The rule of life is this: If you care, you will hurt.
One day you will go through it yourself. One day you will try to achieve something meaningful but difficult; do everything you can; and give it your best.
But it won’t be enough, and you will fail.
One day work will break your heart.
The world judges you by results.
It may feel shocking at first, especially if you’re used to winning. You used to be able to say “Results don’t matter,” because you were already winning. Like the millionaire who says money isn’t important, or the Instagram celebrity who says looks aren’t everything.
But today, your results suck. You’re below expectations.
It will seem incredible that a winner like you can be viewed as worse than your less-talented colleagues.
Don’t be bitter. They’ve been in the game longer than you.
And remember this: your results may suck, but that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. You may fail at things, but that doesn’t make you a failure. The world may judge you on results, but your self-worth should never come from that alone.
You are a lot more than your job.
Understand that you will eventually find a way out. Your problems look insurmountable today; impossible to solve. I feel your despair.
But with time, I have no doubt that things will work out.
If it’s not something that you can solve yourself, that’s what your bosses are for. And your friends. You are not alone.
Remember, you come from an incredibly brilliant and resilient species. We’ve put people in space, wiped up horrible diseases like smallpox, and carry supercomputers in our pockets. That client-from-hell is nothing compared to problems we’ve solved together before.
It’s not that your problems don’t matter. But someday, you will look back at them and smile.
Some of your colleagues will take the easy way out.
You can tell by the vacant look in their eyes. They’ve checked out and become part of the statistic; they don’t care anymore.
You have two choices. You can join the majority by numbing yourself deep inside. Create a hard layer of protection between yourself and the unforgiving forces of work. A shield.
But the price for numbing yourself is this: as much as you’ll be unaffected by the losses, you will also be unable to feel genuine joy for your wins.
This is how passion for life dies.
Or you can immerse yourself in the pain, and learn from it. Manage it, while never letting it consume you. This is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to learn.
Because you will face that choice again and again; the next time you pick up that pen, mouse or notebook. And every time you dare to dream.
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The rules of life never change: If you care you will hurt. If you make yourself vulnerable, you will feel pain.
But if you don’t care about your work, is it really worth doing?
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Originally published at Thought Catalog.
Pic from Pexels.