How satisfying is it when you set out to accomplish something, strive for it and get it, all in a nicely packaged crescendo to climax? For most of us living in the real world, these sorts of single-play successes are not the norm. Instead, we have to work at it with patience and persistence, and the payoff may not come with a rest, but with a call to more work.
I went on my first deep sea fishing trip yesterday and spent eight hours on the water. That’s eight hours of casting out, reeling in. We didn’t come back with a fish, but guess what I did come back with? A nice red sunburn with white raccoon eyes where I had sunglasses on. Yes, I should have put on sunblock, I even had it with me.
A fisherman will tell you that sometimes you come back with a fish, sometimes you don’t, that’s why it’s called “fishing” not “catching.” A blogger will tell you sometimes you hit linkback gold, sometimes not. On the other hand, take a moment to think through the guaranteed outcomes of your work. Will you build up experience, wisdom, a work philosophy and ethic? As a blogger, every post you write is another post you can point to for an employer or as a writing sample. We don’t all need to reach a huge audience or instigate global change. Those are the “nice-to-haves.”
How do you make use of the incidental, guaranteed outcomes of your work? Or does reaching a certain goal makes it worthwhile?