|Quotes:  Good thing I learned about processes and schemas rather than specific technology jargon.|
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Clearing out my backlog of half-written essays. My perspective on life, broadly, has remained the same, but specifically has changed since I wrote the first part. Now I see “Zeal” as more of any place where I can write. I am writing this at my desk at my current gig. This isn’t my “Zeal,” but it’s a good enough “Zeal” for now. A better “Zeal” would be one more independent, but, I have to get there.|
|Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.|
|Photo: A random photo from my backlog.|
|Written On: 2018 September 24 [Unknown number of minutes. From start “game what you’re willing to lose. I don’t-” and this is both a radical change in my writing style in the upbeat to downbeat change and my direct call-out. I had fun collaborating with my past self like that…] —- 30 December 2019 [15 minutes. From 1:49am to “which probably won’t be for another year at the minimum” at 1:54am. From 2:06am to 2:16am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 January 01 [Possible edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress. Would this be the second draft, then?]|