Don't Forget to Take a Bird's Eye View

We are all crazy-busy. We talk about it all the time. “No, I can’t do coffee, can we do a quick call? No wait, let’s just figure it out via email.”

I feel like my email inbox is filled with start-stop conversations like these, and I’m sometimes guilty of it myself.

Honestly, it needs to stop. Everyone. Needs. To. Slow. The. Fudge. Down.

If you’re anything like me, you are a successful hustler. But have you ever questioned why you’re a successful hustler and why things seem to come your way? I’ve got a hint: It isn’t from believing your own hype. It’s by realizing your are always, always, always paying dues. It keeps you humble, and it keeps you hungry.

But that can be easy to lose sight of when you’re stressing over the future. And trying to will possibilities and leads you’re hearing about to fit into what you had envisioned.

I’ve realized one of the biggest favors you can do when trying to expand your workload or professional persona is to focus less on the things you don’t have and more on the things you will have. Not only is it a healthier mental attitude, but it’s also going to keep you focused more on your accomplishments — which are the very things you are attempting to capitalize off of. It’s also a thing I hammer home to my Second City students all the time: “One of the most challenging skills you have to learn is listening to yourself and what you’ve already said. That will tell you how to continue and what your point was to begin with.”

But sometimes you lose the plot. It’s okay. We all do. It’s part of the hustle and part of having drive in general.

If nothing else, if you’ve sat still long enough to read this, sit a little bit longer and ponder whether you’ve been working yourself into a frenzy chasing the next lead or you’re allowing things to take you where they will. I’ve got another hint: Things are going to take you where they will, anyway. You can be tight-fisted about it with a death grip or you can be Zen and realize you’re heading where you need to in the grand scheme of things.

If you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather do the latter? 

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as IFC’s comedy, film, and TV blogger, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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