Freeform Friday: On Being Driven

I admit, I wasn’t sure what to write about for today, but I saw a post on Twitter asking how people who are driven to do things all the time are able to do it. I am one of those people. I’m the one who gets scolded by friends for not doing vacation right. (Yes, I find ways to work through a vacation.)

I wasn’t always like this, or at the very least, wasn’t effective at it. I might have had ideas and wanted to see them come to pass, but I lacked the other tools and the understanding to make that happen. I also didn’t realize how much time I lost doing unrelated things. How many hours a week was I watching TV, hanging around in a chat room online, playing a game on the computer? The answer was a cumulative metric ton.

I’ve spoken with other people who are driven, who seem to just be on the go from the instant they wake until they sleep. There’s one thing we have in common.

We know the value of our time and we know it is not limitless.

For me, that knowledge hit when I first had spinal issues. I spent three months in a wheelchair. I couldn’t get in or out of bed on my own, and I had a housemate who was washing my sheets every day because the medication I was on made me wet the bed. For three months, I looked at the walls around me and felt like my life had ended. I was angry and lost in grief at all the things I wanted to do but hadn’t. I hated myself for wasting time.

At the end of those months, a doctor figured out a way to get me back on my feet. I came out of that wheelchair with a fresh engraving on my soul, not to waste time again because it can be taken away at any moment.

That really is the sum total of it. We know we have a set amount of time, and no one told us what that amount is. Some people learn this by putting a dollar value on their time. Some learn it by weighing opportunity costs, (if I do a and b, I can’t do c, but c is more important so I will choose not to do a and b.)

However you get there, you really do owe it to yourself. Think of how much you can accomplish. Think of how you undersell yourself every day, maybe even multiple times each day. You don’t have to take on the same amount as anyone else has, just what you want to do. You also don’t have to do anything to impress anyone else. Whatever you choose to do with your time, do it for yourself, with one rule.

Do things that bring you closer to your goals.

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