Painting toes on 6 year old ballerinas.
Listening to bad jokes and reading comics by a 9 year old professional detective.
Fistfuls of Sour Patch kids and political discussions while playing Gears of War 3 with the most brilliant teen I’ve met.
Hot coffee with a hotter redhead – every morning.
I am a family man. 4 kids, married for almost 20 years. That’s what I work for – my family. I can go into my desire to do excellent design, but the bottom line is that I work the way I do to provide a good life for my children, my wife and our family. Granted, what I do isn’t physically demanding (other than having a flat spot on my ass) and I LOVE what I do. I’m incredibly blessed to be able to say that – but I would do whatever it takes to give the ones I love the best life I can. I don’t make a boatload of money, and I probably never will. I’m a bit too much of a daydreamer – but I put my nose to the grindstone when it’s time to provide.
I work hard, and I work a lot of hours doing stuff that I don’t necessarily want to do, but when I’m on my way out the door and my youngest notices and says “bye bye, daddy” and blows me a kiss, it reminds me what a beautiful, brilliant life I have – and makes me all the more resolute to do what I do to the best of my abilities.
What do you work for? Is it the money? That’s o.k. Do you work for the prestige? Great. Do you work to stay out of trouble? Do you work because you want to deliver excellence in your field? Define why you work..
If you define why you work, it makes it a lot easier on those days when nothing seems to go right. Those days when it’s 1 step forward and 2 steps back. You’re always going to have those days, but if you can keep in mind why you’re doing what you’re doing, it makes it all that much easier to digest the bad stuff and get through your day. When a client calls and hates the 3rd group of 40 logo roughs and wants something different but very much the same as what she saw on the back of a corn flakes packet, all I have to do is remember my baby’s words and my heart swells and I can trooper on.
Defining why you do what you do is sometimes more important than defining what you do. Define what you’re working for and keep a reminder with you – keep it on your desk, on your Facebook profile, on your desktop, in your pocket, on your dashboard – somewhere where you run across it frequently. When you see it, think about why you’re in the gig you’re in. It’ll make the dark days a little brighter. It’s an inspiration. It’s your muse.
We can all use a gentle nudge now and then – even if it comes from the mouths of babes. Find your muse.
(End proud daddy rant. Back to my normal cynicism and vitriol tomorrow.)