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For my 30th birthday I went back to Dominical, Costa Rica. The same place I turned 20. I spent my birthday alone writing in my journal, walking through the mountains, and working my way through an overpriced bottle of rum.
The biggest realization I had from that time was that being hard-working, is not in and of itself the highest good. For a long time I viewed hard work as one of the highest virtues humans could have. It was my north star, to be consistently “hard-working”. I would tie my sense of self worth to how hard working I had been that week. I am slowly putting less weight on this.
Why Did I Have This Mindset Shift?
There are a couple different reasons, but the main reason is because I’ve achieved what I wanted in life, and I don’t feel excited when I go to dangle another carrot in front of my face. For the longest time I wouldn’t even dare to dream about living the life I live now, and making the money I make now. Now that I’m here I just don’t have the fire I used to have to achieve. Another factor for this shift is my decreasing drive to prove myself to others (read my article “Can I Be Motivated Without Being A D***” to learn more about this). For these two reasons the devotion to hard work for it’s own sake has subsided.
How This Shift Has Affected My Goal Setting
With this shift, I’ve changed my opinion on goal setting as well. For a long time I would set very strictly defined goals for my life. Goals on what exactly I wanted, when I wanted it and how it would come to fruition. I would set lifetime goals, as well as shorter term goals on a quarterly basis. Every quarter I would re-visit my overall life goals, re-writing them and adjusting things as I saw fit. These goals were largely intended to keep me motivated to continue working hard.
Now I want to shift my focus from goals to intentions, which represents a larger change in my perspective in general. A shift in focusing more on the process and less on the results. So moving forward I will be focusing on intentions and not goals. I will still write down some goals, but the goals will always be second to my intentions.
What Are Intentions (to me)?
Intentions are a focus on how I want to live, regardless of the ebbs and flows of fortune & money.The Clueless Man Who Wrote This Article – May 2022
What Are My Intentions?
- Notice thoughts of jealousy, comparison & anger toward others and work to entertain those thoughts as seldom as possible
- Only work with clients where I firmly believe I can bring the best results. This means clients where their needs & personality compliment me and my business.
- Remain cognizant that every person I meet has something to teach me, and to provide undivided attention and respect to them while they’re talking.
- Remember that everyone I meet has a wounded child within them that’s trying its best to cope & make sense of the world.
- Work my hardest to only consume content that comes from a place of positive emotions (empathy, love, etc.) and to guard my mind against content that comes from negative emotions (anger, stress, fear, etc.)
- I do like melancholic songs, so likely not going to give those up 😂
- To focus on thoughts, actions & spoken words that come from a place of positive emotions (empathy, love, etc.) and to mitigate thoughts, actions & spoken words that comes from negative emotions (anger, stress, fear, etc.)
- To keep from using women as a way to fill a void. Specifically when feeling lonely, sad, bored, or needing ego validation.
- To have the self discipline to spend according to the income I am bringing in.
Are These Intentions Set In Stone?
No they are not, they may transform or change entirely based on what I want to focus on. I may find that I’m handling one aspect of these intentions quite well and therefore I don’t need to keep it as a main focus.
So Am I Against Hard Work Then?
Absolutely not – however, I will no longer assess myself and others based how diligent one is in their career. This is a difficult shift for me to make. I grew up in a small town where hard work is a big indicator of a mans competence. A big part of me still doesn’t want to let go of hard work as the highest virtue for me to strive toward, but I know it’s time for me to change my mindset toward hard work.