It is good to be happy (duh). It is essential to be kind. These are wonderful parts of life.
What, though, is the point if a person lacks drive? Real purpose, not just lip service? Action? Everything good in this world takes hard work. I don’t trust people who don’t invest themselves in real work. I admire those who get their hustle on.
One of the smartest, most insightful, and direct people I know is Max Everhart. He writes really solid, well-crafted, and highly enjoyable novels and short stories. You can check out more about him and his Eli Sharpe series here. Anyway, he is the person who has really cemented in me something I always knew but needed to have brought to the front of my frazzley brain: no one is anything without a proper work ethic and anyone can accomplish what he or she wants by sticking to a decent, serious work ethic.
We are surrounded by images of people who have what my boyfriend Cornel West (it’s a shame he hasn’t found out about our relationship yet) calls “foliage;” the trappings of commercialism and empty value. The paper, the fluff, the expendable. Gilding. The work ethic is the tree itself. It is (to take from Dr. West again) the fire.
This is not in any way to say that we should be simply labor robots for the profits of others. We should work hard for ourselves and for the betterment of others. The harder I work, the better I feel. The more I give, the better I feel. Right livelihood, my sweets. Drive for significant contribution (not just window dressing), for impact, for creativity, for FIRE.
I spoke today with the screenwriter who is adapting Driftwood and the producer who is going to try and connect all the dots to perhaps make this long shot happen (they are both brilliant, by the way). They are fucking DRIVEN. They work and create constantly. It was energizing to talk to people who are not just talk, but actual action.
So: less talk, more rock. We must do what we’ve been called to do. And whilewe are at it, never let compassion and love get left behind.
I am up at 4:30 in the morning trying to downshift from putting in hours on work I really love, the work that saves me and keeps me going. It is late, I am tired, but it feels awesome.