I am one of those serial entrepreneurs. The kind that just lives for the grind and hustle that goes into the startup process; that world even more specifically, is brutally lonely.
You don’t view or perceive the world like anyone else, you spend long hours behind your computer, often times dreaming up things in your head that you can’t even begin to explain to others cause they wouldn’t get it or just look at you like you’re crazy. And then there’s trying to find and/or make time to fit a potential significant other into your life. At one point, I literally thought it was impossible, and I made a decision to essentially swear off girls. Not because I was bitter or spiteful for any reason, or reacting to a bad past relationship, but because I fucking love being an entrepreneur, regardless of how lonely and stressful it is, and it fulfilled me. I didn’t see how I could have a stable, healthy relationship, and also pursue the life path I was heading down. It didn’t bother me, rather I embraced it at the time, as a badge of honor showing how dedicated I was to honing my passion and my skill set.
And then I met my girlfriend.
Steven Pressfield, author of War of Art, a must read and staple for all artists, entrepreneur, athletes, et cetera, discusses how you have two distinct times in your life: before and after you turn pro. I am proud to say that I have turned pro in my life, and I can also attribute meeting my girlfriend and her subsequent influence in my life as the core reason I was able to get past some of the biggest areas of what Pressfield refers to as Resistance, in my life, and turn pro.
So many of us forever live our lives as amateurs, because turning pro is a mindset, a discipline, not a title; and I have my girlfriend to thank for being the single most critical factor that kept me from being an amateur, a hard working, successful on the surface, piece of shit amateur.
Here are my 5 reasons why my girlfriend is unequivocally, the single greatest productivity hack in my life:
1. I Feel Her Presence When She’s Not Around
I now know what it means to have a separate, but entirely equal source of motivation in my life. I imagine this is also what it feels like when you have children; that one person or persons that you live every moment for.
I don’t lack in the intrinsic motivation department and never have. For whatever reason, I’ve just always known that I need to bust my ass to achieve whatever it is that I want to achieve in life, however, this is entirely different. I still have that deep seeded intrinsic motivation, but now I have an entirely separate, secondary source of motivation in the form of my girlfriend.
The best part about this source of motivation is that it’s also entirely intrinsic. She doesn’t purposefully drive, or push me, rather, it’s my love for her and wanting to do all I can for her that drives me on a daily basis. The mere thought of her can keep me motivated through the most stressful times, yet it’s also my knowing that whatever I do in life, that she will support me that indirectly makes me want to be a better person and professional. Her presence has a lasting effect that carries over into all I do and has now become my biggest source of motivation and inspiration in all I do, not just business related.
Life is chaotic for all of us, in all we do. In many ways, it’s a sign of the times. I tend to thrive in chaos and feel most comfortable there. Like the good kind of chaos though, not anything negative. Despite that and the environment in which I tend to thrive, it also takes a toll over time, sometimes far too quickly.
Prior to meeting my girlfriend, I hadn’t really realized the toll it actually took on me because I deal with stressful situations pretty well and always took it as part of the territory essentially. I was also an amateur then.
I now realize just how vital to my success it is having that person, a true better half, to balance you out. I’m a passionate, highly emotional (not in a dramatic way), roller coaster type of personality; and she is not. Her even keel and calm demeanor is the most rejuvenating and refreshing thing in the world for my neurotic ass. I work very hard and put my heart and soul into what I do, and can take things too personally, or invest myself too much into others …