Many of us grew up with the belief that hard work is good, but no one ever mentioned that it should be the right kind of work. It’s more like “keep your nose to the grindstone” and don’t question the situation.
All I ever did growing up was questioning my situation. When I was about nineteen I decided I wanted to be an artist. The hard work factor had not kicked in yet, so I gave up too soon when I failed to get into a prestigious art school. Also, people were always saying that you can’t make any money as an artist.
My dilemma was that I did not see a single career on the list of possible careers that I liked. It was horrible. The only one I could possibly get excited about was art therapist, but my math was weak in highschool so I could not get accepted into the education I needed.
I spent my twenties working all kinds of jobs, and that was sort of fun in that I learned a lot. There were some things I hated and have always hated:
Getting up to an alarm clock
The 9-5 grind
The soul killing monotony of my days and no end in sight.
Next to no vacation, and then not enough money to do anything exciting.
Bosses who were jerks.
It was the Gulag of life, a life-long sentence, and I hated every day of that. I did learn to work hard though, and be dependable. I met some nice people along the way.
In my youth I just upped and left when I’d had enough of the grind. I did some fun things like bicycling across the country and hitchhiking around Europe with NO money. Those are nice memories, but my parents called me irresponsible. I think I was more desperate to find some meaning.
I found meaning in spiritual awakening, but that will be another post.
My passion finally ignited when I realized I could be a writer and make money at it. I was thirty years old. I started writing fiction and didn’t end until my writing career crashed while I was rehabilitating a knee injury many years later. It wasn’t fun. Over the years I developed an ironclad discipline. (By the way, there is nothing like writing to hone your discipline.) My writing career has crashed three times, and I had to pick up other major skills along the way.
I also returned big time to my art passion. It has run like a red thread through my entire life. That is where I should have focused my energy all along.
The point of this post? Find what really excites you in life and work hard at it. Use your discipline to keep pushing through when things aren’t going right, and there will be many days like that, most of the days in fact. Never give up. Keep working at it when there is no sign of success in sight. Don’t listen to others, listen to your heart. Your passion is a sign from the universe that you’re on the right path.
There are many many examples in history of people who worked themselves to the bone to launch wacky inventions into the world. One of the most famous is probably the flying machine. The Wright brothers must have been some kind of good crazy!
Why not you? What is your good crazy? You have it in you, and only you can launch it into the world.
Then “nose to the grindstone” finally has a meaning that makes sense!
P.S. I have some crazy cool ecourses you can check out HERE.