I’ve lost sight of what it means to be a writer.
Somewhere in all the chaos of starting a new school semester, beginning my dream freelance writing gig, having my partner program payout cut in half, and starting to study for this blasted engineering exam, I’ve lost it.
I forgot that this isn’t about writing masterpieces every single time you sit down to write.
I don’t write masterpieces every day.
I mess up. I make mistakes. I fail.
I’m learning in public.
I built my writing work — over 150 published articles, top writer status, and earning over $3,000 in earnings, off of two simple principles:
- Commitment to consistency
- Just begin
The problem is, somehow, I’ve broken that consistency. I’ve let myself down.
I’m trying too hard to be perfect.
I want every idea, every post, every article I write to be exactly perfect — a masterpiece.
You don’t get to make masterpieces by careful planning and attention. You become a master writer by writing a whole lot. Every day. Over a long period of time.
I love writing just for the sake of it.
And I miss writing just for the sake of it.
I miss creating for myself.
So, it’s high time I took my own advice and let my imperfections be what they are. I feel like a broken record saying this same thing over and over again for the last few months.
It’s time to embrace my imperfection again, so I will.
But my writing advice isn’t the only advice I need to take right now.
My core message
I live and teach the concept of the 5 pillars of a happy, abundant life. If I’m really honest, I don’t know what to call it yet. I made it up, and this is the best I’ve come up with so far.
But it doesn’t have to be perfect to make a difference in people’s lives — including my own.
Here is the basic idea of the 5 pillars of a happy, abundant life. Your life consists of 5 pillars- spiritual, social, financial, physical health, and fun. The easiest way to understand this is to imagine literal pillars:
As an engineer, I analyze and design pillars to support buildings. Nearly every weekday I am either looking at an existing pillar or designing a new one.
The 5 pillars of life are like actual structural pillars that hold up your home. Look at the two pillars in the picture above, and you’ll notice the long section of roof above them.
If you removed both of those pillars, the roof would collapse.
If you removed just one of those pillars, the other would have to attempt to take the additional weight of the roof. From years of engineering experience, this never ends up working in the long term for the support of a building.
Our lives are no different.
You have 5 pillars supporting your well-being: spiritual, social, financial, physical health, and fun.
If you knock out just one of the pillars, the other 4 must take the additional load imposed upon them.
If you knock out two or three pillars, well, then you’re in big trouble.
If you knock out all of the pillars, your life collapses.
It doesn’t even take knocking out a pillar to cause problems. Just weakening any of the 5 pillars adds additional stress to the other 4.
For example, you’ll notice that a person struggling with their finances often experiences strained relationships as well. Or those with difficulty in their relationships often look to overeating as a comfort. Maybe for you, it’s that you don’t have enough fun, which leads to problems in all the other 4 pillars.
Part of what I believe and want to share is that it’s not your fault that you are struggling in any of the 5 pillars. So if the above describes you, please don’t take offense. I’m on your side. It’s not your fault.
So my goal is to teach this, and, even though I am in my infancy stages, I am working on turning it into a business.
I want to help people balance their lives. All of it. And I can do that because it’s what I’ve been doing myself for nearly 2 decades.
The only problem is, I’m not taking my own advice very well right now.
I’m working far too hard on my finances. I have six different ventures I’m working on right now — a full-time job, a graduate degree, studying for my professional licensing exam, writing on Medium, writing on my own self-hosted blog, and freelance writing.
Now, it sounds like a lot, and it is. But in my defense, and to keep myself from going crazy, I do a very minimum amount in most of these things. You could say I’m working on essentialism.
And I’m not complaining about any of them, I enjoy doing every single one of these and want to continue doing them. It’s just… a lot.
I find that, per my own advice to others, the other components of my life are becoming strained with the additional pressure. My physical health is suffering. I don’t take as much time for spirituality as I would like to.
And even the daddy-son date with my boy tonight doesn’t feel like enough to make up for all the time that I’m not spending with my Family. This is my biggest regret about where I’m at right now, even though I do spend time with them every day.
But I have one thing to remember that is helping me get through it all.
This is only temporary.
In April, I finish my test and this semester of graduate school.
Sometime this summer, I will be able to quit my job and work for myself.
And not long after that I will finish graduate school as well.
I can do this. I’m not quitting. I’m going to make it.
And, as I’ve found with every other difficult, stressful experience in life, I am going to come out stronger than I was before.
And most of all, better prepared to serve those who need the message I have come here to share.
The difference I can make in others lives means the most to me of any of this and is the highest motivation for accomplishing it all.
After all, it’s the hard things in life that make you stronger.
And it’s being stronger that lets you make a more significant difference in the world.