Monday, May 30, 2016

How to Get Away With Grinding | 4 Realizations About Hustling & Life

Like any individual, I’ve been spending my time bumping up and sending out my resume.  (Disdain ever so present to get back into someone else’s career wheel but my own.)  And yet, regardless of the change, I’ve hardened my endeavors here.  When I stepped out to share my passions over three years ago, it was to create a better future.  A future that didn't involve punching another 15 years' worth of time clocks.
But there are things that come with such positions.  Money, ambition, and your personal life turns into a juggling act.  (Though my personal life qualifies as coffee and books, thank you Jesus.)  And it's an act performed between looking for another job and your personal grind.  It’s a sticky position.  It's also a position I’m almost privy to believe not few can relate to, as I feel unaccompanied within mine.  No one I know has attempted to start a blog, YouTube channel, Zazzle store, etc.  So there’s no one I can turn to when my endeavors feel… well… insignificant to my cause.  There's no one to bounce real ideas off of.  To soak in genuine, experience-based encouragement.  As opposed to those water-downed affirming cliches and platitudes the unawares always seem to give.  And give they do, until you realize you've had enough and draw inward for your strength to keep moving.  
So alone you continue to throw the soil, plant the seeds, walk in faith.  And you have to do so in the isolation of believing in yourself.  And that’s where this post leads me to.
These are four things I’ve discovered in the position I’ve just described.  Though it applies to anyone who find resonance with the struggle of grinding out your own path in life.  So, see if you can relate...

Do  not waste my time with drama!
You don’t have the energy to listen to other people’s problems anymore–nor do you want to.  Unless it’s in the spirit of entrepreneurship, ideas, or action-taking plans, you don’t want to hear it.  If it’s not about risks, creativity, fueling ambitions, or personal transformation, you zone out of the conversation.  If it’s not about marketing, blogs, YouTube, web stores, writing, you’ll pass.   

The one caveat is family and friends’ real life issues that is easily discern as in need of your support.  As for routine gossip about people you don’t know or care about (or no longer go to battle for), you’re good where you are.  And you avoid conversations with people who are all talk and no action.  That, in itself, is sucking away your own valuable gusto to continue your fight.  Basically, the people around you better build a real case to draw your attention away from the grind.

What am I suppose to do with this message?
You turn your phone off to avoid throwing it from daily, unhelpful notifications and trivialities.  We’ve all been here.  You can be listening to your playlist as you hunker down on a blog post.  You can be awaiting the chime of an email solidifying partnership toward an up-coming project.  You can even be waiting on that purposive phone call or text that’ll get you onto the next rung of the ladder.  

But when you receive notification after notification of emails and text messages you can’t use, you tend to just turn your phone off.  Or slip it into airplane mode to give yourself a break while you work.  While you preoccupy yourself with your own creative innovations and ideas.  It’s nothing personal, you're just involved with something at the moment.  And who likes getting distracted while watching a tutorial video on optimizing your blog's HTML?  Or what about that webinar you signed up to?  Name ONE person who wouldn't find themselves pissed when someone interrupts to ask you about the weather? 

My advice is this, replace engaging with feckless texting and emailing with dropping comments on other bloggers and YouTube channels in the same arena as you (do it tastefully!).  Sign up for Google Alerts, plug in your interest, and go to town networking.  Share other people's blog posts on social media.  Then sit back and watch traffic return to your material.  Don't get wrapped up in trivial day-to-day distractions when there are people out there like you for you.  And most importantly, people you can engage with trading information.

Sidebar. Regarding watching your emails, learn to unsubscribed to those daily newsletters from the "gurus" you've looked up to in the past.  Especially if you've long stopped opening their mail.  No joke, at one point I was getting six to seven newsletters cluttering my inbox in a single morning.  And all were marketing pumps to sell me a ticket into some event.  So I've learned this during culling down the crowd: the hungrier I get, the more I need one-on-one interaction without a sales pitch.


Should've stayed home to paint.
You become a hermit.  You slug along day after day taking care of minor chores.  Laundry.  Preparing food (if you remember to eat and not substitute a cup of coffee for breakfast).  Cleaning the tub.  Breaking to fill your gas tank.  The dreaded grocery store.  Those are all things you manage to get done, before turning to crack the whip on yourself.  

However, when someone invites you out, you get grouchy.  Then you think you could use the break anyway.  You know, after having kept yourself from sunlight the past week.  But then you weight the event's location, the company/crowd, and who you have the potential of running into.  If you come up un-enthused about all three, you pass.  There's leftover pizza in the refrigerator next to a full bottle of coffee creamer.  You're good.  Besides, you got an article to finish that'll make you a couple of bucks.

But here's something that's really been hammering into me lately.  Even when it comes to hanging out with close family and friends, I've realized just about everything we do is played-out.  And, with a retrospective glance, I've realized everything has been played-out for quite some time and I'm just going through the relationship's motions.  Ever been in those feelings before?  

So you would much rather design and Tweet a new t-shirt line, than go places you went when you were younger and never bought anything then nor now.  Releasing yourself from the status quo is almost the point of your grind.  You see the broadness of the world, and have little interest in the tiny microcosm you grew up or currently live in.  Life is boring without passion and drive, and you don't have plans on being stuck with what life has given you so far.  Feelings be damned.


You can't pay out happiness if you're searching for you own
And last but not least arrives the ultimate realization: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE ELSE’S HAPPINESS!  

You can try to be there to put a smile on another’s face, while your insides are worn out and depleted from your personal struggles.  You can send out validating “good morning” texts every morning.  You can kiss, coddle, and force yourself into a conversation to serve someone else’s contentment and esteem.  But, ultimately, you're locked inside someone's emotional choke-hold.  And it's a choke-hold designed to alleviate their insecurities, though adjacently snuffing you out.  Don't get choked up in another's emotional needs.  It will drain you of life, and of the robust you need to focus.  So if you have to say "no" to people, say "no."  And mean it!  After awhile, you'll get used to saying "no", "no thanks", "not today", "I'll pass," and "I'm busy."  Subsequently, they just may find someone else to mine emotional validation and security out of.  I consider that dodging a bullet.  

Nonetheless, if you can get up in the morning and power drill your way to your goal with ambition in your eyes and a smile on your face, then another person can take the reins of their dreams and do the same.  And when you’re in the thick of the grind, and you have those nights where your tears are uncertain and confused, who is there to carry you into the next day?  YOU!  You’ll always have you.  And if you aren’t right, you really don’t have a whole lot of energy to serve anybody else.  Some may have a problem with it, but that's okay.  You got a vision and only you are responsible for seeing the seeds you've planted come into fruition (you like that?).

I should tell you this as well; when you start to improve yourself by reaching out to your vision, there are people you once knew who are not going to like you.  That's the hard truth.  You've placed something above their relationship with you.  You've re-routed your time and energy out of cultivating a relationship, and into cultivating your vision.  You've disrupted the component you've been in their life.  You've tampered with their definition and standards of the relationship.  And many will crawl into their feelings until something ugly inside of them strikes out at you.  However, I have news: it's not your problem!  No, ma'am.  No, sir.  There's this mysterious thing called "LIFE" happening, and you've got one of your own.  

Nevertheless, the people that really matter are right there in the thick of your grind with you.  And they're the ones you'll go to bat for during theirs.  So when someone begs to have their happiness placed above your grind, RUN!

Let's repeat it anyway: You are not responsible for anyone else's happiness!  And don't you dare apologize for it.
I think, resoundingly, this list is all about harmony and finding synchronicity with others on the same journey as you.  Others with a fire in their eyes and a vision in their hearts.  Others who are hungry, starving in their quest to create the life they want.  To create golden opportunities with dedication behind the wheel.  And while I believe we all have a purpose in our lives, I also believe there are those who find it commonplace not to seek or purse theirs.  That's not your problem, except when they attempt to keep you from yours.  Just keep in mind that your grind is a blessing.  It means you aren't afraid.  It means you got something–no matter how it's done or what it is–going on for yourself.  So pat yourself on the back, dammit.  You're one of the lucky ones. 

Stay on course, and be judicious about your time

(Fantastic gifs from a fantastic show are:

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