You may remember as a child (or more recently while raising a child) the convenient and multipurpose answer “But I don’t WANT to”. Although it may seem an unsatisfactory reply as an adult, is it? Many years ago, I had a simple conversation that helped shape a lot of my general work attitude. I was talking to a friend who was making a steady income as a graphic designer. I asked them how they were doing. “I’m having a shitty day” they said. “Have a bad meeting with a client?” I asked. “Nah, just having a shitty day” they replied. This made me raise an eyebrow, cock my head, and make a perplexed puppydog face. This is the first question I’ve always asked myself as a self-employed person if I catch myself claiming I’m having a bad day. On the very rare occasion that I catch myself making this claim, I have to laugh out loud and say “Well, I wonder whose fault THAT is”, and then get back to work with a smile.
This came up recently in one of the regular meetings I have with Nick. We had a few weeks where things were feeling bogged down by some mundane stuff, and some of the usual buzz we get from our work was absent. While it’s simply the nature of almost anything in life that it will become a little routine, if you let something get to the point that it feels like drudgery, you’re probably doing it wrong. ESPECIALLY if you’re the one who initiated the venture; I mean, why the hell would you create an activity for yourself that you DREAD? Nick and I discussed the humor in this, and it inspired us to have a quick conversation to remind ourselves why were doing what we’re doing. And after a quick review of our recent “analysis paralysis”, we were right back in a positive space, getting focused on the cool stuff, the stuff that makes our work rewarding, and inspired us to start the darn stuff in the first place.
This is all actually related to the very first chapter of the book, the chapter called “Quit”, but it’s a question worth asking yourself at least once a day if you have to. Do you really want to be doing whatever it is that you’re doing? If not, then WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IT? If you’re a moron and can’t identify the obvious exceptions like parenting, you probably shouldn’t even be reading this, so go away. But otherwise, why kid yourself that you’re not expendable at your workplace, or that you probably couldn’t get a better job or partner. Or that you’re not worth it somehow. That’s just your Shoulder Devil talking. Take the duct tape off your Shoulder Angel’s mouth for once. It just may be screaming “YOU DON’T GOTTA DO IT IF YOU DON’T WANNA”.