Question from Nico Nawracala about Full time jobs and motivation:
Hey Juji I have question for you!!!
How do you stay that motivated all the time? Besides acrobolix you have a full time job, A dog a garden and time for your friends without burning out. You can still write the best articles in the world and stayed focus. I have struggle to stay focused and doing more then one thing. How do you manage your life so greatly?
Full time jobs are different for everybody. Full time for me is 32 hours per week, and I have quite a bit of free time here during these 32 hours (see what I did there?). I have an office job that is already very easy, and as I have continued working here since 2009, I've found ways to do everything my way to make it even easier. Here are some examples...
I bring my own computer to work because the work I must do is going to get done the best on my own computer with my own software. For years I was too stupid to do this, wasting at least 30 minutes cumulatively everyday because the computer my company furnished me with was slow and the stock software sucked. So I purchased a computer carrying strap and carry my own computer back and forth from work now.
Besides my home computer being my work computer, I also have uploaded all of my work files to cloud storage; I no longer need to back these files up and I can access them anywhere, not just on my own computer. I also routed my non-gmail work e-mail through my gmail account (so it's basically gmail'ed now). This way I can access my work e-mail anywhere (gmail app on mobile device). I also make use of all of gmail's features, such as tag, star, sort, templates, and search so that answering redundant work inquiries can be done instantly, anywhere, anytime. If I didn't do any of this, I would be like almost everybody else in my company: tethered to, and dependent upon a work computer to access desktop files and answer work e-mails via desktop outlook express. There is no reason I need to be at work to complete a large portion of the projects I'm responsible for, such as generating technical documentation or producing social media articles. I brought all of this to my supervisor's attention and boldly requested to work from home once a week. Granted. I also asked to arrive an hour earlier so that I could have an extra hour on my lunch break to train. Granted. If I didn't ask I wouldn't of gotten anything. What's one thing I have never asked for? A salary increase. I have never asked for a salary increase since I have been here nearly 5 years. Why? Because I don't want more money, I want more freedom. The boss knows my preference for freedom. So the boss doesn't give me a raise, instead he just looks the other way when I walk into the company kitchen past his office every 20 minutes to get water, coffee, or make food. Basically, I made my already easy job even easier, earning myself some extra freedom, because I was motivated by something outside of my job...
For jobs that are immune to this hacking mentality, and therefore cannot be made easier or more palatable: avoid them. Find an easy job that can be made even easier. Easy jobs have always existed, all throughout the world and all throughout history. If you can't find one, keep looking. They are out there, trust me. When you do, you will be the envy of all your family and friends. Don't settle for a hard job. A hard job will fuck with your training and love life. You will have better luck finding an easy job if you have some education or if you can afford working only part time. Or both.
Smart people throughout history have always sought out easy jobs and stress free gigs so they had time to work on their leisure projects. Take Baruch Spinoza, an influential philosopher for example. He was employed at an optics workshop where he sat on his butt all day grinding the occasional microscope lens or telescope lens as needed. It was a slow and boring dead end job that didn't even pay enough money to support his already meager lifestyle (he also depended upon donations from his philosophy friends). While employed at this optics workshop, Spinoza was actually offered a high paying, prestigious position as the chair of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg. If Spinoza had even a slight itch to stroke his ego, or earn a significant more amount of money, he would have jumped at that opportunity; but instead he refused it. Why? Because Spinoza was smart! He understood the value of his easy job! He knew what he was getting away with. He was essentially getting payed to scribble crazy shit on paper for his philosophy projects under the guise of an optics workshop employee. Occasionally, he took a much needed break from the horrors of his own mind to cut and shape a lens. He would be nuts to leave a job like that!
I have a feeling if the demand for optic lenses had ever increased during his employment there, he would have quit and looked for another easy job. Spinoza was actually the philosopher who Albert Einstein named as the most influential for his own world view. Speaking of Einstein: Einstein worked at a patent office for a long time during his youth. This low stress, socially palatable, easy job gave him the optimal blend of monetary support and freedom that he needed to think about other things, like what light is.
Anyway, you can have an easy job that provides an abundance of freedoms but still lack motivation to do cool and challenging things. This is made evident by the mass of white collar workers out there who have easy jobs like Spinoza and Einstein (and myself), who waste all of their free time at work browsing amazon.com, facebook.com, or maintaining a virtual garden, who still have little motivation outside of work to do basic things like exercise or cook, let alone cool and challenging things, like compete in an athletic competition or write books. Why aren't these workers motivated to do cool and challenging things? What's missing? Great results. They aren't getting great results when they take on these leisure pursuits. When Spinoza and Einstein thought about complicated crap, they got great results. They knew they were unraveling great mysteries of science and philosophy; they were motivated by their great results. Here are some things that happen to you when you begin getting great results,
- First, you feel amazing because of it.
And then, possibly...
- People smile at you because of it.
- People want to be your friend because of it.
- People pay you respect and openly recognize you because of it.
- People appreciate you for it.
- People want to have sex with you because of it.
- You win an award because of it.
- You get money and things for it.
- You have profound peace of mind because of it.
So now remember this next thing I'm about to say, The ultimate key to motivation is getting great results. If you aren't getting great results in the cool and challenging things you pursue in your leisure time after quite a lot of trying, quit them. Satisfaction is not enough, you need to be winning at shit. You need to be better than other people. Satisfaction isn't your destiny. Winning is. If you can't win at what you do, if you can't beat other people, if you can't get great results like those I listed above no matter how long and hard you try, just quit and then find something else that you are better suited for. And I'm not saying you need to get great results all the time, I'm saying you need to be capable of even getting them in the first place. I'm not preaching a philosophy of instant gratification here, I'm being brutally-realistically-honest. So let's talk about tricking.
If you try tricking for a year and you never get great results like the examples I listed above, quit tricking. Tricking isn't for everyone. Maybe you're way too tall or have too many other awesome interests and you can't juggle everything well. Nobody thinks less of you, you tried. Congratulations and thank you for being a bad ass and giving it a shot. If you suck at tricking but enjoy it, go ahead and continue sucking at it for as long as you like, but I'd highly recommend looking around for some other things to do too that you don't naturally suck at; that you also find enjoyment in. However, if you try tricking for a year and you sometimes get great results like the ones I listed above, then you're good to go! That means you're average just like me! Look, I don't have a gift for tricking or training, but I'm certainly not ungifted for it. I have an average amount of capability. I'm average. And that means I get great results, but only sometimes. I often get frustrated with tricking, for months at a time. However, because I have gotten great results in the past, because I know I can get great results, I work through hard times. I reorganize and optimize my life. More great results are just around the corner, even if it takes me months to get around that corner.
One of the best ways to ensure you continue getting great results in your leisure pursuits is to make yourself accountable to others. This may or may not mean competing in organized competition, but it always means participating in your chosen activity openly where others can watch and judge you. Speaking of competition, do you think my friend Antoine Vaillant has any problem staying motivated to win his bodybuilding competitions? No. Because if he fucks up people will talk shit about him on forums all over the internet. If he does great it will create a gigantic, positive buzz by his fans; he'll get a trophy, money, and free supplements. That's motivation for yah! Put yourself out there, like Antoine does. Post videos on YouTube, enter competitions, call out others, perform in front of others, post and push your efforts online. Do it. You have to.
Having your motivation begin to scale up as you get great results with your leisure pursuits outside of work will make it even more critical that your work life complies with your need to continue getting great results. Personally, I need an easy job, otherwise I wouldn't be nearly as competent in my tricking and training. My level of proficiency has risen so much in tricking and training that it would be impossible for me to work a hard job and maintain that level. So what about quitting my easy job and making a living out of my tricking, training, etc? I would be nuts! That's the stupidest thing I could possibly do! My easy job furnishes me with the freedom to trick and train excessively while still maintaining an acceptable salary that affords me everything I need and want. If anything I'd make money doing both! I'm really happy with this setup. You would be too.
And so we have come full circle. You will do better at your job, and gravitate toward more compatible jobs, as you begin getting great results in those leisure pursuits you find suitable for you. You get better at your leisure pursuits by participating in your activity in public and in ways where other people can watch and judge you. You also get better at your leisure pursuits by seeking out easy jobs that give you the freedoms you need to excel in them. So here you go, my awesome three step plan for better life management, focus, and motivation:
- Find an easy job. If you already have a job and it can't be made easy, quit and find an easy job.
- Make your easy job easier than it already is by doing things your own way and asking for privileges.
- Find a leisure activity you aren't inherently awful at, that you enjoy doing, and strive to achieve great results in it.