Some of you will say that or at least think it. Working 12 hours in a single day? That sounds unhealthy. That doesn’t sound like self-care or work-life freaking balance.
It’s not supposed to.
Balance is only needed when you’re being forced to love something
Normal work I did at a job was painful.
I had to have weekends, holidays, and a retirement at 65 to look forward to. It was the only way I could wake up 6 am every day, ride the subway, freeze my ass off in the cold Melbourne weather, and smile at people I worked with who I couldn’t stand the sight of.
I worshipped work-life balance because it was the only way to put up with all that sh*t. I thought it was normal.
But when you’re obsessed with something balance is a pain in the ass. You don’t want to be away from that thing you love. It’s like a new boyfriend/girlfriend. You want them around 24/7.
We live our best life when we’re in love with an obsession.
If you’re bored with your life, it’s not because you’re doing the same thing every day, it’s because you’re doing the wrong thing — Matt D’Avella
The average person chases this…
They chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They don’t do their work for the sake of doing it.
There has to be an outcome.
But when you’re obsessed with what you do and are crazy enough to work 12 hours a day on it, the only thing you’re chasing is the journey itself.
You’re doing whatever you can to stay on the journey of your obsession and *not* be forced to do anything else.
Self-care solves nothing
We’re told to take it easy and find balance … and it’s dangerous.
We rarely need more relaxation and days off to sit on the beach and have a quiet wank. What’s missing is an obsession. A mission to die for. A purpose, a passion if you will.
When you have that the last thing in the world you want is to be away from it or to escape.
Don’t let people shame you out of your obsession
Over the years people have tried to shame me out of my online obsession.
“It’s unhealthy. You’ll go crazy, mate.”
I’ve learned people only shame my insane way of life because they are yet to find their obsession. Once you find what you give a f*ck about there’s no time to worry what others are doing or to camp in the comments section and throw mud at strangers.
If people think you’re crazy, you’re probably doing the right thing.
Use it as a positive sign rather than a reason to stop. Doing the opposite of what the average person tells you to do is a life hack.
It’s how you tread your own path and build a life.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is be consumed
There are times when life is hard.
When a person you love dies or disappears from your life. When a pre-defined career that was going well collapses and you can’t for the life of you figure out why.
These are the best times to be consumed.
Following an obsession focuses the mind on the panacea. It reminds you of why you do what you do. It stops unhelpful thoughts and anger from running the show.
When I get fully consumed in my obsession it’s a way to let go of the past and create the future.
Obsession is a form of therapy.
Working 12 hours often doesn’t feel like work
When I’m consumed by my obsession it doesn’t feel like work.
The flow state I’m in guides me and my perception of time is lost. You’d think I’d burn out but it’s the complete opposite.
Working a 12-hour shift in obsession gives me energy.
I come out of this deep work state even stronger than when I went in. It’s discipline, focus, and passion all rolled into one. What it produces is some of the best work of your life.
Working 12 hours a day is a choice
Maybe you don’t understand this bizarre way of life.
Or you understand it from the viewpoint of your obsession but not mine. That’s okay. Working 12 hours a day on something you love is a choice.
We’re free to do as we please.
The 12-hour shift only looks crazy until you stumble across your one true love. Then it starts to look different.
The goal isn’t to shame those of us who are crazy enough to do it. It’s to find the thing you love so you can hope to do it too and have it not feel like work.
My motto is this: if you love it then do it.
Even if it sounds crazy. Even if people call it hustle culture. Even if people don’t like the creative work you produce. That’s okay.
Obsession is deeply personal. At the end of your life these 12-hour moments will bring great fulfillment. The fact you could … and you did … will bring a tear to your eye.
What’s crazy is, doing work you don’t love for 8 hours a day, then needing the modern forms of fentanyl such as weekends, alcohol, and holidays to numb the pain.
The good life is to be lived, not escaped.