So I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation.
As I’ve written here, the past few weeks have been generally good, though in the back of my mind I’ve continued to feel a bit unsettled.
I spent a substantial part of the last year trying to figure out how to generate an income stream from things that I create. I also set goals for 2018 that primarily revolved around that principle. And now, less than a quarter of the way through the year, I’ve decided to just work for other people? And that’s okay?
One of the things that I have learned and appreciated the most in the past year is that a willingness to be open to change is an incredibly powerful tool—one that can substantially change your priorities and possibly even your course though life. So from that perspective, deciding to just put passive income projects aside for a bit fits my own internal narrative that I should be comfortable listening to my gut about what it wants to do, and changing my priorities and plans is a good thing.
On the other hand, I can’t help this nagging question in the back of my head. Why? Why have my priorities changed?
The answer that I’m afraid might be true (ironically) is that the reason is fear.
Fear that I will produce things the world won’t care about.
Fear that I’m not good enough.
Fear that I will fail.
It would be very easy to take fear—apply a tiny amount of mental kung-fu—and turn it into a rationalization that you are actually just making the choices that make you happy. And then you could spend your whole life feeling like you made the right decisions, when really it was fear that was holding you back.
In his motivational classic, “The War of Art”, Steven Pressfield calls this fear The Resistance, and describes the primary job of any creator as just showing up and trying to fight through it. It’s one of the books that motivated me to leave my job a year ago, and do—whatever it is I’ve done—since then.
So am I being defeated by the resistance? Or am I just correctly choosing to do the things that make me happy? And how do I even find out the answer to that?
That’s what’s been on my mind this week.
I don’t have any answers yet, but the question feels like a start.
Did I enjoy the week?
Yep. But maybe that’s not the right question…
Am I happy with how I spent my time?
It was another Dimagi/contracting heavy week, and if you’ve read this far you can guess that I’m starting to question whether this is actually the right path for me, despite it being enjoyable for the most part.
Thankfully, I’m also continuing to make the most of the Cape Town outdoors scene which does wonders for my physical and mental health.
What’s up next?
I’d like to spend at least 25% of my time back on self-driven work. I’m not sure what that will look like yet—and it might be a fair amount of sitting and reflecting on what I actually want (an activity that always feels useless, but occasionally can be transformative).
The remaining 75% will be more of the same.