Be Prolific. And Don't Agonize Over Things Outside Your Control.

You can control whether you will become fatigued by the slow march of time or if you will make yourself indefatigable.

Indefatigable.

Adjective.

Of a person or their efforts. Persisting tirelessly.

Life Can Weigh You Down

You can’t control much in your life. You can’t control how others will react to your work. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control economic downturns. You can’t control the price of bitcoin. You can’t control what your loved ones think of you.

Most of life is learning how to properly understand how to react to these facts and to plan for them.

The well-lived life is one where you aren’t constantly acting in reaction to these facts. The well-lived life is one where you plan well for these facts and anticipate them when possible.

Even those who prepare well for the realities of life become fatigued in time. But a life that is built around preparing to shoulder the burdens of the facts of the universe is, at best, a decent life. It is not the life worth writing about. It is not the life worth admiring (except in comparison to the poor schlub who thinks he can control most of the universe). And it is most certainly not the life worth living if you had the choice.

Even those who prepare well for the realities of life become fatigued in time. The stress of work, the manager, the wife, the husband, the kids, the neighbors, the commute, the weather, the President, the Congress, the economy, the car, the dog, the schools, the potholes, the litter, the deadlines, and the passed-by dreams appear on their faces and in their eyes as wrinkles on a once-energized canvas. The cracks you see in old art that is poorly preserved, broken down by the sun, the wind, the elements, and oil from others touching it, appear on the faces of those fatigued by the realities of life.

They become fatigued.

Act, Don't React

Life is more than mere reaction. The individual, worn down through the minutiae of life and work, is more than merely a victim of Chinese water torture. We are more than the metal orbs of a Newton’s Cradle, transferring energy from one place to another as others slam into us, not of their own choosing.

There are elements we can control.

There is no central committee stopping you from writing, creating, painting, or thinking. You can control your ability to create.

You can control your ability to deliver.

You can control your ability to meld something new out of the landscape.

You can control whether or not you become prolific.

Being prolific is a function of your ability to take the world, process it, and put your own spin on it, no matter how small or how different. Everything before you is a remix. Everything after you is a remix.

You may not be able to control how people react to your work, but you can control whether or not they have work of your own against which they can react. There is no central committee stopping you from writing, creating, painting, or thinking. There are no longer any gatekeepers that say whether you are worthy of having your work published to the fora or whether you have to keep your thoughts to yourself.

The only thing stopping you is yourself and your own fears and worries.

Make Something, Do Something

Take the example of writing. You are reading this on the greatest tool for writing democratization the world has ever seen. You can, by the end of this piece, start your own blog, your own article, or your own site in reaction to this piece. You can put your spin on it and start your path towards being prolific.

Your act of creation is a rebellion against the acted-upon life. As you write and publish, writing a new piece and publishing again becomes easier. As you show up every day, you build efficacy and momentum. Soon, you are acting on the world as much as you are being acted upon by the world.

Your act of creation is a rebellion against the acted-upon life. You may still have to sit in morning traffic, listen to your colleagues complain about the weather, the economy, and the President, have your kids ignore your phone calls, and walk past the neighbors’ yippie dogs, but you take a moment out of the day to reject being acted upon to become prolific.

Do this enough — create enough, write enough, speak enough — and out of your prolificness comes indefatigability. It becomes so easy to create and to reject the minutiae of the day that creation comes to you like showering or making a meal.

There’s little you can control about your life.

You can control whether or not you become prolific.

You can control whether or not you choose to create.

You can control whether you will become fatigued by the slow march of time or if you will make yourself indefatigable.

Reprinted from Medium.

Further Reading

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