Tag Archives: Motivation

What if Your Dream Job isn’t the Right Job?

Not for the first time and not for the last, my dayjob is undergoing a re-organization. That means that, not only have I had many conversations with people who are changing jobs or looking for new ones, but it’s an opportune time to examine what the heck I’m doing — and invariably here in the U.S., that seems to bring up questions of “the dream job.”

Our culture is suffused with notions of finding our dream jobs, like the podcast whence this graphic came from. And hey, I like dreams, but are dream jobs always a good idea?

I’ve written about this multiple times on this site, but I believe it’s important to remember that just one job probably won’t capture all the meaning you need in your life. I talk about this a lot more in a post from three years ago on the concept of “ikigai” and one’s “reason for being.”

My conclusion there, something reinforced over the past few years, has been that no one job can satisfy one’s need for meaning — and in fact one’s dream job will have tasks that are less than dreamy (e.g., running an audio theater troupe is wonderful, but not 24/7 delightful).

I’ve also mentioned that one should avoid the trap of trying to turn any hobby or interest into a monetized “side hustle” (a term I dislike on multiple levels). And I still need to explore further the idea of having multiple interests and eschewing the notion of “one true calling.” I mean, I haven’t subscribed to the notion of “one true calling” for some time, but maybe it’s the circles I’ve been in, I haven’t seen too many people pushing back on that notion.

So Rainesford Stauffer’s article for Refinery 29 this past November came across my computer screen at just the right time. A good chunk of it is looking at the work of Dr. Erin Cech, a sociologist studying the place of passion in work, finding work, and defining job satisfaction. What I really like is how much it goes into our society’s concept of work, jobs, and “dream jobs.”

“When paying bills or being fairly compensated are presented as luxuries in the American workforce, rather than fixtures, it’s worth looking at where the urge to make our jobs into more than just work comes from in the first place. It wasn’t always this way.”

Understanding some of the structural and societal pressures to “love your job” is important as we all are beginning to ask more what we want from work in, what I can only hope can soon be the post-Pandemic times.

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Don’t Worry about not having One True Calling

I’ve had several posts over the years about people finding their purpose in life, several posts about hobbies, and also just generally about motivation.

Especially as so many of us are about to re-enter “normal” work locations and schedules, it’s an opportune time to consider what you want to be doing — and for those of us who have the luxury of considering what to do beyond “anything that pays the bills NOW,” there’s often the push to find “your calling.”

And some of you may be stressed about that.

Well, Emilie Wapnick is here to reassure those of us who have multiple interests, you are okay. In fact, you just may be able to use that to your advantage in your quest for a more satisfying life.

Reckless, Truthful, & Clean as a Bone: James Baldwin on Writing

I’ve been meaning to get back into the groove of posting motivational material on Mondays — as well as tackle some larger writing projects as well, so this list from Emily Temple over at Literary Hub of James Baldwin’s observations on writing is most welcome.

James Baldwin (Photo: Allan Warren)

If you’ve read some of his work or seen some of his interviews, the directness and clarity of his observations and suggestions will come as no surprise, but it could just be that one or three of the sentiments is just what you need to hear right now.

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A Short Guide to Successful Traits

I’m working on some longer pieces on New Year’s and resolutions, but in the meantime, while “success” might be a long journey, this TED video about traits researchers have found in successful people is under four minutes.

I mean, granted, that means there’s no time for nuance, but if you’re raring to jump into your New Year goal planning, this might help motivate you.

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Art is a Luxury, Except when it’s Sustenance

TED Talks are probably good fodder for Monday Motivation posts, and here’s a good one, especially for creatives wondering about why they’re doing what they’re doing.

A Writer Writes… to What End?

For whatever reason, I’ve been seeing a bunch of memes about writers writing, writers writing ’til they’ve finished (whether or not it’s good, they can always rewrite, etc.) and so on.

So what if you’re wondering about the point of all this? Well, for a motivation Monday, Monica Leonelle has a bunch of questions and exercises to ask yourself.

Now I’m going to get back to writing.

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Writing Advice from George R. R. Martin

Since I did a Monday motivational post last week about writing, I figured I’d delve into that well again, especially since motivational YouTuber Evan Carmichael went ahead and did a compilation video of another well known speculative fiction author.

Truth be told, I actually haven’t read much of George R. R. Martin’s work. I commented to friends that I’d try his landmark series, A Song of Ice and Fire, after the TV show Game of Thrones was over — and I’m

But I’ve found him to be an engaging and insightful speaker whenever I’ve heard interviews with him and that proves to be the case here. I especially like his tip to read widely, not just comic books and sci-fi and such. He’s a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy and comics, of course, but he loves history and mystery and all sorts of other things… and goodness knows I think reading more across all genres helps one’s writing.

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Writing Advice from Neil Gaiman

I’ve been talking with several people offline about writing, so my web wanderings led me to this compilation by motivational YouTuber Evan Carmichael.

I’ve seen many of these clips before, but it was nice to see them in one place. I especially like the notion of walking toward the mountain (which I’ve heard other people speak of in other terms) as well as the notions of where ideas come from (which may be worth a future post in and of itself).

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

It could be because we all have a bit more time to think about how we’ll reflect back on these days, or how we’re trying to help our children through this, but this video hit me particularly now.

With apologies to Polonius, I think I’ll lead with this one in addressing my own Laertes.

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Get Some Writing Inspiration

Last weekend… I did a bunch of chores. But I also did said chores while watching multiple panels and some breakout sessions for the Online Writer’s Conference I talked about last week.

If you missed it, good news! You can check out the panels from both days on the same website.

Day One
Day Two

Combined, it’s over 13 hours worth of insights and techniques from working novelists, screenwriters, and others.

So check it out! Perhaps while you’re taking care of a bunch of chores. I’m going to do that because I’m sure I missed a few things. Whatever works!