“Have fun” has never shown up on my to-do list. “Laugh until my face hurts” hasn’t made it on my calendar. The Work is important but what are you working towards? What’s the point of your work?
Like a funhouse mirror that distorts what it reflects, even if you try to imitate something, it will turn out much different than the original. Maybe better.
My dear, find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain from you your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you, and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.
if my spirit should offend
do not stay until the end
but if you stay, stay long enough
let the music fill your cup
and as the final curtain calls,
we might stumble, we might fall,
we would stay here evermore,
but the magic can’t endure
so to our troubles, we’ll return
with new friendships much deserved
may the wind stay behind thee,
paupers and celebrities.
“Quitting one’s day job,” so to speak, is the starting point for any major change in one’s career, and most of us could stand to do a lot more quitting and a lot less settling.
Just by writing about your work, by doing that dance in your head to find the right words to describe something, you can be thinking through better questions and finding better answers about what you do and how that reflects on who you are.
Choosing the words to describe your work means you’re doing it on purpose. You’re going on the record as someone who thinks about why they do what they do, and understands how each decision affects the results.
This past week, I had some really good conversations. It’s amazing what a little perspective can do for you when you make time to connect with people and really listen. It’s so easy to get trapped in the reverberation of our own thoughts.
Finding the humility to happily walk away from those that don’t get it unlocks our ability to do great work.
Quickly, I’ll relay to you my battle-tested process for making friends with bartenders:
1. Peruse the shelf for Fernet (prnounced fur-nett, not ‘fur-nay’). Order one and ask the bartender if you can buy him/her a shot of fernet as well. (Note: this sequence only works at good cocktail spots. Good ones have Fernet. The bartender’s face when you ask for one is usually a sign about how the rest of this sequence will go. Note: Fernet tastes like peppermint and motor oil.)
2. Order a negroni. This is a classic Italian cocktail, typically not on the menu, but a well respected one… not one made famous by any TV shows or movies. Bartenders, more often than not, respect this decision.
3. Close out right then and there and tip well. You’ll put in your card again later if necessary.
From there it’s normally very good vibes with the bartender. You’re not best friends for life, but you’ve gotten through the walls and into an actual relationship with the person behind the bar… these are good people to know.
Why? Because they’ll tell you where to go next.