Wired for Work

Inspired in part by The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins

And then it hit me... what's its all for? I spend 8+ hours/day doing 'work.' What's the end game of it all?

Identify the true reward

The real value of Wired For... is that I have spent the vast part of my career focusing on processes and workflow. My fascination is with the process itself, rather than the outcome. Once the outcome is achieved, I'm on to defining the next process. I strive to simplify the process and streamline the workflow. For me, it's about reverse engineering success. About isolating what matters and removing what doesn't. Streamlining because there's always a smarter way.

It's how I read books. I don't just read them, I write to read them. Even while reading, I can't help but highlight, summarize, and rewrite what I read. I tend to read primarily non-fiction asa result. The fiction I do read contains a narrative that reveals a hidden process I can disintegrate and study, even if only in my head.

13 Reasons Why was probably last fiction book I truly enjoyed. But I do enjoy smart mystery & thrillers like Mr. Robot, Fortitude and The Killing.

In those narratives, a process unfolds and we discover the relevance of the mechanics that explain the reasons for a characters actions.

What led to this moment? What are the reasons we do what we do?

Do we select the work or does the work select us?

The Workflow of Belief

What are the beliefs, mindset, recipes and processes in use by those who have mastered their craft?

If mastery was as simple as following a process, wouldn't we all be able to master in whatever we choose?

The biggest lesson I learned in 50 Interviews was that it's not what we want, but what we believe that defines what we become.

In my own life, for years I had wanted to become an entrepreneur. But it wasn't until my beliefs changed that I became one.

What changed by beliefs? 50 Interviews. By making my work interviewing entrepreneurs, I adapted a new set of beliefs. I had changed the wiring in my head, and as one of my interviewees eloquently stated 'Once you wiring changes, it can never go back.' My beliefs had begun to go through a fundamental change.

Let's work on our belief of work and love. I believe it's what makes up the vast majority of life itself. We don't feel alive unless we are doing work that matters, and we none of the work matters without love in our life. When it comes down to it, it's really all about love and work.

Much of what we do is to keep love present.

The more who love what we do, the more we are provided space to do it. In the absence of love, the work we do has no meaning. A writer whose spouse supports them for 12 years because they believe in them is owed an enormous debt for having faith before others do.

5AM

What do when you wake up? Does it add value to others? Will it eventually? How could you pivot what you do so it would?


The Domains you Master

Masters get paid for the work they produce. If you are a musician, but can't sell your music, then you are not a master. But if you are a teacher, and you get paid to teach, you have achieved some level of mastery in teaching.

So it begs the question, would you rather learn from someone who has mastered music or someone who has mastered teaching?

When do you master life itself? Will others pay you simply for living? No. They pay you for how you positively impact your their life. They pay you not for your gifts, but by what you have mastered.

In the end, all that matters is what we master.

To take this discussion further, I'd argue that a life of significance is one in which we become the masters in domains that positively impact others.

Kindness

My wife has mastered the domain of kindness. She is the kindness person I know. Does kindness pay? Perhaps not directly, but she has managed to land jobs as a result of her kindness to others who happily recommend her for a job when she asks. And while it's easy to argue the significance of one job over another, namely as point to argue how much one should be paid for that job, that's missing the point. The point is that her ability to master one domain (that does directly pay) had an indirect impact on a domain that does (the job).

I try to be kind to my clients. I often do more work than I'm paid to do, but that' because for me, it's not about the work, it's about the opportunity to do something kind for someone else. If I see an opportunity for improvement, I see an opportunity to do something kind, and kindness is one of my core values.

This became crystal clear as I watched someone I deeply cared for behave in an unkind way towards others. But as I proceeded to be unkind to her, it occurred to me that any kindness I conveyed was lost as I treated her unkind. But this is also an inside job.

Authentic kindness is to cultivate kindness in the absence of kindness. This is perhaps the hardest task - to be kind to an individual who is being unkind. But it's the only way you will be able to turn them toward kindness. Set the example you want to see it others.

When I fail to be kind to others, I fall into despair. When a job requires a sacrifice of kindness for the outcome to be achieved, I have a hard time doing the work.

A key point I want to make is that the domains you do master in life can have a direct impact on other domains. In fact, you could even draw a connection to the 'kindness domain' my wife has mastered to the words you are reading right now. In a direct way, she inspired this epiphany.

The underlying reason we work at it.

Jeff mentions a musician friend who went from struggling to succeeding when we unraveled the work mystery. At least this is my assumption, Jeff leaves the question unanswered which I suspect acts as a cliff hanger for the next section. His focus on the outcome of fame and fortune was an obstacle to becoming a master of his craft (it's all about the music). It wasn't until he mastered his craft, that he was able to produce the outcome he desired (success and fame as a result of mastering his craft).

If your goal is to become a full-time writer, then your job is to master both the domain of writing. If you leave the mastery of publishing to someone else, you can keep your focus on mastering writing.

How do you master the domain of time?

It's about how your wired.

Highlights

Your life’s work is not a single event, but a process you are constantly perfecting, finding new ways to put your passion to work.

It’s not enough to be good at something; you must focus on what you are meant to do.

Every calling is marked by a season of insignificance, a period when nothing seems to make sense. This is a time of wandering in the wilderness, when you feel alone and misunderstood. To the outsider, such a time looks like failure, as if you are grasping at air or simply wasting time. But the reality is this is the most important experience a person can have if they make the most of it.

The gift of failure

“Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”

It’s nobody’s responsibility to make your dream come true. Tough

Although you are confined to where you are and how many steps you can take, at no point are you locked into any direction. That’s the beauty of the move. Even when all other opportunities are exhausted, you can always pivot.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. —W. C. FIELDS

It’s about understanding your potential and then dedicating your life to pursuing that ideal.

But passion alone is not enough to sustain the work. True mastery is about greatness, about doing something that pushes the limitations of what others think is possible or even sensible.