Why do we do a job we hate instead of something we’re passionate about?
Because we don’t want to trade a salary for a passion that might not pay us anything, it’s only fair to be prudent in a tough economy.
Yet, we could still do something we love in our free-time and monetize on that passion overtime, whatever that is: sky-diving, painting graffitis on the walls or designing fish-tanks.
So why don’t we?
For some mysterious reason, the law of inertia makes us watch Ukrainian videos of losers on the road and read Youtube comment wars instead of creating something we’d be proud to share with the world. We’d rather “like” the FB pics of an amazing sushi cook than learn how to cook sushis. We don’t lack passions, we just forget to put them into practice, meanwhile, our life’s running out.
But creative habits are within our reach, we can totally learn a new language in a year provided we use daily reminders to take action. That’s a very powerful approach.
Here’s a little list of proven ways to pull through. I learned these tricks from others and I use them to keep doing the things I love while having a day job. I suspect these hacks can help someone out there on the internet, hopefully that someone is you.
- Lean on the learning curve: even if you suck at writing right now, you’ll do amazing in 5 years. Trust the process.
- Terrorize yourself : You’re too old to postpone doing what you love, if you don’t learn now, you’ll die before achieving anything you can be proud of.
- Build your own legacy: You’re the only person in the world that can share what you want to share the way you want to share it. Keep it to yourself and nobody will ever know.
- Moon failure: If you’re afraid to fail, remember that even Leonardo Da Vinci scrapped a solid amount of his own work (a lot of his “inventions” simply didn’t work). If he was allowed to fail, so are you.
- Feed on Troll meat: frustrated people will spend time flaming what you do, good news! What their nasty comments really mean is: “You’re doing something that’s worth criticizing”. Don’t let trolls drag you down: feed on them.
- Think about the money: remember that it’s possible to earn an income doing what you like, maybe not millions, maybe not right now, but some money.
- Join a tribe: whatever it is you’re doing, join a group of people who do it better than you. If you play it smart, they won’t mind sharing tips with you (huge time saver).
- Don’t believe the Hype: the first few months writing a blog are extremely exciting (Hype), then publishing a post every week becomes a total drag. Don’t identify with the initial euphoria: keep doing what you do no matter what, it’s true with blogging and pretty much anything else: long term commitments are not sexy but they’re the only ones that can truly change you.
- Don’t believe the Dip either: It’s been 3 years writing and you still didn’t get a book deal? You don’t feel like struggling any longer? You’re in the “Dip”. Don’t quit, that’s when everyone else does. Stick it out.
- Make yourself accountable to yourself: determine clear metrics and deadlines to progress towards your goal (By March 20th, I want to be able to juggle with 3 balls for 30+ seconds).
- Make yourself accountable to the whole world: share your goals with your friends, family and social media friends. It might annoy the hell out of them but now they’re watching: you have to jump.
- Wake Up Early: 5 am if need be. Meaningful stuff gets done before dawn. Learn how to do it and don’t worry about slept debt, once or twice a week reset the counter with a sound night’s sleep if you feel it’s too hard.
- Wake Up Early: Seriously, wake up early and don’t jerk around with the snooze button.
- Don’t commit: Don’t say yes to an invitation at the expense of your creative time. Who cares about your in-laws super-bowl party?
- Ship it: if what you want is to do art, chances are you also want that art to be noticed. Not ready to jump on stage? Do it anyway. Publish pics and videos of your creations. Ideally, do it via a Tumbler blog. Ship your art regularly and build up the muscles of showing up whether you’re successful or not.
- Journal it: Keep track of what you do on a paper or digital format. It’s useful to have concrete reminders of the progress made when you think your art sucks.
- Invest now: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” says the chinese proverb. Start learning calligraphy now.
- Don’t look back: it doesn’t matter if you didn’t seriously play guitar in your teenage years, but it’s a absolute shame if you don’t do it at 40. Don’t focus on your past screw ups.
- Don’t look sideways: Don’t let the spirit of competition ruin yours: maybe your neighbor plays “Redemption song” better than you, but once again he can’t play the way YOU do (and you can’t stand Bob Marley anyway, try Black Sabbath instead).
- Look beyond yourself: if your goal is to help others, you’ll be the one getting something in return. Karma is a paradox but it won’t fail you.
It’s up to us to make a difference and the above tips are only part of what it takes, but just try them, your money back, and please always remember: “You may delay, but time will not.” ~Benjamin Franklin