Most creative minds in history did not have the pleasure of sitting around only working on what they wanted. They had day jobs — just like you — because they still had to put food on the table, but that didn’t stop them.
Photo by Visit Mississippi
When someone tells you “don’t quit your day job”, it’s often taken as an insult. Truth is, it’s good advice, because your day job is actually what’s giving you the opportunity to pursue your passion. You just may not be taking advantage of it.
Oliver Burkeman at The Guardian took a look at the daily routines of history’s most creative minds and noticed some great examples of people who worked regular jobs while they pursued their passions:
William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in the afternoons, before commencing his night shift at a power plant; TS Eliot’s day job at Lloyds bank gave him crucial financial security; William Carlos Williams, a pediatrician, scribbled poetry on the backs of his prescription pads. Limited time focuses the mind, and the self-discipline required to show up for a job seeps back into the processes of art.
There are far more examples of great people in history that put up with the daily grind, but the message is clear: you can do both. Stop blaming your job for why you can’t accomplish your personal goals. Nearly everyone is held to some form of time constraint, but the people that truly want to achieve find the time. You think you’re the first person to feel tired after a day of work? You think you’re the first person to feel overwhelmed with how busy you are?
Look for the moments, the brief periods of time you have to do what you like and exploit them. Instead of taking that time to think about how tired, busy, or unhappy you are, use it to move forward with what you love. It takes time to do great things. Earnestly look for time to work on what you want, but be patient. Don’t quit your day job, just take advantage of it.
Rise and shine: the daily routines of history’s most creative minds [The Guardian via 99U]