Table of Contents
Things have been busy in my world. Summer traveling and client work have been my primary focus for the past few weeks, hence these belatedly-published learning notes. Better late than never!
I've never described myself as a workaholic. Instead, I've attributed my inclination to work to characteristics I see in myself, such as grit, determination, and industriousness. All positive things, I've believed.
This belief was deftly challenged while reading the workaholism issue of Anxy. The thoughtful and personal essays have provided a nuanced explanation of workaholism—from its causes to who is typically impacted by it.
People who have high work engagement—a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind are probably not workaholics. Engaged workers are driven to work because they find it intrinsically pleasurable. They truly enjoy it—while workaholics are driven to work because they feel an inner compulsion.
This new perspective has pushed me to consider whether my "inclination" to work is more of a "compulsion".
Maybe incessantly contemplating the various goals, projects, and tasks I'm working on (or want to work on) at any given time isn't simply a sign of my work ethic. Perhaps this behavior underlies some of the anxiety and stress that have led me to burnout multiple times in my career.
I appreciate and admire the vulnerability of folks who have shared their experiences with burnout.
Stress may come from too many meetings, projects, responsibilities, unrealistic deadlines, improperly set expectations, distractions, or any number of other things prevalent in our hyper-connected world.
Articles like Scott's have been helpful as I continue reflecting on my own struggles with burnout over the past few years.
Few books inspire me so much that I complete them the same month I start them. I typically trudge through books over months, if not years.
The same can't be said for Bird by Bird, a wonderfully inspiring book by Anne Lamott. Anne shares anecdotes from her life as she imparts practical and inspiring advice for writers.
Good writing is about telling the truth.
In this post, Chris emphasizes the importance of learning in public through his blogging practice. Whenever he is learning something new, he writes about it on his blog for others.
I aspire to do this on my blog and through this column. I haven't nailed my commitment to publishing as Chris has, but I'm working towards it.
Effective Learning doesn't have to be obsessive. It should be committed.
I've been working through this book since March, and I'm continuing to find inspiration for my writing practice.
Being a writer is an act of perpetual self-authorization.
Practice noticing things around you. Don't concern yourself with writing everything all the time. Because the source of great writing comes from great attention.
I'm continuing to work through Derek Sivers's books, which I started in June So many great nuggets of wisdom and food for thought.
Don't be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.