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Remembering Why We Work

Tue, May 3, 2016 | Read in 3 minutes

Oftentimes, as creatives, we get so caught up in our work that we fail to remember the essential things that brought us to this point in our lives in the first place.

Our thoughts just can’t seem to be on pause. We are always wondering what the new updates are on social media. What our favorite bloggers and creative business owners are up to. Who’s e-mails we haven’t replied to yet. It’s all good at the start, but in the middle and in the thick of it all, we sometimes forget why and how we ended up where we are.

We start due to circumstances.

We hate our jobs. We dislike authority. We want to free our time. We don’t believe in the traditional systems invented by society that make us feel like robots. Like dispensable parts of a mechanic whole.

And then we decide to go for it.

We take the risk and plunge into the unknown despite the disapproval of some people we hoped would not disapprove. We go for it anyway, trusting in our creativity and in our beliefs. And for one ecstatic moment of feeling in control of our own lives, we finally become free. Life is not so bad after all.

Then again, the pursuit of dreams requires work.

Work will always be hard and challenging. No matter what field we are in, work will always be work. We still need to put in the hours and the connections, the blog posts and publications, the products, services, and plans. Even though we’ve created an escape route from the common 9-5 hype, we find ourselves working even longer hours until we stare up at the ceiling in exhaustion, unable to find focus and just… floating.

Yes, sometimes, I feel like I’m floating. Like I’m doing what I’ve always wanted but I’m just there… floating through all of my ideas. The images of success and happiness luringly hover in the dazed confines of mind.

It’s so tempting to float all the time. Even while working. To go with every flow. To let all our actions be influenced by our instincts.

But it’s a very dangerous road to travel.

There’s a fine line between choosing to move by instinct and choosing to move by impulse. Instinctive actions are often beneficial for us. Impulsive actions, on the other hand, can be harmful.

We always have a choice.

As free beings, we do have a choice. Our work doesn’t have to feel robotic. Our lives don’t have to feel like it’s constantly afloat. We don’t have to just go where the river takes us. We can take out our paddles and row. Decisively. Strategically. Intentionally.

Daily reminders are important for us to remember where we came from. The situations we were in that catapulted us into who we are now. Daily reminders can be as simple as looking through old social media or blog posts. Visiting childhood photos and memorabilia. Connecting with old friends. Even Facebook’s “A Year Ago” reminders prove to be quite useful. All these things teach us that life is constantly moving.

We have the choice whether to allow life to move us or move life towards what we love doing and what we plan to achieve. If we reach our goals, all the better. But the point of life was never about reaching the end, it was always about the journey.