Mortality is my Mentor
Facing mortality has become one filter for planning ways to be happy in my work.
My own store of creativity is limited by the undeniable promise of mortality. In other words, the hours I have left to contribute are finite.
This acknowledgement is powerful motivation. I now choose to expend this finite resource in situations where I know I can make a difference. Because – speaking only for myself – making a difference is a prerequisite to happiness.
While losing myself in the creative process is a reward unto itself, and being able to make a living doing so is even better, true fulfillment occurs when the final product of that work have a notable effect on the world at large.
This awareness, paired with my perennial desire for happiness clarifies my decision to leave certain clients or unacceptable work behind. If making a difference means more to me than a paycheck, why bang my addled head against the wall of ignorance until I acquiesce only from sheer exhaustion. Frankly, I would rather work for free. Believe me – I do. Why work for free? It is simple: When I see my work bring delight or positive change – it makes me happy.
When I have failed to heed this rule, I always (without exception) end up awake nights chewing on the tough gristle of resentment. These are hours I do not enjoy living through.
Thus I choose to do otherwise.
Next installment posted Tuesday, June 21:
I Never Work with a Client with Whom I Wouldn’t Enjoy a Meal