Back when I was in grad school working on my thesis, my peers gave me all kinds of crap about how I went about doing my research. Here’s the thing. I am a very visual learner. If I can’t stand up in front of people and teach something as I go, my next best bet is to write. Instead of just highlight passages in books, therefore, I wrote down pages and pages of quotes from different sources. My peers thought I was iiiiiiinsane. They did not have any qualms about letting me know, either. However, I knew that writing things down was the best way for me to remember important details so I could brainstorm better. I stuck to my guns, and they stuck to theirs.
I thought that was going to be the end of judgments on how different people do their thing, as it were. Little did I know that social media would soon make it easy for everyone to judge everyone on everything!
The “I’m tired so I’m going to drink a large coffee” crowd
The world of social media has been filled with entrepreneurs since about 2009. Not too coincidental if you think about it. Many people lost their jobs in the 2008 bust and suddenly realized they could promote themselves and their talents on their own digitally. It is also not surprising that words like “hustle” and phrases like “Fake it till you make it” have dominated most social media platforms from the start. Nobody wants to read posts every day that say, “Well, I’m still unemployed. Man does this stink.”
Another side effect of the social media entrepreneurial crowd is this idea that the best way to work is to overwork. I can’t tell you how many updates I see on a regular basis that portray overdoing it as the best way to do it. More to the point, many people who do their work in this way tend to be judgmental of people who may not drink 7 espressos starting at 9 PM. The folks who aren’t still working at 4 AM are, it is insinuated, slackers who aren’t going after it.
The “I go to bed early so I’m smarter than you” crowd
By the same token, people who don’t work that way often talk disparagingly of the other folks. Have you seen that meme about how people who go to bed early are smarter than other people? Of course there’s also one about how people who stay up late are smarter. People are convinced that working ahead, going to bed early, waking up early, and doing half an hour of Yoga before checking email is the best way to work, and anyone who doesn’t follow that methodology has some work to do.
It’s all OK
Everybody has to do their work in their own ways. That’s just how it is. Some folks like to burn all cylinders, and I just hope they don’t burn out! Other folks like to do things the tortoise way, and that’s fine for them. Similarly, some people love to make New Years resolutions and other folks think they’re stupid. Some people like to wake up at 4:30 and others like to go to bed at 4:30.
Ultimately, so long as another person’s work choices don’t directly impact you, it doesn’t really matter, right? Some diets work great for some people and not at all for other people. Some people can learn languages super fast and others can’t pick them up. We’re all different. We’re wired differently, we have different ambitions, and different motivations. If your way works for you, great. That’s all that really matters.
Let’s spend more time cheering each other on and less time picking on each other. What do you say?
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/21748335270/ via Creative Commons