One of my Golden Rules of Creativity is Love and Live Your Niche. If you can’t find a passion for, or take some level of joy from, what you’re doing, why are you doing it? I know, the one-word answer is “money”. Too many of us are living at or below the poverty line to consider any motivations other than survival. Satisfaction is having a roof over your head, food in your belly, and no creditors banging on your door.
We want more from our lives than that, right? Something I’ve learned from my homeless friends is that you can put up with a lot if you know there’s a payoff down the line. Some of them pull through the day knowing the shelter will show a movie before lights out. Some live for weekly fellowship meetings, or the chance to talk about sports or politics. Some, sadly, do live for the next chance to drink or get high, which becomes a sad cycle as they muddle through their painful lives with the thought of temporarily escaping their painful lives, with no real escape in sight.
Most of us can put up with the work day for a chance to see friends and family after work. We make it through the week on the promise of the weekend. We make it through the year with dreams of vacations and holidays. Why can’t we think bigger, and learn to put up with the mundane grind knowing that it will lead us toward achieving our goals. Bigger than that, why don’t we align all of our activities so that they lead directly to achieving those goals?
We don’t exercise because it’s fun; we do it because we get satisfaction from being in shape. We don’t change our eating habits because it’s fun; we do it to lose weight and improve out health. We don’t go to school because every class is fuin, we do it because education open up opportunities. The problem is that we live in a culture of immediate gratification. We want it now, and if we can’t have it now, we question whether it’s worth doing. We get what we think is satisfaction, but it’s fleeting and ultimately unfulfilling.
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Yeah, even I groaned at that one, but it’s true. Anything worth having, and anything that will bring you any sort of lasting satisfaction or happiness that you’ll truly appreciate, will require an investment. Don’t settle. You deserve better.