Letters to my Sister in Japan — Day 57

Dear Sister,

Today I woke up early, put on my shorts, and made my way to the gym. I’ve been attempting to maintain a stable routine for the past week or so, and I am currently very pleased with my consistency. Consistency is my only aim. I don’t care if I lift a piece of paper, or a 2 ton barbell, I just need to get my ass to the gym and let the process do the rest.

Obviously I’m kidding.

Either way, for the past 2 months, consistency has been the name of the game. Or at least, the main theme behind my habit-building endeavors. So far, I have been consistent in writing these open letters to you, and I consider it a success that I’m still doing it daily, 56 days later. I’ve fallen behind on meditation, and I haven’t really made extraordinary gains in the saving-my-money department, but none of these hiccups really discourage me. I know I’ll just have to double my efforts and not sweat the small stuff. “Just get it done.” is what I keep telling myself.

Overall, this has been a great improvement to my work ethic. At the office, I’m able to stay somewhat focused, even though my phone is still as distracting as ever. What I did on Monday that worked for me was that I placed my phone in my backpack and moved my backpack as far away from me, and as out-of-sight, as possible. While this is all going on, I’m attempting to work in distraction-free, short 25 minute bursts, with 5 minute breaks right after. This is a trendy technique that has been making the productivity-space rounds for the past couple years or so. Hopefully my efforts prove fruitful.

Before I finish this letter, I also wanted to talk about a book I’ve been reading. The book is titled, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.” I know, on first impressions, it comes off as a little self-helpy, and to be frank, it is, but I agree with what some of the ideas presented so far.

The main idea the author tries to beat into the reader’s skull is the idea that “chasing after your passions” rarely ends up in building a life that will satisfy wandering souls. The author argues that true “job satisfaction” or happiness, doesn’t come from finding the perfect job that meets our predetermined criteria for what a perfect job is, but rather, committing our best efforts towards any single career, and becoming proficient at that job. In other words, getting good at a job we may hate but then eventually love, is much much much easier and more fulfilling, than consistently job hopping and looking for that dream job.

I don’t think I would have agreed with the author’s point so much if I hadn’t lived the life I did. For the majority of my twenties, I had been hopping from workplace to workplace in search of something that speaks to my passions (whatever they were at any given time). It was very easy for me to relate to the examples found in the book.

Over the next couple days I will be finishing up the book and I will be able to better comment on the themes and ideas I encounter. For now, I’ll simply continue reading and relating and thinking back of the past decade of hard lessons I encountered and even harder mistakes I’ve made.

Love,

Your Little Brother