I believe that there are two types of work. There is the work that you have to do and then there’s the work that you personally want to do. With the first kind of work, the kind of work that you have to do, you are essentially made to perform in a certain fashion. For most of us this means a job; we are told when to show up, what to do, how to do it, and when we can stop. If we do not do satisfactory work, we are reprimanded and we are told how to do it properly. The first kind of job is sort of like going to school, you essentially function like a paid slave.
The second kind of work that you usually do is work that you want to do for yourself in the pursuit of your own personal interests. In this kind of work you do not have anyone telling you what to do or how to do it. Many find this to be a great thing and would love to be able to find some kind of way to turn this personal work into a career. The problem arises though when we realize that there will be no one telling us what to do when we are doing this second kind of work. No one will be pushing you to go to work at a certain time, no one will be telling you how to work, and no one will be pushing you to get a certain amount of work done in a certain amount of time.
The first kind of work requires a certain kind of discipline, the second kind of work requires a different kind of discipline. If you ever want to free yourself from the first kind of work then you must develop the kind of discipline needed in order to accomplish the second kind of work.
Here are a few points to help you to develop the discipline necessary to do the second kind of work:
- Try to get over the I am going to do it all right now, kind of attitude. How this usually works is that you tell yourself that you’re going to do it all now, you motivate yourself to try and do it, and at the end you end up doing nothing because you believe that the workload is huge. What you need to do is to develop the ability to break up your tasks into smaller segments and to work on the segments over time. If you tell yourself that it’s an all or nothing thing, you will never accomplish anything because you will believe that the amount of work that you have to do is too much.
- You will need to develop new ways to do your work. If you have constantly done the first kind of work, where others are telling you what and how to do it, then you will need to develop new ways to work. Find your own rhythm and your own working style, discover when you work best and in what way develop your own routine and style. Continually try new techniques in trying to accomplish your goals.
- You must develop a more personally positive attitude. What this means is that in the second kind of work you will not have a boss either cheering you on or snapping the whip. This means that any time that you find yourself experiencing negativity, you have to be able to tell yourself that you can do it. You must be able to motivate yourself into action.
- You can no longer afford to get yourself to do something because you feel guilty. This works great for the first kind of work environment but you can’t use guilt and fear on the second kind of work. Instead of trying to guilt yourself into action, it is much better to motivate yourself into action by visualizing all of the positive things that will come about as a result of you accomplishing your goals. Learn to visualize your actions and the positive consequence of your actions.
- You will need to set deadlines for yourself. When you are working for yourself on your own things, you need to come up with deadlines yourself. You need to figure out your own personal timelines, how long it will take you to accomplish certain goals, and to try to fit yourself into this schedule. In the second kind of work you are the boss of yourself, be a good boss.
- When you face problems and conflicts, you have to realize that these problems or conflicts are often within yourself. In the first kind of work it’s easy enough to complain and blame everything else on others. In the second kind of work you need to realize that whatever problem you face, it most likely has an internal source. You need to face this internal problem before you can overcome this obstacle. Essentially you need to take responsibility for your situation.
- You need to be realistic about what you will be able to accomplish. It is no good to give yourself unrealistic goals because you will never accomplish these. Quite often people set unrealistic goals for themselves because deep down they know that they will not be able to accomplish them. They do this in order to give themselves a way out of difficult situations. Don’t do this, don’t make your goals unrealistic, you are far more capable than you realize.
- Don’t compare what you have done or you are doing to what someone else has done or is doing. This is a sure way to get you to stop doing anything. It is good to use others as a guide so that you can understand what you need to do in order to function within a certain parameter, it is not good though to try and duplicate another person’s actions. Set your own standards and your own way of doing things, remember in the second kind of work you are free.
- Don’t get down when you make a mistake. Swear a bit if you have to, but then get back to it. Mistakes are a way of finding out how to do things better. We all make mistakes that’s how we correct our course. Make a mistake, try to figure out a way around it, try something else, take action.
These are just some of the points that you need to consider if you’re doing the second kind of work. The second kind of work is the work that you do for yourself, the kind of work that you need to do in order to fulfill your dreams and expand your personal being. The second kind of work is what will make you free, and if you work at it you can make it a career so that instead of having to do a job that you don’t like, where others tell you what to do, you can create a career for yourself where working doesn’t feel like working at all. In order to do this you must realize that it will involve a different kind of personal discipline. This discipline comes down to taking responsibility for yourself and your actions.