One of the biggest questions I am asked is: “Is it hard to be a freelancer?” Which for me the answer is, yes, it can be if you’re not prepared. What I realized, tucked away in my “prepared” advice for freelancing, was that, the advice overlaps into other life desires.
Whether you want to write a book, get a raise, snag a promotion, open your own business, or whatever — maybe you want to read more, it doesn’t matter. The advice I’ve sat on for myself, and given in passing, applies to so many people and so many walks of life:
You can’t succeed at anything if you don’t have a reason to wake up in the morning.
Who among us can wake up at a the drop of a pen because of nerves, if we have to be somewhere important and on time? Most of the people I know even struggle to sleep when they have a reason to get up in the morning.
The problem is, when you don’t have some external event awaiting you, you have to create your own reasons for waking up. I wrote this Medium article in May 2018 on 5 Reasons You Should Wake Up Before Everyone Else in the Morning and for me these are still major reasons for me to wake up early. But you have to create big reasons, these 5 things I spoke about are great effects to my waking up early, but my reason for getting up when the alarm goes off before the sun ever peeks through my window, is far more personal than that. It’s the reason that gets me in my office chair and working on my finals, client work, or writing articles. And your reason needs to be personal.
If there’s anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.
It occurs to me that in order to create this for yourself, you have to break down what it is that you really want. So, ask yourself, what do I want? Who am I? How can I be better than I was yesterday?
What Do You Want?
And how do you plan to get it?
I am a ritualistic person, this comes from a strong need for a routine, which is very much a personality aspect of an individual and may not work for everyone. Regardless, what is one thing you can do first thing in the morning, as soon as that alarm blares, to remind you what you want?
Why wake up if there is nothing waiting? Why not sleep until 2 p.m.? Because without a want, a desire, why even bother? That’s the thought process I think many of us come across, especially when someone starts working from home, be it a remote job or freelancing. There is that, “well, no one needs anything from me, so why should I get up?” ideology that seeps in when you don’t have that external need to keep you moving forward. That’s why you have to create that need. Without it, you don’t have a reason to wake up.
Sit down and write down your goals, let’s be honest, this is not your New Year’s Resolution, this is real life and real goals that you actively want, desire, or need to accomplish for you to get where you need to be in life. If not goals, just write down a bucket list of things you want to do before you die. What do you want out of your career? Do you need to write a book? Do you need to perform better at work and maybe take some classes to improve your skills and impress the higher ups? Write That Down. And through all of this be thinking about the next question:
Who Are You?
What parts of you decide who you are?
For some people knowing themselves is finding their “brand,” but honestly, in my experience, you will find yourself through exploration and time.
Through experiences and life you will change and each experience will decide how you react to other experiences and eventually this builds the person you become, or that you are. However, knowing who you are means being honest with yourself, with your desires, and with your personal truth in order to come to the end result, and hopefully, you will understand that there is not actual end result. We must continue to grow as people if we have any intention of having a reason to wake up in the morning. What does that have to do with your reason? Everything.
You can settle, sure, if you like, but there is no growth in your comfort zone.
Get a firm idea of who you are, who you need to be, to become who you want to be. It’s okay to desire self-growth, in fact, you should encourage yourself to seek out self-growth. Successful people allow themselves to fail and learn from failure. You have to allow yourself to be bad at something because talent is a preconditioned ability to look at something differently, or move your hands/body in a special way, real skill and being good at something comes from hours of being bad at it first. Very few artists have come from the womb with a violin in their hands or dripping ink to a page.
Don’t expect yourself to be “an artist” or “a musician,” that isn’t who you are. You are a person with wants, desires, and a reason for breathing, even if that reason is making sure a four-legged critter gets fed everyday.
Let becoming an artist, or being a musician, or whatever else, be a part of you, but not all of you. Break down who you are as a human being, the many layers of you, and decide what parts of you need to grow. Do you need to show more empathy? Do you need to be stronger emotionally? Is there some biases you want to grow away from? Create a stronger vision of who you are and a stronger vision for who you need to grow into, which brings us to your last question:
How can you be better than you were yesterday?
What will it take for you to grow?
Each day is a new one. You get to wake up and tackle a new issue everyday. Or finish one you started previously. Growing as a person, means being a better you than you were yesterday. Knowing what it will take to grow gives you groundwork for the many different reasons you can create to wake up everyday.
Success means showing up, putting in the work, and being willing to fail.
Do one thing every single day that helps you improve who you are as an individual.
A tree must grow and blossom before it can ever bear fruit, and so must you grow and blossom before you can make your desires come to fruition.
This is what you have to do, this is how you create reasons to wake up and succeed everyday.
Know what you want.
Know who you are.
Know who you need to be.
Never stop growing.
You are capable of so much more than sleeping for ten hours a day and wasting time you could be spending working toward a better and stronger future for you and those you love. Besides, the more time you have in a day, the more time you can spend with those you love, instead of only having a few hours to cram in everything you need to do in a day.
Spend some time with yourself and ask yourself, why do I wake up in the morning? Create those reasons, and grow.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Johannus M. Steger is an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma graphic designer, blogger, vlogger, student, and fiction writer. He has a love for all things Fantasy and coffee, and leads a successful group of like-minded individuals in goal-and-task setting every Friday. He is published through The Huffington Post and a horror anthology, “Infinite Darkness”.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Connect with me on Social Media:
Twitter: @ jm_steger
Instagram: @ jm.steger
Youtube Channel: Fantasy & Coffee