I found a realization at the bottom of my personal development books and writing podcasts the other day: There is no easy street; the reward for hard work, is harder work.
What do I mean? My whole life, I’ve been working for the moment when things would get easy. In grade school, I worked hard to get into a good university. In University I worked hard to get into a good law school. In law school I worked hard to get a good job. At my job, I work hard to get more responsibility. And in all of these things, I thought the end game was to get to the place where I could finally put it on cruise control and have some damn contentment.
But there is no easy street.
Your reward for all of your hard work, is just harder work. The prize at the bottom of the cereal box is just more cereal. Whatever your path. You start the business; you grow the business; you sell the business; and you start again. You finish the book; you polish the book; you query the book; you sell the book; you publicize he book; and you start again. You hone your craft; you audition like a boss; you get the part of the lifetime; it ends and you start again. The reward at the end of all of these things is harder work. The trick is to get to a point where you love the work that’s consuming you, so that when whatever your doing asks more of you (more time, more money more emotional strength), you don’t begrudge giving it.
So if you’re drowning in work that isn’t feeding your soul just to get to that paradise at the end of over-achievement, beware. Things won’t get easier. Find the thing that feeds you, even if it’s just making a lot of money (no judgment), and put your energy to that. Because otherwise you will burn out. Life isn’t a sprint and it isn’t a marathon. There is no finish line. Life is a treadmill. And if what you’re consuming yourself with isn’t giving more than it takes, you’re going to have to hop off, and it’s hard as hell to get back on.
- Rachel Hollis: I recently read “Girl Wash Your Face” and I spend my weekday mornings listening to her Livestream on Instagram. She’s doing something called #Last90Days, which is a challenge to end the year with the same intentionality we use for our New Year’s Resolutions. It’s peppy. It’s positive. And it’s inspiring as hell.
- Write Along Podcast: The inspiration for this paradigm shift actually came out of left field while I was listening to a new Podcast from David Chen and C. Robert Cargill. They were discussing Cargill’s career (he’s a film critic, novelist, and screenwriter, although there’s more to the bio if you’re a Junk Food Cinema fangirl), and how there aren’t king-makers any more. And that’s when it hit me that all of my writing goals are leading me to a steeper climb. Also, Cargill has that great whiskey voice that’s fabulous to listen to before bed.
- The Ed Mylett Show: Another podcast (I have an addiction). I’ve only listened to the episode from February 1, 2017 and the episode with Rachel Hollis, but his insights are on fire.