• David Strittmatter

Why I am happy working long hours

Life is more meaningful when you are always looking to grow and working toward a goal - Les Brown

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Dear friend,


People regularly ask me “how long do you actually work?” and “how long are you going to do that”?


Since I entered high school, I’ve been working a lot. In high school, I spent at least 50 hours per week achieving A+ grades. In university, my combined workload (studying, volunteering, working as a working student) often surpassed the 70 hours threshold. And now, in consulting, I’m dedicating most of my time from Monday to Friday to my clients and from Saturday to Sunday to my other projects including content creation or studying blockchain technology.


Today, it’s Saturday morning, I woke up at 6 am. I have a full to-do list for today, including writing this blog post, recording a YouTube video, meeting a friend, doing sports, and further expanding my knowledge about blockchain. I don’t have to wake up that early and do all these things and don’t have financial incentives to do them. I just love doing them.

Coming back to the initial questions: While many people can understand why it’s not that easy to explain how much I actually “work”, most people cannot understand why I could do that forever.


People often talk about work-life balance, having enough time to do the things we enjoy while earning enough money to sustain that lifestyle. When taking a look at my life, you could think there’s neither balance nor life. Rather, it could be seen more like a “work-work balance”.


However, I’m happier than ever in my life. My work doesn’t feel like what most people think of work. I love doing all these things, and I often have to put my foot on the break to force myself to pause.


In today’s blog article, I will write about why I’m “working” that much, what makes me really happy, and what you can do to make your work more enjoyable, too.


Summary:

  • A strong purpose is what fuels desire

  • Everything bringing us closer to our purpose is meaningful to us, making us happier people

  • However, the things meaningful to you might be totally meaningless to others, and vice versa

Practical advice:

  • Rigorously cut out what’s not meaningful whether it’s people or activities

  • Withstanding FOMO and, instead, doing something meaningful makes you a happier person

  • Constantly push yourself to “add variety” to your life, i.e. trying out new things, while, simultaneously, don’t do things twice that didn’t provide any meaning

A highly personal way of living


Reflecting on the reasons why I enjoy working that much, I conclude that the main reason is my personal circumstances.


For years, I’ve been working a lot. It’s not that from one day to another I changed my lifestyle, but it’s been more of a gradual process. I got used to it.


And it’s not something that randomly happened to me, but I’ve been consciously shaping my life ever since. I regularly ask myself how I can live without regret and with maximum joy. Based on the answers, I make all my decisions whether small or life-changing.


As a result, there’s not much left besides the people and activities that mean the most to me. I rigorously cut out what’s not meaningful whether it’s people or activities.


The thing is what’s meaningful to me might be totally meaningless to you, and vice versa.

I couldn’t be happier typing these words after going to bed early yesterday evening, greeting my wonderful girlfriend with a morning kiss, and continuing working on my other projects until noon. Contrarily, you might enjoy watching Netflix or scrolling on Instagram until midnight, sleeping until 9 am, taking your time to have an ample breakfast, making yourself ready for the day, and watching a YouTube video until noon. I just cut out most of these things as they aren’t that meaningful to me and filled them with something I enjoy more.


Desire and purpose


What greatly fuels my desire to “work” that much is a strong purpose. I want to make the most out of my limited lifetime by accelerating technological progress and creating a world of equality, peace, and happiness for everyone. Every day, I want to serve as a role model, be part of the whole, love and laugh infinitely, and discover every day as a new opportunity.

Everything bringing me closer to my purpose is meaningful to me and hence makes me a happier person.


I truly believe my job and all the site projects greatly contribute to my purpose. In my job, I seek to help my clients to make positive, enduring change in the world by solving tough problems. For instance, I helped a company to build and grow a subsidiary that will greatly contribute to our world’s transition to a carbon-free world. With my site projects, I want to spread my learnings, help others to grow personally, and be the person I needed when I was young.


Fear of missing out


What makes us waste a lot of time on things that aren’t meaningful to us is FOMO - fear of missing out. For instance, I often went to parties even though they were pretty crap only because I didn’t want to miss out on anything.


Due to my strong purpose, I can handle FOMO pretty well today. I learned that withstanding my FOMO and, instead, doing something meaningful makes me a happier person. For instance, going early to bed instead of watching Netflix late at night or reading a book instead of scrolling on Instagram.


As a result, though, I’ve developed a “fear of wasting time”. While on the one hand, that helps me to do more of the things that are meaningful to me, on the other hand, that bears the risk to lead to a monotone life. Sometimes, we have to try things out even though they might not mean anything to us.


Hence, I constantly push myself to “add variety” to my life, i.e. trying out new things, while, simultaneously, I don’t do things twice that didn’t provide my life with any meaning.

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