I have the technical aptitude, mental fortitude, and capacity to learn a few higher paying skills in my field. I’ve turned them all down. One director was stunned at my no. This is because I realized the work that will inspire me to wake up at 4AM to start my day is not and will never be their work. When you find that work, it’s easy. How do you find that work? Gotta dig deep.
Start with taking any day off.
This day is free from any obligations. You don’t have to justify calling out sick, earning money, or doing anything other than what you want to do. You don’t have to justify the time to anyone or worry about whether you wasted the time.
How would you spend that day?
What if there were a curveball where you had to produce something that day? You could build, fix, or repurpose anything you want. It doesn’t even need to work. It could even be working toward a final product, like brainstorming new ideas.
What would that product be?
Another curveball is that it can’t be too many disparate things. If you want to write, you could do sketches or photography to a lesser degree. Maybe if they relate, otherwise, ideally the focus should be building one particular kind of product.
Final curveball: you have to do it forever.
Maybe not forever. Maybe only a few million or a few hundred thousand times. Ideally, you should be doing it enough to build up your resolve, self-confidence, and motivation to seemingly do it with little effort. Even if it never gets easier to do.
What was your product?
Mine’s writing. There isn’t much money in it for amateurs, so I have to do other work to support myself, and really, to provide good writing fodder. If I already had the money and time, well, I’d waste plenty of that learning the skills.
So I practice when I can.
If that means waking up at 1AM, working a full shift, going to bed, only to write when I’m still too exhausted, then that’s what I’ve gotta do! I can skip a day without writing at my self-imposed pace. More than one means something’s gone wrong.
I couldn’t do this with anything else.
I can’t spend more than 5 minutes trying to understand programming before I receive the most overwhelming, painful, disgusting headaches. Then just as consistently, as soon as I stop trying to figure out even elementary code, the headache leaves.
And so I write.
If you’re still having trouble figuring out what you want to do in life, try this as an experiment: “fast” from entertainment for one week! No television, videogames, Internet, or reading books. Moderate your sleep and food intake. Don’t hang out with friends.
How would you fill that time?
It may be one painful week of self-reflection, doubt, and boredom.
Keep at it until you find your 4AM motivator.
It’ll be the most refreshing alarm clock of your life!
|Sources: My internal motivators.
Inspirations: My thoughts on work, motivation.
Picture: Going with the career theme.