Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hopes up high.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine recently about my latest onset of professional nihilism. Nothing I do matters and everything is pointless. And this friend responded with "Keep your expectations low and you'll never be disappointed." It's not the first time I've heard something similar when discussing disappointment with people in my field.

Here's the thing though,  I don't agree. The reason? I can't. I'm emotionally and mentally not wired that way.

Sure, if we're talking about gift giving, then this sentiment makes sense. You should never expect something in return for giving a gift. Pretty much the opposite of what we're going for there. But I simply can't accept this sentiment in terms of professional goals. The only reason I'm in this funk in the first place is because of the extreme amount of passion I have for the work I do.

I work my ass off, I study, I network, I build relationships, all with the intent of achieving what I set out for. In that moment I give it my all with the hope that it all lands my way. Not for nothing, a lot of times it does and its worth it. Then there are the other times, like now, where my state of mind is a direct consequence of passion. The thing is, this is just who I am and as long as I can see myself getting through this fog, I wouldn't have it any other way.

There are far too many of us giving up. If not giving up, just going through the motions. If you start setting your expectations low, your efforts eventually follow suit. You'll start only working as hard as you need to so that, if everything goes to shit, it won't hurt that much. To hell with that, do work. Put your whole being into the thing you believe in and you should damn well expect the payoff. Keep your eye on that prize and fight until you're out of bullets. The defeat will be ten times worse but so will the victory.

If I was to get song lyrics tattooed on me, and if you know me this is entirely possible, it would be this; "Keep your hopes up high and your head down low." It's not the deepest of sentiments but it's stuck with me for years. Every so often I forget and need to be reminded. Consider this a reminder.

Till next time.

PS. A little deeper of a side note. I'll admit, pride has its folly. The disappointments start bleeding over and security has the not so dirty little secret of issues with excess and coping. I'll never deny I have my stuff to work out and I have a feeling a lot of us do. You hear the jokes, the reputation, but I've yet to really see the dark side spoken about. I know its out there, maybe a little blog post like this one will help anyone else out that's struggling. I hope so.

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