I love those moments when it’s time to stop holding back and just go for it.
They can occur when you’re running down a long, steep hill and you’re finally close enough to the bottom to stop babying your knees.
Or when you’ve got a huge project at work that requires all your energy and concentration.
I actually enjoy times like that.
And sometimes I ask myself, why wouldn’t you want to live like that, when everything is do or die and terribly important?
Well, actually, there are a lot of reasons not to live like that all the time:
- It’s not good for you.
- Eventually you’d burn out.
- You’re not supposed to be an adolescent anymore.
However, I don’t think too many of us suffer from an excess of enthusiasm for our jobs. And that’s a shame, both for those of us going through our workdays in a haze of uncommitted desperation, and the future of the economy.
As we say in the theater, it’s easier to tone down a character than to pump one up, and the same is true for an employee.
I’ve been both under- and over-involved in my jobs, and I vastly prefer the later. When you’re too into your job, you and your friends and family – sometimes even your boss – will sooner or later let you know that you need to take a break. You can make a conscious effort to pull back.
When you don’t care too much about your job, you have to make a conscious effort to stay conscious. At least I do.
I find that there’s nothing more tiring than being bored at work.
If you’re not currently terribly engaged with your job, you might think being ready to “go for broke” requires having a perfect job, like a wildlife photographer, or restaurant critic or whatever your personal dream job is… But that’s not true.
The more ways you can find to commit to the actual job you’re doing – whatever it is – the happier you’ll be, the better job you’ll do and the better your over-all career prospects.
Once I was doing temp work and my job was to assemble a mailing list for a science-based business by pulling names and addresses from heaps and heaps of grant applications. I made up games to keep myself awake. Sometimes I raced the clock and tried to beat my earlier records. Sometimes I read the project summaries and tried to figure out what in the world they meant.
Then one day I came upon some applications which sounded like they were trying to build the same equipment this company made, so I told one of the sales reps. She looked at the applications and said, yes indeed, these companies were competitors and it was a darn good thing I didn’t send them any materials.
Today I own that company.
No, not really, not at all. I did become “Temporary of the Month” and get a free lunch, however.
And I also stayed engaged enough in that job and in my career to eventually find myself work that actually does grab me.
What can help you find a way to go for broke?
by Danielle Dresden