Most upvoted comment
[Discussion] How do you deal with 8-5 (daily job) and your goals and hobbies?(r/getdisciplined)
I work in a complicated job, doing computer modeling and simulation for an aerospace company. It is mentally taxing, and yet I am significantly involved in my hobbies after work, so I feel qualified to comment here.
Credentials: I have a degree in math and I work in the space program.
Hobbies: I produce rock music videos in which I play or program most of the instruments (my wife plays drums on some of them!) and she and I collaborated on writing and self publishing a 900 page sci-fi novel that resolves the infamous grandfather paradox with regards to time travel, has a dinosaur fight, and involves gay superheros who like going to the opera.
How do I manage to stay productive in my spare time?
I have an absolutely desperate, all too real understanding that my death is approaching and so I intend to live passionately, to embrace a clear and inspiring vision for my future, and to move toward that vision with the persistence of a Skynet Terminator. From age 0 to 30, I was sick all the time; horrible, life ruining stomach problems. In 2011, I very nearly died from them. However, a high quality medical scan followed by emergency surgery to my intestines managed to correct the problem and now I live a completely healthy life. I was given a 50% chance of surviving that surgery. The coin flipped my direction, and I do not intend to fuck it up.
Dude, I intend to LIVE that life. I want to be a sci-fi author and a rock musician, and I want to be healthy. So I don’t take any fucking shit from my brain when it comes to being lazy. I’m the boss, my brain is my servant. My brain’s job is to figure out how to accomplish what I tell it to accomplish, not to give me a bunch of bullshit about how eating candy and watching Netflix would be more fun than finishing my novel or ripping out another kickass guitar solo. I’m telling you, my heart is filled with a fury when it comes to obstacles to my goals, and I go after them with calm, contented, unflagging determination.
And I know what it’s like to not have this joyful fury. I originally dropped out of college. Eight years ago, I was unemployed, laying on a sidewalk outside of a bar in Texas, puking my guts out because of my stomach problems. I worked at Taco Bell. I worked in a warehouse folding cardboard boxes in 100 degree heat with no AC. I worked for a collections agency making phone calls to desperate families fleeing hurricane Katrina, reading some shitty script about how they need to make a payment on their TV that was washed away by the storm. I know what it means to fail and be unhappy, and I spent so many years being prevented from accomplishing my goals by being sick, by being dumb and uneducated, by being distracted by stupid entertainment… I can never go back to that, no matter how tired I am after work. The numb pleasure of entertainment will make you want to puke once you experience the nuclear sex whiskey of actually setting a goal and then going after it like a god damned Viking berserker.
I know you’re tired when you get home from work, but if you have any sort of vision for your life that doesn’t involve watching TV as your waistline bulges with age, I encourage you to take those precious, beautiful minutes of your evening and use them! Squeeze the fuck out of those minutes. Each one is a gift from God. Stretch every minute to its maximum capacity and horse-whip your brain into reaching its potential. You are so much more intelligent and capable than you think. Your true point of exhaustion and fatigue is WAY farther out than you currently think.
The thrill of struggle, the agony of desire, and the catharsis of reaching anything close to the vicinity of your original goal, is infinitely more fulfilling than just relaxing and having a beer. I know not everyone will agree with me on that, but it’s true for me and that is all that matters.
I wonder if you are passionate enough about your side projects. Because I will tell you that I don’t have any fucking side projects. When I was writing my novel, it was my LIFE. I worked on it 40 hours per week outside of work. I dreamed about it. I thought about it in the shower. I fantasized about finishing it and letting my wife read it. I was so in love with that stupid novel that it was totally unhealthy and I LOVED it and I would do it again a hundred times if I could. It wasn’t a side project or a hobby. It was water in the desert. It was air when I was drowning. That’s the only way you’ll have the energy to pursue your passions, when you get rid of your distracting hobbies and start deciding who you want to be and how you want to actually live your life.
Watching TV and playing video games will always be easier than working on a “side project”. But those relaxing activities will become physically painful when you understand that they are little vampires draining the blood out of your true hopes and vision for your life.