It doesn’t matter how hard I work, I always think I should work harder. I know I shouldn’t have to prove anything to anyone, but I still try my damnedest, all the time.

Or am I just writing that to sound cool? Like some sort of badass terminator motherfucker that never sleeps and stays on the hunt. I fuck off on my phone all the time. I take naps. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking up 80’s bands that come on the radio to see where they are now. Did you know the singer from Midnight Oil became a politician who fought for the environment and aboriginal rights in Australia?

ADD as a motherfuck.

You measure and weigh. You review and calculate. Am I being productive or wasting time? Can wasting time become productive? I constantly try to turn hobbies into money. Is that entrepreneurial? Is that greed?

What are those little monsters in Dungeons & Dragons that are just big brains with legs? Intellect devourers? I think that’s me. I’m feeding on what I do and converting it to knowledge, and disseminating it into my life; creating a system where each skill set I hone improves the others.

Intellect devourer

Is that just what people are supposed to do? Am I obsessed with being the best? At what point is complacency an acceptable thing? I feel like that answer is never. Never settle for less than my ability. And if my ability isn’t capable of achieving my goal, then get better.

Take tattooing as an example. I’m in the process of ripping myself apart because I am not at the top. I am not the best in my region or even my style, and I can’t accept that. If you tattoo and you’re not at least subconsciously trying to slaughter your competition, you’re not going to win. That’s me competing with myself.

A few 2020 tattoos

Since I can’t accept not being the best at tattooing (whatever the fuck that means) I’m always trying to do my best, and constantly making other art to help improve my skills. Last year, I counted over 200 pieces of art. That might be fuckin crazy, but I look at it as not enough. Again, I’m in competition with myself.

Did you know Pablo Picasso made nearly 150,000 pieces of art? That’s an insane number, even for a master like Picasso. I want to be that prolific. Maybe it goes back to my own issues with perfectionism, and my underlying desire to be loved and accepted for who I am. I try to stay conscious of that shit.

Just a little art from 2019

I try to view things from every angle I can. everything is a learning opportunity, and a chance to make some money. My life is situated around a keystone goal; the one goal that holds the others together. Everything I do needs to point toward the keystone. For me, that’s safety and comfort for myself and my family. Everything I do has to point in that direction, and reflect those values.

When I started buying and selling things, it was fun, and sort of a side hobby kind of thing. Since then, it’s taken on its own life, guiding my actions and how they can create growth and success in this endeavor. I haven’t stepped back or calmed down with it because it has the ability to push me toward my keystone. I’m gaining knowledge, I’m gaining income, and I’m gaining diverse avenues to care for my family.

I work hard because it’s what I have to do. It steadies me. It makes me feel like I’m serving a purpose. It helps keep me sober. Hard work saves me from my worst instincts, which underlie my positive actions. I do these things because if I don’t, I will do other things that are much more dangerous and damaging to myself and those around me.

It’s good to stay aware.

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