Through high school and college, I was the master of discipline. Up at 8am, class, work and an hour of fun with friends before hitting the books until 2am. Rinse and repeat. Upon graduation, I lost all that ….partly because I was adrift without a focus and partly because I was tired. The majority of my life with the single purpose of getting out of the Midwest, getting into a good school and a decent job.
Done. Done. Done. Then the cold finger of reality decided to give me a “life prostate check” and I found myself disillusioned with many aspects of my life, but especially my career. Now what?
Fast forward to now and I find myself in a much different situation. I lack the discipline because I fear the results. What happens if I put all my eggs into one basket and I fail? What happens if I find out I am a mediocre designer at best? It fills me with dread and paralysis at times. I sat at my desk last week agonizing over a presentation and honestly scared that I was presenting options the client wouldn’t like. I decided to take a break and order Chinese food — procrastination ala General Tso chicken — and as I cracked open the fortune cookie, the above fortune was waiting for me…..
There are moments when I wholeheartedly believe that the universe, powers that be, whatever you think are cheering me on. How on earth could it be otherwise when you get a fortune that tells you to get off your arse and get back to work? Well that is how I interpreted it. Seriously folks, I can’t make this up and it is a wake up call to me to work hard like I did so long along in college. Hit the mat hard. Proverbially sweat it out every day even when I am tired, a new episode of The Vampire Diaries is calling me and a really good bottle of red wine would hit the spot. Different distractions than I had a decade ago but still the same notion — they keep me from focusing on me being the best I can do in work and life.
So what I may not be the best designer in the world right now. I need to get over myself and start repeating …”but you could be the best if you tried.” And my friends is the true definition of discipline….motivating yourself to be the best you can and changing that internal dialogue into something more. Something positive. Something you want to say out loud.
Who would have thought Chinese food would have such a profound impact on my outlook this week. And to think I almost ordered pizza……
[picture credit: Courtney Lake]