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Finding yourself as you go

Ondrej Markus
Ondrej Markus
2 min read
Finding yourself as you go

I want to share with you my struggle today.

Even after two years of writing, I still sometimes don't know what this site is about.

The symptom is that I keep rewriting my bio every few weeks. It just doesn't feel accurate.

Because of that, I often get demotivated to share my work anywhere because my brain hates ambiguity. It likes when things fit into clearly labeled boxes before they get presented to the world.

Trust in the process
Trust in the process

I embrace the process of finding myself as I go – by trial and error – but that doesn't mean it's not frustrating.

Why am I telling you this?

Because we usually present struggles publicly only after we solve them – when we know there is a happy end to the story, and therefore it's easy to sound optimistic and supportive.

But I believe it's essential to show the dark side too. Because how we handle the bad days defines our journey more than the good days.

Good days take care of themselves. Bad days are the actual challenge when we feel like we have no idea what we're doing.

So I just wanted you to know: There is a struggle on the other side of these words too.

The fact that I'm the one writing and you are reading doesn't mean I have myself figured out. I talk to me in these articles as much as I talk to you.

That's why I'm committed to working here with my garage door open. I want to share pieces of the process along with what I make.

Am I confident this project will work out?

I mean, it's probably safe to say that any entrepreneurial endeavor we choose to pursue is more likely to fail than succeed.

Very sad, I agree.

I identified two things that help overcome this reality:

1/ Overconfidence: A belief that your chances of success are higher than they actually are.

2/ Self-fulfillment: Being satisfied by the process of doing something even if it doesn't succeed.

I maintain both.

There is nothing wrong with a pinch of overconfidence in life. I believe that if I do my best for long enough, I have a reasonable chance to succeed.

(Read "succeed" as "make a living and create significant value for others.")

I could also call it optimism if I wanted to be nicer. I don't.

Purposeful overconfidence
Purposeful overconfidence

However, I think self-fulfillment is the more important one because that's what actually pulls us through the tough times.

Even if your venture doesn't succeed on the outside, your time will not feel wasted because the activity itself was meaningful to you.

So, what's my point here?

Nobody knows what they're doing half the time.

So if you're in the 'I don't know shit' place right now, just do something you enjoy on its own. That guarantees it will be worth it even if it doesn't lead to any tangible result.

In the end, even if everything else fails, the process of finding yourself will be enough.

Learning

Ondrej Markus Twitter

I write about designing your life around meaningful work you enjoy.


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