Mark Mason's viral blog post to finding your life's purpose recently came to mind. He posted this brilliant question about pursuing purpose and career:
"what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually."
I didn't send out a blog post last week, the first time in 3 months! I was having one of those weeks: over committing, falling into self-doubt, and anxious mornings. It was a recipe for being served a shit sandwich. In the sea of things to do, I chose not to prioritize the blog post. Instead, I chose to spend time with friends in Toronto. I chose to do the work that need to get done. And I chose to go easier on myself. During my short time as a filmmaker, the struggles I find myself in are often self-created. I find myself over-worrying, over-committing and creating unrealistic expectations of myself.
Knowing that these waves come and go, I have a few tactics that help keep me grounded. I lean on the great people around me who help me out of my funks. I've tried reframing my negative headspace, removing myself from being so self-centred. I try to remind myself that the work I'm doing is ultimately for other people. And most importantly, keeping up with the basics: breathing, walking, exercise and sleep.
These struggles tend to lend some perspective. Because of all the things that can suck in a career, I'm willing to deal with these ones. Filmmaking is something I care about and I'm happy being served this flavour of shit sandwich.