Don't Feel Guilty About the Not-So-Great Days
Yesterday was a great day. Like, a really really good day. It was one of those days when you find yourself daydreaming about achieving your goals. One of those good days when walk about with an optimistic disposition, ready to conquer the world. Ahhh. It was a great day.
Nothing really extraordinary happened. In fact, it was just a Monday. And I had to go to work, despite it being a public holiday. But I like my work, so that wasn't a problem. The sun was shining; a quintessential mild, Northeastern fall day.
I started the day as I normally do - commuting to work on the NYC Subway while either reading, listening to music on Spotify, or listening to a podcast. Yesterday I decided to catch up on one of my favorite podcasts, Revision Path hosted by Maurice Cherry. Revision Path interviews Black designers and developers around the world, a space that's rarely ever spotlighted in the tech industry. So, boom!, started my day with a whole bunch of warm fuzzy feelings after listening to an interview with UK designer/developer. I got off the train feeling like, "Yea! I'm going to be a great designer and travel the world and be so dope!" Always a great way to walk into work on a Monday morning, right?
Throughout the day, I was pumped! My brain was ignited by ideas and creativity and revelations. I can only imagine the synapses going off in my head as I plotted a master plan of being incredibly dope. I listened to more inspiring podcasts, I joined a few new Meetup groups, I set new goals and deadlines for my personal and professional development, I designed some new concepts, I posted new photography work, and I wrote. A great day, indeed!
The thing is, days like this don't happen every day. Sometimes they don't even happen once a week. They come intermittently between days of discouragement, stress and doubt. It's not easy pursuing a dream. Some days I wake up questioning everything. Some days it feels like I'm running around without my head attached to my body. "I need send that email out. I need to update my portfolio. I need to set up that meeting. I need to post new social media content. I need to watch that tutorial. I need to reach out to that person. I need to attend that workshop. I need to pay that bill." Not to mention, the essential responsibilities for proper self-care, like exercising, sleeping, eating right, and de-stressing.
My to-do list on any given day is at least 20 tasks deep. And each day, I make my attempts to chip away at it - but not without stress, frustration and exhaustion. That's all you can do really. Keep pushing, keep working at it, keep adding to the to-do list, because at some point, you'll get the tasks crossed off.
Not everyday will be great. And that's ok. Don't feel guilty about the not-so-great days. If you're like me, there'll ebbs and flows in your productivity. But I believe that the not-so-great days compound into a really great day of revelation, inspiration and motivation. Maximize those days when you're really owning it. Write down your ideas instantly as they come. Let your mind dive deep into your ambitious dreams. And once you're in the zone, push it another notch further. Stay focused until you finish the task. Stay up that extra hour and get that work done. Then, sleep. Sleep and be pleased with what you've accomplished for the day and the new goals you've set for tomorrow.