On worry, the future and plans

I've had a lot of thoughts recently, and I figured there's no better place to sort them out than here.

As usual, I've been doing a lot of reading. And for every well-written blog post I read, I think to myself that I should probably start writing too. That "desire vs. motivation" thing kicked in.

My excuse for having other things to do has run out. I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of thinking.

I'm majoring in journalism. Usually, I get responses like "Oh, that's so cool!" or "Wow, that's different." I've been fortunate enough to not be given the "Are you sure?" or "You must hate money" yet. Those who matter to me have been largely supportive. And for that I'm immensely grateful.

However, I'm not so blind to not know that the journalism profession isn't the most lucrative or secure field in the world. Trust me, I'm reminded of it every day. It's running joke in my college—in j-schools everywhere, no doubt. We all know it. We're all competing for the same jobs that we all know have little pay-off for the work we do. That's the nature of business. There are numbers, charts and graphs to prove it.

Journalists—at least the ones I follow—love preaching the doom and gloom of their own industry. And for good reason. As a young, aspiring journalist, I'll eat up every piece of advice I can get. But when I read an article that basically tells me, "Don't become a journalist," it's hard not to get a little depressed.

Then I read the other side of the coin, and I feel a little better. Granted, it doesn't even count as a work week if a journalist hasn't written a think-piece on the state of the industry.1

As the media industry undergoes dramatic changes to its formula, I believe the question every future journalist must ask him or herself is no longer "Why do I want to be a journalist?" Instead, I propose the challenge to ask, "What am I going to do about it?"

I can spend night after night questioning whether I want to be a journalist at all—doubting my motivation, my inspiration, my purpose, you name it. And trust me, I have. But those worries do me no good unless I've decided what I'm going to do about it.

And what am I going to do about it?

I'm not going to worry. I'm going to work as hard as I can to become the best I can be. I'm 20 years old. I have no idea where I'm going to be in 10 years, let alone 5 years. A lot can change. A lot can happen.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.

I pursue journalism because I believe it's my God-given purpose to tell stories that reflect his truth in every facet of life. I'm not concerned with the way the media industry is going, for better or worse. All I have to do is keep up and know that wherever I end up, it's going to be exactly where I'm supposed to be.

I have the audacious faith to believe that God will provide my every need, regardless of my circumstance. In the face of hardships, difficulties, a shrinking industry and competitive jobs, I will not falter. God's plan is bigger than the death of the newspaper. God's plan is bigger than my personal future.

And, honestly, he's taken care of me well beyond my expectations at this point. I know his plan is better than mine.

I'm just going to keep writing.

From one young journalist desperate for advice to another:

Strive for excellence and settle for nothing else. Write with conviction. Pursue the truth.


But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6.33-34

  1. This is my contribution.

Desire versus motivation

Surprise!

Turns out, I'm allowed to use this blog for more than just nerdy, techie things (which are great by the way). Unfortunately, the other end of the spectrum of my goals for this place are posts that simply stab at the human side of life or at least the way I see it. Maybe, just maybe, one of those posts can inspire someone to something. Luckily, I'm not so far foolish that I think that'll actually happen. I'm too haphazard of a writer to accomplish such a thing. So instead, I'll land here:

I want to do more than my own ability is willing to try.

That's a fancy way of saying I'm lazy.

It's simple. I have a list, a long list of things I wish I had done, would do and will do. But I'm the laziest person known to my own universe.

Now, I'll keep this short because otherwise it'll become about as effective as a Facebook rant.

"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." — Proverbs 13.4

This verse, there are many like it sprinkled throughout Proverbs. But this one grinds at me more than any other.

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man." — Proverbs 6.10-11

I love sleep. In fact, I often find myself loving it more than little else in my life. However, I've hardly earned, and I know it.

See, I like Proverbs for two reasons: It's simple and to the point, and it's so practical, an idiot can comprehend it. While there's always something to be found from a little digging, the surface level practicality of these verses are what I find to be the most valuable. You don't have to agree what the writer is saying, but you can't deny he got his point across.

Now here's my reality. My desire to be successful while fighting my inherent laziness far outweighs my motivation to be something more than I am right now. And not because I feel like I have something to prove, but because I’m unable to be satisfied if I’m not moving forward. I don’t think the thief has come quite yet, but I find myself folding my hands far too often — literally and figuratively. For every moment I know I could be productive and get something done, another moment goes by where I think: ya know… I dont have to.

I hate it. If I could commit murder, it would be to end the life of whatever dwells inside of me that causes me to second guess my ability to get things done. Mind you, I don’t consider this the same thing as procrastination, which is when you put off something to do later. My laziness is purely the notion of not doing something. A terrible dilemma isn’t it? Don’t worry, I don’t have the audacity to think I’m unique to this struggle. Laziness is a plague that has run its course through for more people than I would ever wish it upon.

In fact, I wouldn't be writing this if I was alone. At the end of the day, this very post is an exercise to see exactly how long it's taken me to write this very post, not counting the time it takes to edit it. (Fun fact: too long) At the end of the day, I've written all this to be transparent with whatever audience I may have someday, but more importantly, I'm writing this to be transparent with myself. If I can really do this, if I can really be consistent with my desire to write more often than I usually do, then this post will be a testament that I can prove myself wrong. Because as it stands, I'm not convinced I can do this. My college classes will only get more rigorous and demanding. As they do, my motivation to do more writing outside of my assignments will continue to dwindle.

So see this as an open challenge to myself for all to see. If I can use my desire to surmount my diminishing motivation, then this blog will be a testament. But if you only find a few more posts after this, then you'll know this blog will be nothing more than a testament to my failure. And I guess I'll have to be okay with that.

Yes, this post is egregiously self-centered. It’s gross. But I felt like I needed to get it out. If you struggle with innate laziness like I do and you’re reading this, then you can take this ride right along with me. For better or worse, something is going to happen, but quite honestly, I don’t what it is yet.