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If you really cared about it, you'd be devoted to it? Maybe not...

Question from a reader -

I had a discussion yesterday with one of my friends about what we wanted to do with ourselves and we both have dabbled in numerous thing but nothing has stuck. He said if what we were doing was truly something worth doing, we'd be devoted to it. We simply haven't found what we want to devote ourselves to. Do you believe devotion follows interest or devotion is generated with work? I don't feel tied to anything, one moment I'll be playing a finger style piece on the guitar then whip out the electric and start playing funk. Maybe I'll start reading Ram Das, try learning HTML then go exercise. However, at the end of the day, I still feel errant and listless. Perhaps because I feel like I feel that ultimately, my actions are futile or are directionless.

"He said if what we were doing was truly something worth doing, we'd be devoted to it" - well, I'm not so sure that's the case. I know plenty of people who have causes they really believe in, but still have a hard time focusing on and dedicating themselves to it.

"Do you believe devotion follows interest or devotion is generated with work?" I think being interested in something helps a lot, but isn't enough. I know lots of people who deeply believe in something and passionately enjoy working on it, but yet still can't get the work out of themselves.

Actually, in some circumstances, it's harder to work on something you really believe in, because you get your identity wrapped up in it. Like the writer who can write plenty technical operations manuals because he aims to get it to just "good enough," but can't make progress on a novel because he's aiming for perfect and none of the words seem right.

Working Hard and Working Out

On No Status Quo

When I first started going to the gym, I was really annoyed by how hard it was. I got very tired, my muscles hurt, and I hated the overall experience. I thought that once I got stronger, working out would become easier and wouldn't take much effort.

And of course I was wrong.

It took me a while to realize that the best guys at the gym are also the ones who suffer more than anyone else. After all, that's how they became the best. Those who try to keep things easy for themselves don't get better over time. They just keep doing the weights they can already do without too much effort.

If you're complaining that working out is too hard or that you get too tired, you don't get it. Working out is supposed to be hard. That's the only reason why you do it. And you can only get better if you go through the hardship and learn to enjoy it.

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