Choosing

Happiness and Creativity

A person is who they are for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being that they are influenced by their inputs. What you consume has a huge influence on what you produce, and being deliberate about your consumption means you will be deliberate about what you create.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I am quitting my day job. One of my objectives for this new journey is to focus on developing my ability to choose happiness over wealth, creativity over recognition.

Happiness and creativity must be kept separate from wealth and recognition, because the former are things you can control, while the latter are not.

To Help Friends

Another part of my journey is to focus on helping loved ones, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

This last weekend, I helped my cousin take a load of garbage to the dump. This wasn’t just any garbage. This was disgusting mattresses and moldy carpet covered in cat piss.

But, I didn’t mind doing it. In fact, I kind of enjoyed doing it, because it felt good to help him. Afterward, I felt energized to do more.

That being said, this new adventure may take me to dire straits at some point down the road, but having friends to lean on is a comforting thought.

The takeaway for me is this: I should expect to ask for help at some point down the road, without expecting to receive it.

Future Prospects

I am becoming increasingly of the mind that I never want to go to another job interview again. However, this may just mean I need to shift my perspective about possible job interviews in the future.

The thing is, I’ve always approached job interviews from a place of scarcity and desperation, which makes me nervous and anxious. This is now how I wish to show up in the world. I want to get to a place where an interview means I am the one interviewing the company.

I don’t want to see if I’m a good fit for them; I want to see if they are a good fit for me.

While the thought of being an employee again grows less and less attractive, I am aware of the possibility that I may end up hating self-employment. If that ends up being the case, I’ll need to be sure that my next job search yields a beneficial outcome.

A job is an input. It takes up space in your brain. If that’s the case, I want to be deliberate about which jobs I allows into my life.

The same could be said for my relationships.

Solitude

Both writing and spending time in nature are activities of solitude. The different is that one is output, and one is input.

I’ve been listening to “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport on Audible. One of the key purposes of practicing digital minimalism is to re-claim solitude.

Solitude allows us to think our own thoughts, free from input from others.

Part of the problem with social media is that it robs one of solitude if they spend too much time on it. This is a result of not being deliberate about inputs.

Final Question

Today, have you:

  • Helped someone else?
  • Spent quality time with your loved ones?
  • Spent time in nature?

Time Has Value, Too

At the beginning of the month, I’m quitting my day job to become a full time creative. This is a long time coming. I don’t know what’s in store for me, but at this point, I feel like it’s the right decision. The way I spend my time is important, and my day job takes away from what I could be doing.

Of course, now I won’t have a regular income. So, what am I going to do about that? 

For starters, I have been saving up for a while, so I have a buffer. My finances will definitely be taken into consideration whenever I make an important decision about my time. But that won’t be the only consideration, nor will it be at the top of the list. Money can’t be the only thing that guides my decisions. I realize that there will be a significant amount of time in which I will be making little to no money at all. That’s okay.

I’ve reached a point in my life where my time is more valuable than money.

If I fall below a certain threshold in my bank account, that’s how I’ll know it’s time to start looking for another day job. 

However, in the meantime, my primary focus will be on sharpening the tool set, refining my skills, learning new things, and spending time with the ones I love.

I don’t quite have a concrete plan set in motion. I have a somewhat vague direction I’m heading in and a few projects I will focus on, with the hope that one of them may one day bring in some amount of revenue. I realize this is a bit of a gamble, but like I said, if my bank account falls below a certain threshold, I’ll get another day job, and I’ll be in pretty much the same place I am now…except for the key difference that my skills will be a lot sharper. 

And maybe I’ll even get a gig that I somewhat enjoy and am good at.

Anyway, I’m not super concerned about that yet.

The possibilities are endless at this point. I’m just going to move forward, and try to optimize my time.

I want to see how far I can take these projects, and no time like the present.

I anticipate a rough journey, but at least I have goals to aim for.

And I have people to support me, so I’m not alone.

I’m just giving my creativity the chance I’ve never really been able to before. My day jobs have always used up too much of my time, not to mention physical and mental energy, so my creativity has always been left with the scraps.

I know the day job isn’t the only thing to blame. The other key problem was that I was never disciplined enough to develop routines for my creativity…until I started writing, that is.

But, now that I have, I see how important my time is. If I don’t spend the time doing the thing, the thing won’t get done.

So, that’s where I’m at this week.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this:

Is your time more valuable than money?

Your Environment Affects Your Life

Earlier this week, I noticed I started playing video games in the morning. This is not something I ever used to do on weekdays. Before I moved into the tiny house, I read actual books during breakfast. After I moved, my new environment made it a little awkward to eat and read at the same time, so I’d listen to an audio book or podcast with breakfast.

Then, I moved my computer up to the loft. This is where my bed, TV and video games are. Now that I have everything in one place, more of my time is spent here. Naturally, my eating routines moved up to the loft along with my computer. Since I eat breakfast while playing video games on the weekends, my brain associated the two things and I just wanted to do it. So I did.

The good news is that I was cognizant of these things. I’ve been a lot more aware of my habits and routines recently, which makes it easier to determine where I am, what I’m doing, where my behavior needs to be fixed. I found it interesting how significantly my actions changed because of a small change in my environment.

This morning, I chose to read instead of play video games.

Writing to Solve a Problem

One of the reasons I write every day is to work things out in my mind. When I write down my thoughts about certain subjects as they come to me, it helps me look at things in a new light, and arrive at different conclusions than I might have otherwise.

For instance, I’ve been thinking about quitting my day job for a while now, and yesterday I had more thoughts about it. I’ve managed to move into a remote position, which has vastly improved my quality of life. However, I still have days where I throw my hands up and tell myself I don’t want to do this anymore.

So, I spent about an hour or so writing out my feelings, and soon I was breaking down each of my worries, coming up with solutions to each one, and creating a plan for my next steps.

The conclusion I arrived at is that things won’t be as bad as I imagine they’ll be if I quit. I have enough saved up to last me quite a while. I know that I will quit, I just haven’t decided on the date that will actually happen, though. I’m still working things out. But, I’ve realized that if I continue writing my feelings on the subject, eventually it will lead to further action.

All that to say, writing is great for dissecting and analyzing your thoughts.

Work that shit out.

Paying attention to my lifeline

Social Media Detox Project: Day 19

I am exploring self-employment, which is like submerging into a mysterious abyss. As I dive deeper, I’ll discover all sorts of new and interesting treasures, wildlife and other people who live here. My entire worldview is shifting.

But I am just visiting, and I can’t venture too deep just yet.

Currently, my day job is my lifeline. As I continue exploring, I have to pay enough attention to it so that it doesn’t snap.

But if I spend enough time down here I will adapt; I will find other lifelines.

Then maybe I’ll be able to survive on my own.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Blog writing

Exercise

Something I Read Today

“If you’re not proud of what you actually do, perhaps you can explore doing something else instead.” –from Seth’s Blog: “Say What You Want” by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

That George Washington suffered more defeats than any other General at the time of the American Revolution.