You're deathmarching out the final stages of a project, you're sacrificing your mind and body and sanity. You're burning midnight oil, both ends of the candle, your family and friends haven't seen you in a while.
You're wrecked. Can you get it done? So close, so close... strength is failing, can we get over the line?
And - you do!
You get it done!
But then - now what?
Motivation is sunk after that, and you fall into a funk.
If you've followed my writing for a while, you know I'm not big into celebrations and festivals. I don't celebrate any of them, not even my own birthday.
I've always discounted festivals as not very important if you live a high impact and reflective life all the time anyways.
But! If there's any use for them, it's to prevent the anticlimax after a huge effort.
It's like, if that's it and you now have to sit around and wait, you're hosed.
But if there's a party scheduled in, say, two weeks, you can take it easy for a few days, then catch up on all the maintenance that's been piling up, knowing all the while that you're having a party marking your new launch.
If you're managing, even just a short, "Congrats! I'm super pumped for this" or something probably goes a long way.
I'm not sure exactly what the right answer is if you're doing things solo, but anticlimax is clearly a big killer. Plan some sort of transitional celebratory event around the end of any huge effort push so you don't fall apart afterwards.
In light of your new post on hypomania, I think it's even more important that you plan something special to celebrate, in order to create that buffer where you can rest and recover (crash) and then not swing RIGHT back into flying high ( I know ascension is fucking awesome, but to everything it's season, right? I would but disappointed if you died young from burning the candle at both ends.)
My problem, and I assume yours, is that I have pretty much everything I desire in day-to-day life, and the stuff I don't have, I make an action plan to get, so there isn't much that I can do to 'celebrate'. I usually take the day off, and before the end of it I'm bored.
But I think if I had someone who said "we have to celebrate" I could probably come up with something I wanted to do. Like a full day at a spa. A day spent spelunking. A day trip with a stay in a luxe B&B.
I think the trick is remembering to treat yourself as a valued employee. I mean, if you'll fly what'sisname to Asia as a reward for meeting his target, you should at least get, i dunno, a night at a casino or something.
Question from a reader -
Hi! Interested to hear your thoughts about this: where do you draw the line between impossible and huge-effort-possible goals?
First, I'll be honest. I don't have a perfect neat answer for this that's epiphany generating... I'm going to try to work through it on paper, and I appreciate feedback from everyone in the comments if you have related ideas.
Let's get started. First and foremost, I can't say this enough - study history! If you don't study history, you don't know what's possible. Period. You need to study history if you want to know what's possible.
Here's some good people to brush up on. Now, most people's reaction is, "I couldn't do that! He did so much!" But trace their steps, these men often came from humble origins and suffered much. Don't say "Wow." Ask, "How?" How did they do it?
I used to dislike to work. I saw how most people lived their lives, slogging through work that they hated, and I was determined not to fall into that trap. I made the mistake of generalizing, lumping all work together in the same bucket.
Since then, things have changed. In terms of monumental personal life changes, becoming a hard worker is the most recent one I've undergone. About a year ago, for reasons I touched on in this post, I decided that it was imperative for me to become a hard worker. I didn't do it because I had suddenly fallen in love with work, but rather because I had began to feel as though I was behind. And believe me, it wasn't love at first sight.
To fall in love with hard work, you must understand why it's necessary. When I was young I was told that sugar was bad, but I never understood exactly why it was bad, so I kept eating it. Only when I learned how it chemically affected my body did I finally give it up. The same is true of work-- if you don't know why you have to work hard and love it, you'll probably never actually do it.
Work is your gift to the world. That sounds corny, but it's true. And believe me, you owe the world a gift or two. Think of all of the various things that millions of people around the world have done for you to enjoy the life you have. They made up languages, invented stuff, procreated at the exact right times to create your ancestry, and managed to not kill each other in the process. We're lucky to be here, and the high standard of living we all enjoy now is only because of those who came before us. Some, like Einstein, had huge impact, but even people you don't notice, like the janitors, are making your life better.