The people that I work with must sometimes see me as selfish. And who can blame them? If an idea doesn’t excite me, I’m not on board with it. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do. And when one of those moments hits you, you just have to roll up your sleeves and do what needs to be done.
…but it’s surprising how rare those moments really are. I mean really, which do you find yourself saying more:
- “Man. I really want X, but I just can’t do that. There simply isn’t any way to avoid doing Y instead.”
- “I really need to get X done, but I keep procrastinating. I need to get my act together.”
Judging by my highly scientific approach of recalling blog postings I’ve seen in the recent past and comments I’ve seen on Hacker News, I’d say that problem #2 is the far more prevalent problem. Now sometimes you do run into a situation where you have to deal with something bad to get something that overrides that badness. But at the end of the day, I don’t run into many moments where I just have to do something I don’t want to do. It just doesn’t happen that often.
Some of you probably still see this attitude as selfish, but I don’t think it is. You do need to focus on others in addition to yourself. But happiness isn’t a zero-sum game. Happiness is more like an infectious disease. A person who is excited will also make others excited. They’ll be giving their team their all. Likewise, a person who just isn’t happy can drag others down.
But in either situation, how often do you run into a person who is successful at something they’re not happy doing?