I talk a big game.
I tell you that you need to start a personal website.
I tell you to change careers (if you’re not working your passion, that is).
I tell you to get up and move to a vacation destination.
I tell you how you can achieve anything.
But why in Chuck Norris’ nunchucks should you listen to me?
Although I am proud of my accomplishments to date, I haven’t built a multi-million dollar business, I haven’t spent a year in Africa volunteering for the Peace Corps, I haven’t written a best selling book.
I realize that whatever source of encouragement I attempt to instill in anyone, it will always be weighted relative to my own accomplishments. And of course this is the the case. I’m not taking surfing lessons from an Eskimo. Prove to me that you have done what you’re telling me to do, and I will listen. Everyone is talking, you have no choice but to be selective with your listening.
And because my greatest frustration in life is witnessing those I care about settle for an unfulfilling life – I want you to listen to me. Your unhappiness genuinely pisses me off. Oftentimes I get more emotionally invested in your accomplishments than my own. Maybe it’s a passing phase, maybe it’s my Dharma (or my Greg).
So what am I getting at?
In the last year of my life, one of my most prized accomplishments, having the luxury to pay the bills while working from the comforts of my underwear (self-employment, not a stripper), has also grown to be one of my greatest personal challenges. My drive to continually start new projects, with new clients, with new software, with new media, with new goals, has me spread a tad too thin.
And unfortunately, the way my brain has me hardwired, unless a project is finished, thoroughly and successfully, I can’t allow myself the luxury of mentally checking out. When my work took place inside of a baseball stadium and a restaurant, although my hours were roughly the same, the end of the day was exactly that, the end of the day.
Now, 7pm roles around, and although I’ve spent 10 consecutive hours slaving away on the screen, I can’t help but focus on about what hasn’t been finished.
My average day consists of 6-10 hours at “my office” (aka the coffee shop around the corner) back to my bedroom so I can lay down while I work. On the days where I do allow myself to separate from the screen, I’m detached only in physical presence, but am still mentally invested, and therefore disconnected from those who I am with.
Additionally, these projects all take place in the same location: the screen (my laptop). While the scenery may occasionally change from one cafe to the next, there’s still no escaping the screen. More or less from the moment I wake up, until the moment I go to bed, with the exceptions for quick hikes, runs, or the increasingly rarer social excursion, I am bouncing from project to project behind the same computer screen for all waking hours of the day.
I’m not a doctor, but my internal sanity meter tells me this is not a healthy lifestyle.
My New Years Resolution
It’s only fair, that if the Good Badger is going to demand that you make 2011 your breakthrough year and achieve something necessary to your life, that he follow suit.
That’s why this year, Mr. Technology addiction himself, is going to thru-hike all 2,179 miles of the Appalachian Trail. (Go big or go home, right?)
More details to come.