Our Work Is Us

Fitness bands don’t make us run. Sharper pencils don’t improve our proses. The solutions aren’t somewhere out there. More than often, our work is us. 

I’ve always thought (to a maniacal extent) that all the solutions for my questions are out there, somewhere, with someone, or in something else. It mostly happened because I felt lost and I cluelessly sought things to cling to and delude myself. 

Instead of trusting myself and taking an initiative, I sought advice, tricked myself into believing that I don’t know enough about my work. And now I can only see this curtain of illusions fading and falling. 

It almost doesn’t matter how much I know or don’t know, because I have to start from scratch as everybody does. We all are pretty much on our own, which feels both overwhelming and liberating. 

Whatever we cling to is an illusion

Although we like to believe that something outside us can fix the tougher parts that we deal with, that never happens. Almost never, unless we cease drifting and decide to make things go our way and work on what dissatisfies us.

Our work becomes who we are

At its core, work is as much about self-discovery as it’s about equipping new skills. Our work becomes what we make out of ourselves.

For example, our poems are only as precise as our thoughts are. Our jokes, as witty as us. And our ideas depend on our ability to connect the dots. 

Similarly, our work works as a mere reflection of who we are. It always shows a part of us. So perhaps, when we honestly dig deep and discover our own methods, we learn better.

There’s nothing much to look for outside

No secrets, no formulas, or anything.

Although we’re doubtful as beginners, what’s required more than often is consistent work. Soon, all our learnings, drudgery, and confusions coalesce and help us refine our work. 

We discover our own ways. The past starts making sense. It’s only at this point that we realize that the answers have been within us but had been covered under unsureness earlier.  

When we’re afraid, we know

We wait for too long.

Hoping to be picked, and waiting for the right things to happen as we ourselves fear to do anything. But at some point, we give up on external aids and do things our way. And we grow then.

In my heart, I know it when I flee from work and push aside my responsibilities. I partly regret wasting time by being a coward, too. We all struggle with this. 

We fix this by caring about the craft. The solution sometimes isn’t more work or seeking external aids. Instead, it requires working on ourselves.