I listen to quite a few podcasts about motivation and getting over the hurdles of life. I also listen to self-help and motivation books on Audible.
There’s one thing that only a few of them have said that makes me think.
There are some people who are perfectly okay with being ordinary. With not pushing themselves to their limits and not trying to get a book published, be an actor, painter, or any number of other creative pursuits.
This baffles me. But as I work harder than I ever have on my writing, I’m beginning to understand their reasons. I look back on my own life as reference.
I didn’t start really writing until 2001. I use that year as reference because I went to Washington D.C. for a poetry convention. It wasn’t that impressive.
But I went because I’d always written and some times the words were good. I wanted to make a mark on the world. I wanted my life to matter, not just to my family but others.
This led me down a rabbit hole.
I wondered why am I trying to improve myself? Why is no one else really trying to do this?
I thought there was either something wrong with myself or others. But it’s more about what motivates me than there being something wrong with others.
For a long time I found no motivation. There were many reasons for this.
I hated my job, my life, and all that it entailed. I loved my wife and kids, but wanted something more than a 9-5 lifestyle. Something more than just getting by.
I wrote my first novel in 2004, just before my son was born. I’ve written nine others since then. I’ve queried two of them(one is still out).
When I say I hated my life, that may need explaining. I went to work, but hated being there. Hated the atmosphere and there were many times I was quite depressed.
Five years ago my wife and I moved from our house to our childhood city. The move and figuring everything out that came afterward was difficult. We managed though.
Today, I have all the time in world to write. I look around at people just going about their day and still wonder, why am I trying so hard?
There is only one answer.
We are born differently.
While some of us strive to improve ourselves, others are happy with the way they are. Sure, they may do something small on the side. Take a few classes, but more often than not, they’re only doing it so they can prove someone wrong.
I started out that way. I wanted to prove my biological father wrong. I wanted that so bad. In the end it became anger and rage. Which is never healthy. Which is why I’m sober.
I no longer care what he or anyone else thinks about me. I work at this because I enjoy it and I think–though my work ethic sucks sometimes–I’m good at it.
We don’t all have that drive to be better just for the sake of being better. Some of us are fine with a 9-5. That doesn’t make them bad people or lazy, it just makes them different.
I work hard at this because I never wanted to be normal or ordinary. I don’t want to live a 9-5 life. I want to see the world, do things other only dream about, but are too afraid of the effort it would take.
I know that because I used to feel that way. I didn’t want to put in the effort required. Today I feel differently.
I have a lot to do this year. There are goals written down, others are on my white board.
I hope you have great weekend and whether you’re trying to get better or are okay with the way your life is, either is okay. You be the person you want to be. Don’t let me or anyone on the internet tell you who you are and what you can or can’t do.
Get after it.
I can relate to this! Being an achiever doesn’t necessarily make me a type-A personality, but it definitely makes it hard for me to relax and enjoy success whenever it happens. I’ve learned a lot over the years, but it’s super easy for me to fall back into my old ways.
I’m there with you. Success is hard to deal with in any form. If you’re not ready for it mentally it can wreck you. I work hard to stay out of my old ways and keep working. Keep going!
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