Perspective and Other Mythical Constructs.

Noise to Signal

I like to think of myself as a hard worker.

Noise to Signal
Dirty work
Photo by jesse orrico / Unsplash

I like to think of myself as a hard worker.

I subscribe to the old adage that the only aspect you have over your performance in a given area is how hard you work at it. Your opponent (whether a person, a team, yourself, or just the abstract concept of the forces arrayed against you) may be smarter, stronger, faster, more talented, or tougher. Those are all things that are inherent. Sure you can hone them with exercise and practice, but they are all largely gifts from on high and there is nothing you can do to "outgift" your opponent.

What you can do is outwork them.

You have total control over whether you show up and put in the work as well as how much effort you expend. And if that is the only thing you have total control over, why wouldn't you use that control to ensure that you are outworking everyone else? MAXIMUM EFFORT is the only way forward.

At least, that has been my prevailing outlook since my younger days as an athlete of various sorts. It works as an outlook for sports, but the same general idea governs all aspects one's life. Or at least it should. In many ways, I have carried this maxim forward into my career. Although my path has been haphazard and halting, it has tended to arc upward largely through the application of effort over all.

But that's not really true. It's a story I tell myself about myself. A mythic construct to explain what success I have been able to attain by ascribing it to hard work and overall dogged determination when the reality is that a good deal of luck and happenstance have more to do with it.

And these days, my determination is a little less dogged. Puppied, perhaps.

Between, you know... (gestures broadly at everything)... and whatever defect of character predisposes me to farting around on the internet when I should be writing my book/podcast/comic script, throwing a barbell around, or putting in extra hours at work to go the extra mile, I find myself dissipated at end of day.

Hard work, then, becomes an aspiration - a story I tell myself about myself that I need to make less of a fiction. It's the only thing I am truly in control of, after all.

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Jamie Larson