It really depends on what task in question that you are referring to and your level of interest in it.
Suppose that you wish to become a successful blogger or YouTuber because all the ra-ra in the videos and blog posts got you super hyped up.
So you go through all the steps the ‘gurus’ said that from starting a blog/YouTube channel to getting traffic and views.
Geez it is tough but you grit your teeth and did it.
Then after 3 months, not much traffic and hardly anyone subscribing, you would be asking yourself if you are just wasting your time. And perhaps a little angry as you may think you have been misled and given wrong advice. More so if you have spent some money on gears, props or software that these ‘gurus’ insist you need in order to succeed.
Did you just waste 3 months of your life?
The answer really depends on asking yourself honestly:
Do you enjoy or learned something of value to you doing the tasks be it a blog, YouTube channel or the online channel?
Aside from money and fame, are there anything motivating you to sacrifice the time that could be spent enjoying yourself with say, watching Netflix and play video games?
If you are in it for glory and money, you would give up in not only this but many of the things you are working for in life.
Did you just waste your time?
No, because you would have learned from that experience. You came, you saw and you decided you want a piece of the cake. You have put in effort but in the hours and days spent grinding away, you would know if it is for you or not.
It sure beats hours of binge watching drama series. Think of all the shows and movies you have watched in the past. Yes, you got entertained but that feeling is so fleeting before an urge comes up for the next fix.
Isn’t life nothing but a lifelong of learning experiences?
It is different from investing time in something you wish to achieve, or a hobby or in learning.
At least you know you have given it a shot rather than always being haunted with the ‘what-ifs’. Too many people go about life being to afraid to take risks and get out of their comfort zone that they feel empty and unfulfilled inside.
Silencing that inner voice
When I was stressed in my corporate job, I used to wish desperately to take a paycut job so that I could have better quality of life and ‘smell the roses’ and stop working for just my company’s bottom line.
Finally I gave it a shot. I quit my job and took a paycut to have a less stressed job and more mental energy to work on my blogs.
After a year, I decided I had enough. You will still face bullying, unreasonable demands and crappy environment when you are on a paycut job.
The last straw came when I was being bullied by people who did not even finish high school (no offense to those who did not finish high school but what I am referring is those who have extreme superior complex). So, when my former boss called to offer me an opening back to corporate, I jumped at the chance.
If I am gonna be scolded, I would rather be paid few times the salary, scolded by those who at least spoke with reason and sense and not to go broke and worry about money.
And that year also made me realize that I am not suited to blog full time for a living because I am the creative type who would suffer a mental block and stress once I do it for the money.
When you learn and pursue experiences, it is not a waste of time. That failed startup, that failed business, venture, that failed relationship.
So stop beating yourself up if you have ever go for something only to end up in failure. At least you know that particular thing ain’t working out for you. And you would not waste the remaining of your life singing sad ‘what-ifs’. Believe me, you would be haunted by what-ifs.
I spend a year giving it a go at blogging (pursuing my dream) and taking a paycut job (thinking I will have less stress and better quality of life).
And the remainder of my time contentedly settling back into my corporate job without the what-ifs that used to haunt me. I learnt that:
- going full time online was not for me, and a paycut job while is not so mentally demanding, gives equal stress especially when you realize that crap as work is a reality
- Life is stressful when you do not make enough to cover your expenses
So, if there is something you really wish to do, give it a shot. You need not quit your job and jump full time. Instead, sacrifice the time that you would otherwise waste away in partying, watching TV, shopping or playing games on your phone. If it works out, great and move full time into it. If not, you would have picked up a new skill, and silence that annoying nagging inner voice and put it to rest.
Note: I did eventually resign from my job in 2017 to be a fulltime caregiver for my mom.