Monday, July 29, 2013

The Payoff Of Doing Homework As A Human Being

"This medium allowed me to engage all of my being." What I dig most about my current job is, I'm able to tap into skills and passions and assets––that had no outlet in the entrepreneurial world––and use them to create value for others. It's like I've been meandering through the world for ten years with a pocketful of plugs, and I just now found a wall with enough working outlets to plug them in. That's the stuff meaning is made of. Working in a space that allows us to make use of everything we are. Having a place where we can become fully alive. And crafting a way to transfer that electricity to everyone around us. If one of our primary goals in life is to make ourselves proud, then this is a proven path to get there. Thanks for the inspiration, Maron.

"It’s hard to be a good listener with that many synapses firing." The opposite of listening isn't talking, it's anticipating. That was always one of my biggest liabilities as a communicator. My brain was so littered with contempt for the past––and plans for the future––that I created disregard for the present. My cognitive decibel level was so high, there was no room left for other people's ideas. Even if they were right. Even if they said exactly what I needed to hear. Even if I literally watched the words come out of their mouths. It was tough to listen with the selfishness knob dialed to eleven. But that was the old model. That was an outdated operating system. As my pronouns start to shift, and as the focus evolves from the me to the we, the mental noise level has started to temper. And I remind myself: Nothing to fear, nothing to prove, nothing to hide, nothing to lose. Thanks for the heads up, Jess.

"A website is good ambient pressure." The smartest sales motivator I ever made was building a calendar feature into my website. It painted me into an accountable corner. It forced me to fill more dates. And it shamed me for not having enough work on the books. Sound like a stressful tactic? It was. But when you don't have a boss, an office or a staff, you sort of have to play tricks on yourself. You have to negotiate these jujitsu moves to keep the shit above shoe level. That's the only way we survive as entrepreneurs. By taking our motivations and tendencies and weaknesses and leveraging them any way we can. Personally, my deepest human cravings were the need for an audience and the addiction to being heard, so I channeled those hungers into my sales process. And wouldn't you know it? The day my website's calendar feature went live, all those little empty squares started filling up quickly. Inspired by my dad.

"The payoff of doing homework as a human being." My number one recurring dream is academic anxiety. It's the end of the semester or the end of the project, and I have nothing to show for myself. No homework. No preparation. No nothing. I've let my team down, my instructor down and myself down. So I freeze. I feel helpless and overwhelmed and short of breath. And just when I start scrambling my way back to conscientiousness, I wake up. God that dream sucks. I can't cope with the idea of not having work to show. It's just not in my nature. Homework is my thing. It's what I do. Plus, nobody else ever does it. Which makes me look good. Stupid dreams. Good looking out, John Mayer.