Time for a spot of self-honesty

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Original Post date: 05 November 2015

 

I don’t like web development that much, and don’t want to do it anymore.

I’ve spent probably the last seven or eight years telling myself that it would be cool to be a web designer. Or if I got really good at it, I could get into development and create online software that would help people do X,Y, and Z. I’ve worked freelance a little, tried joining a startup run by one of my best friends (nearly wrecking our relationship in the process), and have taken on a project in my “fringe time” at work.

Every time I fall into the same pattern. The project sounds cool at the beginning, and then I get to the point where I don’t even want to turn on my computer to avoid looking at the thing.

People tell me to stick it out. “The next project will be better,” or “your next client won’t be so annoying.” And of course, work is work, right? It’s not supposed to be fun or else it’d have a different name. I’ve felt so guilty about flaking on projects and having to drag my feet to get even the bare minimum results for my clients.

Yesterday morning I had one of those light bulb moments: this isn’t what I want to do with my life.

I have one ongoing project that is set to launch next month, it’s been dragging on much too long as it is. Once that’s launched, I’m done.

Most people who know me or have worked with me on any web projects would probably tell you that this day is long over due. But why did I keep dragging on? The answer was simple, and seemed to make sense when I had formed it in my mind. The lifestyle seemed cool; working out of Starbucks, I could work from anywhere in the world for international clients. It was freedom in my mind. But more influential on my decision to keep going was that it seemed a possible, and even likely career shift if only I applied myself and worked hard at it. I know people who are living that lifestyle, I could see it in front of me, I could experience it for brief moments. I could taste it.

But here’s the kicker, my light bulb, I never once woke up and said to myself “hell yeah, I’m pumped to work today!”

I’ve been reading over and over again about the power of “No” and it finally hit home yesterday in Tim Ferriss‘ newsletter where he talked about a post from Derek Silvers about decisions being either “hell yeah!” or “no.”
… Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? …

OK anyways, you can check out the post here. which is from all the way back in 2009. Talk about being ahead of the curve..

The post is really directed at “busy” people, but substitute “busy” for “bored” and the same applies. After a lot of thought, I realized that I’ve said “hell yeah!” exactly zero times in the last five years. That’s a goose egg.

Here’s the big catch; when most of us think about careers and jobs and lifestyles that make us think “hell yeah! — I want to do that!” Those things seem impossible. Out of reach. I can’t speak for everyone, but for everyone that I know this is true, including myself.

So how do we make the impossible possible? When I figure that out I’ll let you know. But one thing’s for sure, if we waste time puttering around with “kinda cool” stuff that we probably don’t really like that much, then we’ll never have time to get close to the “hell yeah!” stuff and it’ll always be out of reach.

This blog has become about my journey from “uninspired and bored” to “hell yeah!” If I’m successful then you might be reading this now, if not, then you probably never will. I hope the former is true because if I can do it; you can too.

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