One of the reasons that video games are popular is that the parameters for success within them are clearly established. In the game Clash of Clans, for example, as long as one player destroys a certain amount of his opponent’s defensive towers and property he is rewarded with trophies, stars, and in-game resources on top of what was gained through raiding. He know that he must wipe out at least fifty percent of the other’s things or kill the opposing town hall in order to be a success. He feels good after a win, and bad after a loss.
In the world outside of video games, however, the parameters of success (and the celebrations and positive feelings that should accompany doing something well) are often lacking. For freelance workers who lack a direct command structure, the success of accomplishing tasks and meeting deadlines is rarely celebrated, acknowledged, or even recognized - even though progress was made. The correct emails are sent on time, but only infrequently do clients issues words of encouragement and praise. The job of the client, after all, is to receive things and pay for them, not soothe egos or boost morale; it’s up to the worker to stay motivated and light of heart.
As kids, our parents (hopefully) praised us when we got something right and helped us to regroup when we didn’t. As adults, however, and especially as orphaned adult freelancers, we bear the twin burdens of establishing the parameters of our own success as well as instituting rituals to regularly acknowledge and properly praise ourselves when we stay on target and get things done. Given our trying economic realities and the supreme value of time, this author recommends that such rituals be kept cheap, short, and simple. A minute or two of quiet reflection during which one imagines putting the completed project in a box and giving it to the recipient, to the sounds of cacophonous fanfare and much rejoicing, is better by far than wading once more into the breach, without pause.
By copying the video-game model of clearly established success, it’s possible for life as a freelancer to be both rewarding and bearable.
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
success through failure
Francis Bacon said, “By indignities man comes to dignities.” Stated a different way, it could read thus: man succeeds through failure. Ancient teachings, especially those that originated in Asia, are rife with this enduring truthhood.
From one perspective, the yin-yang symbol exemplifies the notion that in all light is some darkness; that fear is rooted of joy; that the elixir of happiness is best distilled from wells of sadness. Therefore, experiencing loss is as beneficial as the gain that comes after it; without such loss, one struggles to see a clear path forward.
Perhaps one reason why Americans are turning away from their Western, Christian heritage and toward Eastern modes of living is that the former tend to promote the notion of an invisible afterlife free of suffering instead of setting forth teachings and tools useful in the immediate engagement of pain and loss while still alive. Without a temporal body, what loss could we possibly endure? To what dignities would we dare strive without a physical vessel to contain them in? Deep thoughts this Monday morning fill. Aho.
americanifesto / JPR / whorphan / 場黑
blog updated Fridays, usually
I bicycle, write, surf, and strive.