I was too serious
Looking back, it’s extremely amazing to see how much can change in just a few years.
Literally a year ago, I was supposed to graduate college should I had took on the original path intended to me by my family. Instead, I took on the alternate route of dropping out and making a name for myself.
Being genuinely honest to myself, there were so many reasons around my mind that time.
And while I can’t remember everything that has happened since (at least in clear picture), I still do remember the key moments of what has transpired in those events.
I sometimes wonder and think, “Why do I always reflect on my past?”.
In particular, those memories that gave me so much to ponder about. The experiences that has helped me realize what truly is my “path”, and what I do intend on doing on moving forward.
It took me a couple of years to realize everything on a different perspective. And to be frank, thinking about it now, I’m certain I’d be looking back at this very moment and those moments before in another perspective — one that was shaped by the experiences I’ll have from the day I wrote this — and I just hope it’s the best version of me that I can possibly be.
Despite my common rambles about life, experience, “entrepreneurship”, I believe a great takeaway and topic today is that I was “too serious”.
What do I mean by that?
There’s not just “one factor” that made me go on with the path I chose years ago, but I can see now that I’ve been “too serious” to myself since then.
I was 17. A sophomore in college.
A year before, I was constantly playing video games, partying out and drinking with my college buds, not really giving a damn as I enjoy the freedom I’ve never encountered before in my life.
I was careless, carefree, and I don’t regret a single moment of that time.
But when a year passed and “life” had struck me for the first time with concerns and responsibilities that I’ve encountered before, I had a wake-up call.
I did a 180, change my habits, became more serious, and took on the path that I’m currently in.
However, over the years I’ve had the same view on “Work ethic” since the day I took on that path.
“Always be serious”.
Or at least, something like that.
The morale of the idea is, I should always strive to work hard and keep my eyes on the prize. The “goal” that I’ve had.
And while I believe everyone should adhere to this in similar fashions, I realized that there’s a fine line between being “serious” and “efficient”.
And no, I’m not gonna go in the science on the difference between the two.
My point being is, I was too serious to everyone and everything that has happened.
My emotional intelligence before should be a negative. Hundred, probably.
I didn’t care much about emotions, nor the “struggle”. I “embraced” it, as much as the next guy consuming “entrepreneurship videos”, stating “sleep is for the weak”.
I was like this for a solid three years. All until, 2018 came and I had to change myself.
But before, I still had no idea what I wanted to change. I merely just knew that there was something bothering me, something wrong.
I’d always point out to my mental health, and point on my moral and beliefs that perhaps the answer is somewhere there.
I guess I was partially correct by that time. But as I’ve said in the beginning, it took me years to finally understand what “actually” was wrong.
I was simply, “too serious” in life.
It had affected in me in ways that I still can’t truly define.
I remember back in 2012, I was at “The Feast”, it’s a religious conference here in Manila. And the preacher, Bro. Bo, told a tale about a two woodworkers.
These two woodworkers had very different approaches to work. The first one constantly worked, everyday, only worked and slept. He manages to chop down let’s say 10 trees a month on average.
The second one, only worked 8 hours (or something like that, I can’t fully remember the details), but he chops down more on average per month.
And when people asked “why?”, he said that the second woodworker took a break to “sharpen” his axe. Then try again.
And, I was very young this time that I wasn’t able to understand the story, but it turns out it’s a great metaphor on how we should approach life.
Too much work will heavily affect you.
Yes, you’ll get work done, you’ll get motivated, but there’s a fine-line on when it’s a good influence and a bad one.
Like how GaryVee preaches work ethic, he doesn’t emphasize working hard all the time. No.
He emphasizes that you should work hard and smart during the time that you’re active, IF you’re not-content with your life and you’re complaining.
I know as business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to be the most active and the one striving the most for the success of our business.
But don’t forget, in that example, ourselves — our bodies, our mental well-being — these are also “businesses” of ours.
And while I’d hate to admit it, I do take more “active breaks” nowadays than before.
And while some in the community may think of it as “weak” or “lazy”, I understand where they’re coming from. That was my mindset as well before.
But in the end, you are you. I am, myself.
If I don’t take care of myself by listening to the own limitations my body and mind has, then everything that I’ve been trying to fight for since will be wasted if I don’t well enough to see it.
Time will eventually pass, and more so I will realize how to balance this out. On how I can maximize the idea of hardwork, working smart, and understanding myself more.
I still believe that there’s no such thing as “work-life balance”. Me taking a break doesn’t mean I have “work-life balance”. It simply means that I’m more mature in understanding myself and on how I can tune myself to be better in the future overall.
I still work — even at the side — for most of the part, but I never try and compromise the point where I know I’ve hit a wall and I should keep on drilling through it.
I’m just glad that I’m understanding more and more about how I should be as I move on in life. And I encourage everyone to just “take a break” every now and then.