It was the night before Christmas …well a year ago …more or less!
The month continues to race forward mercilessly, a week to go (today being the 18th , now the 20th !), and the story remains the same , another week passed and more of the same old same old … (I couldn’t help myself ! Sorry 😊 )
Yes indeed, the tribe has spoken!
The old body has certainly NOT being playing along this week, my hands feel like two balloons …hey a Pink Floyd hint …lets go!
Well at least some good Led Zeppelin in there!
I do hope feeling returns soon although the lower temperatures, both inside and outside may be playing a part. Of course, it could also just be decaying nerve signals – not the preferred reason. The constant nerve pain…(No I”m not …) it’s getting on my nerves !!!
And so it has been a grit the teeth and push forward type of week – just another.
Looking for motivation to keep plodding is always the highest on my agenda, but sometimes (just sometimes) it’s a losing battle. Then I always have the music !
Reading is an answer – and of course the music. I came across this from Joshua Johnson! He has a blog via his website http://www.joshuagraphic.com, Thought I would share.
My father was an amazing man. I’m sure most sons think that about their fathers, but it’s a belief held by more than just myself. I’m not saying he was a great father, but he was a great man.
He was a Vietnam veteran, a carpenter, and a social paragon in the small town I grew up in. Our neighbors declared him the “Mayor of Bluebank” (the road he lived on.) His funeral was one of the most attended events that our small town in Kentucky had ever held.
Dad believed in working hard, and, true to his word, his health began to sharply decline after having a lung removed (the unfortunate “cure” to lung cancer caused by Agent Orange exposure). He passed away on Veteran’s Day, 2012. A cruel twist of irony.
I had the pleasure of working with my father on many projects, from building homes to cutting staves at a sawmill. I was fortunate to learn what a real work ethic looks like by working with Dad.
When Things Seem Impossible
Even though Dad isn’t here to give me advice, I still ask myself what he would do when I’m faced with something that seems impossible.
“I feel too tired to work today…”
“Where will I find energy to tackle this project?”
“I don’t know where to start…”
Everyone faces situations that seem impossible at times. It’s an unfortunate lack of grit and resilience that’s common to my generation.
Luckily, I have one invaluable piece of advice that I managed to get from my father before he passed away.
Advice on Working Hard
When I was in my late teens and doing irresponsible crap, I once asked my father how he worked so hard. He enjoyed socializing on the weekends, but he seemed to enjoy working his butt off just as much (even with the occasional hangover.) I didn’t understand it.
His response stuck with me. He smiled and told me, “Stop asking how I work so hard, son. Ask me why.” His response was rhetorical; he didn’t want me to actually ask him “why.” His point was that the reason he worked was how he found the energy to work.
Dad’s wisdom didn’t quite click with me until my son was born. I’d always had what I considered an inherited strong work ethic, but it wasn’t truly tested until I was kept up all night for weeks on end with a crying baby.
Babies, a Day Job, and a Side Gig
It can be lonely at 3:34am, especially when you’re awake with a crying newborn. The three minutes and fifty-five seconds it takes to heat four ounces of refrigerated breast milk can seem like an eternity when you want to go back to sleep.
Once I manage to get the boy fed and back to sleep, I crawl into bed to wink before the alarm goes off at 6am so I can get ready for work. Quietly.
In situations like this, energy at work can seem fleeting. You know your job performance is suffering, but you manage to grit your teeth and get back to it. Somehow. Your shift takes forty hours longer than it used to, but you push through.
To top it off, I write articles in my downtime. That means research, writing, editing, submitting, promoting, etc. Work ethic seems like a stupid thing when the beautiful Siren of Sleep is calling you.
Staying Strong to Get Things Done
Fortunately, I remember the lessons that my father taught me. Not just, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re f*&^ed.”
All I have to do is ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” when I feel like giving up.
“Why am I working overtime at my day job?” So I can keep the heat on this winter for my family. So I can put food on the table.
“Why am I pushing myself to write another article?” So I can build a business and legacy for my son. So I can spread ideas and wisdom.
“Why am I feeding this thing that causes so much exhaustion and frustration?” Because it’s my son and I love him. I want him to grow up so I can teach him how to be a great person.
Why Is “Why” So Powerful?
Asking the wrong questions can get you stuck. We want to avoid questions that carry negativity.
When you ask yourself why you’re doing something, you tend to attach a larger motivator to your actions. This becomes your motivating reason.
Make sure you have a strong positive emotion attached to your motivating reason. When I ask myself why I’m doing something, it’s always attached to something large and promising, like my family and my future.
I also looked back to see where exactly I was a year ago… I posted this, reading it now still strikes a chord with me. We can always help each other grow good corn!
There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
So is with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all…
-Call it power of collectivity…
-Call it a principle of success…
-Call it a law of life.
The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!
Hope you all have an awesome festive week ahead, never give up the opportunity to let family and friends (all loved ones!) know they are loved and cherished.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche