Sacrifice. Where do YOU draw the line? Creativity is my first love, and always will be. It drives me. It dually challenges and satisfies me. I’ve described the importance of finding, and even more importantly, doing what you love. I’m lucky enough to have accomplished both. But where does my passion for my work supercede my other responsibilities? How do I achieve balance in my life? And is balance a worthy goal at all…
Inventors have obsessive tendencies. The quality is demanded from us. The path we’ve chosen isn’t the typical one. It definitely isn’t as simple or straightforward as many others (though equally possible!) and because of this truth, we have to work harder. We work longer. We’re intense.
Benjamin Franklin, archetypal American inventor, is famously quoted as having said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” As much as the statement assuages our fear that we can achieve success even if we may never be truly brilliant, it isn’t exactly wholly uplifting either. Perspiration is dedication. But can a dedication so sincere become reckless?
A slightly less familiar fact about Benjamin Franklin is the amount of time he invested into his work. It’s a gross understatement to say that he “worked hard” – “exclusively worked” is a much better phrase. The man often put in 16-hour days, 112-hour weeks. He would work 60 hours on a project non-stop until it was complete, or he was left (at least briefly) satisfied.
It’s impossible not to acknowledge and be impressed with his dedication. And it is surely the explanation for the wealth of ideas he produced. I know I sometimes struggle, though, with other demands on my time, such as family. I like to work until I’m satisfied too. But it’s not always possible. And as I’ve matured and grown over the past thirty years, I’ve realized it’s not always beneficial.
Is this blog supposed to act as a word of caution? Not necessarily. I can’t criticize hard work, obsessive work, because it’s gotten where I am today. But I can ask you to consider the choices you make.
Let me know how you feel about my food for thought! Best wishes.
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