How To Stop Worrying And Slay Your Workdays – ZerModus

How To Stop Worrying And Slay Your Workdays

Not everything that happens is in our control, and that goes for both good and things.
Nearly every individual success that any one person has can be attributed to someone else taking time to listen, offer aid, or provide resources to them. When it comes to life's struggles, the perception that life is an objectively fair meritocracy can actually be deeply harmful for people whose circumstances disprove that in a number of ways.
At the same time, many, if not most, people are hardwired to struggle and aim for more or better, rather than giving up. Figuring out how to do that in work situations can be difficult if you're stuck in "analysis paralysis": You have no idea what to do next, or feel like giving up. As Adam Kurtz, the author of the new book Things Are What You Make of Them sees it, any small action is actually better than inaction.
"I started writing these short, handwritten essays about new challenges and experiences I was facing as a 'creative professional.' Though I've been making and sharing my art as a hobby for about 10 years, I only went full time about two years ago," he tells Refinery29.
"I realized that most of my challenges weren't actually unique at all, but commonly shared anxieties, fears, and stresses that all types of people shared. Whether your career is specifically in a creative industry — artists, writers, photographers, entrepreneurs, etc. — or you are just the kind of person who is always working on or making something, we all face a lot of intangible emotions, most of which stem from within ourselves."
In Things Are What You Make of Them, Kurtz shares mini-essays of how he deals with the intangibles that can keep people stuck, overwhelmed, or afraid to move forward. He also confronts the idea of what concepts like happiness and success look like to people in creative or more traditional industries.
"I'm the kind of person that supports my friends fully, but keeps it real," he explains. "A true friend doesn't just tell you what you want to hear, they call you out on your shit early before someone else does" — in the hopes of pushing you forward.
R29: What lessons can people who aren't in fields that are deemed "creative" take away from this book?

Kurtz: "Well, the first fucking lesson is that everyone is creative. The book cover says 'life advice for creatives,' and it's my fault for being misleading. But when you broaden the definition of what a creative person is, and instead think about a type of emotive, open, human person, it's really for anyone. Anyone who's ever wanted to accomplish a goal of any kind is going to relate to the essays in this book."
R29: What do you want people in creative fields in particular to get from this book?

Kurtz: "Creative people, as I define them in the book, are a type of human who feel a certain compulsion to 'make' something out of every experience. We see beauty in the world and we are inspired. We don't always know where we fit in, we don't always know how to harness the potential we know we have, and we often feel frustrated with ourselves for not doing enough — even when we are doing so much."
 "This book dissects the feelings and experiences of being that type of person in the world, breaks them down into their basic elements (success, fear, excitement, jealousy, anxiety, joy, inspiration, etc.) and then offers my approach to coping."
 "'Create and meet goals' is one of the most important things for me to be a happy person. In school, you have semesters, you have tests, you have projects, basically a whole system built around short challenges and rewards. Then you enter the real world and it's like, holy fuck, I'm in terrifying control of my own life!"
 "I give myself projects, I create goals, and then I get to have a reward. Whether that's a creative project with deadlines or a plan to go to the gym on a certain schedule, this kind of planning and structure gives you a framework to make sure you have a reason to keep moving forward, and to feel good about yourself when you do."
 "In life, every difficult task can be broken down into smaller pieces and then built again. Artists draw faces by starting with a circle. A house is made of bricks. The pieces make a whole and even when the end product seems impossible, the steps don't have to be. You can do anything."
"Life is bad sometimes. That's just the truth. Sometimes you just need to fucking survive and that's an accomplishment in and of itself. But when you reflect on the hardships, you can find the silver lining or lesson learned. You don't want take all the bad shit with you, but you might take one thing, a souvenir that shapes you into who you are and what you'll do next, and use it to make something new.

"Life isn't always easy, but it is mostly good and I really do believe that."
Author credit: JUDITH OHIKUARE
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