Work and Pain

I sit there, in front of my laptop, exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. There is no energy, no enthusiasm. I stare at my journal — bunch of things to do by end of the day. I take a deep breath.

credits: Huffingtonpost

This is what I always wanted. Where am right now. What am doing right now. But the work, of late, feels so dry. Like there’s no part of it that my mind seems to enjoy. I run through my task list again to find something that is interesting, something that can bring that “excitement” back.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

What about writing? naah.

What about reading something inspiring? naah.

Fear and anxiety are the only emotions that seem to work anymore on me.

Oh shit am at the deadline

Oh shit this should have been done already

Oh shit I haven’t even started

Oh shit I don’t even know how to do this

When you start responding only to certain triggers for a period of time, only those seem to work.

What about positive outcomes? The excitement of doing something new? The curiosity to understand something? Or the sheer pleasure of learning something new?


I stop. I look around.

this is pending. that has to be done…

My brain is busy reading out all the things I HAVE to do, things that I GOT to get done, things that needs to be achieved by a certain time..blah…blah


I don’t seem to run out of tasks to do, things that have to be completed by a stipulated time, stuff that I should do or otherwise the world will break. How come every damn thing is so important and urgent? But when I do get these done, there is not much of a satisfaction or happiness.

The crazy thing about day to day tasks is that, you can spend your entire day doing such stuff without knowing. And at the end of it all, you have no clue where you spent your time on.

Then there are creative tasks. Tasks that could impact my life like nothing else. Like a new side project or an exciting idea for a book. Tasks that need my energy and time, but the experience of doing them is enriching and satisfying.


I am buried by day to day tasks. I am stuck in the maze of all things that I have to do. I have no other choice. Or that’s what I tell myself. I have no time for creativity. I am exhausted at the end of it all.

There was no passion. There was no inspiration. There was no curiosity. There was no creativity.

When you waste a week or a month or even years, people usually say “what if you had spent all that time on something creative or useful?”

Seems like a valid question, but not useful though. How will you act on something without believing in it or having a passion that drives you?

You do something effectively only when you are passionate about it, only when you believe in it, only when you are brimming with ideas and you want try them out. Otherwise, you do things just for the sake of doing it, just for the sake of completing it.

Plain old execution, without the intent to improve is a waste. You don’t progress that way, you are stuck in time and intelligence.

I start reading a blog, something that caught my eye. It said something about building products, something about what am naturally curious about.

I get an idea while reading it. I mark it down. Then I get one more. Then one more. I write a slew of ideas on my notepad. Then I read more. I start trying one of those ideas. I feel that warmth of passion in my heart. I get more energy. I read more, I try more. I see the results. I have learnt something new today.

I feel better. I feel like I can see the shores, for once. I find more ideas, more energy, more belief, more passion.

I see more things to do, I see more things to contribute, make an impact. I have more opinions that I can test out. I take a deep breath.

And I look at my task list.

Oh, here’s something where I can make a difference.

And I start working on it.

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Harish Ven is a Story Teller with amazingly positive hopes for the world. Captivated by human behavior, change and the inter-lying areas. Dons the five hats — Writer, Researcher, Product Builder, Entrepreneur, Speaker. Voices his “5 cents” on entrepreneurship, research, internet products, consumer behavior, mental hurdles and more at BreaktheShackles. Collects stories from rural India and the world using pictures. Shares stories you don’t want to miss as tweets. Chases questions, Quora buddy.




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Harry Ven

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Enabling mind conversations that matter at Tech enabled extended cognition .

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