3 Key Actions to Ward Off Despair

Over the summer our hopes were high that the virus was getting under control. We gathered outdoors, socialized, and thought “maybe the vaccine will end this pandemic.” And then the next wave hit. Now…


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Embrace the suck

We often hear people use this term for a task which is pointless or unimportant, but still needs to be completed. It is going to suck. It is going to be painful or tiresome. But we the show must go on.

Every now and then, I find myself quite amused when I manage to find a military term, such as this one, which has a good fit with the non-military world.

I love the universality of this phrase. The motivational spirit behind it. And, eventually, the truth that it encompasses. And I have found myself using more and more often as I progress throughout life. As I slowly lose the glow in my eyes and I start to observe reality and the world as a grumpy adult.

When I was working as an intern or a summer worker back in my studying years, I was approaching everything as a learning experience and a constructive challenge. All tasks could be a meaningful educational assignment that ultimately could prepare me somehow for the routine that I would have as a full-time employee. Or maybe develop some part of my personality that I had underdeveloped. My thirst for tasks and development was so great that I was requesting additional tasks and I was working voluntarily (unpaid) overtime in order to grow and to become a more complete worker.

This was not necessarily a bad approach towards the world. But you will also agree that this was naive. This was the approach of a wide-eyed kid with no experience of what means to struggle on an everyday basis. I am not regretting doing any of this. But I still have to point out that I used to be like that at some point in life.

But something magical happens at some point when you are exposed to the real world for long enough.

At some point, I lost my innocence. I lost my willingness to expose myself to unjustified suffering, just for the sake of it. I lost my naivete. Maybe I just realized what my real value is or what is the worth of my free time. Maybe I just depleted my mental reserves to keep my smile on while shoveling shit. Maybe I just acquired the Star Player’s mentality (The difficult stuff are stimulating, the easy stuff are monkey tasks).

All it mattered is that I was able to understand that the vast majority of my workload was consisting of tasks that sucked. Tasks that I had already performed hundreds of times and I was able to perform them almost effortlessly. And then the tip of the iceberg was the truly challenging and interesting tasks. The ones that you wish you could do more often because they were actually amusing and they were the reason that you would hop from your bed in the morning.

And, yes, most jobs and positions are like this. And I highly doubt that there is a person who would argue that their job is 100% thought-provoking.

And this is the reason why I understood that by depending on finding self-fulfillment on the high points I am going to live a life completely underwhelmed by my undertakings. Yeah, performing the interesting stuff gives a grin on my face and makes me feel that staying on my job is a worthy decision. But the meaningless and completely bonkers part of my job is the one that gives me the character and that I need in order to move forward. I will not a better person or a more valuable employee if I manage to perform only on the interesting parts of my job. On the contrary, the value is decided based on your consistent performance and the way that a person approaches the task in their plate as a total.

It is exactly the same as deciding to maintain a daily blog. It is meaningless, it is underwhelming and it is going to feel like crap most of the times. But people still do it while grinding their teeth.

Because the important part is to learn to cope with our faulty expectations. Live with the disappointment. And continue our lives regardless of our preferences.
Because the human greed will make a high point feel like a suck point in six months or two years from now.
Thus, the things that suck will only increase in number. And the high points will become scarcer and scarcer.

I have no other choice but to embrace the suck.
And to force the suck to embrace me.

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