The work is difficult. Overcoming obstacles, facing rejection, exploring the unknown--many of us need a narrative to fuel our forward motion, something to keep us insisting on the next semester, on better results, on pursuing work that matters even more.
The fuel you choose, though, determines how you will spend your days. You will spend far more time marinating in your fuel than you will actually doing breakthrough work. Richard Feynman was famously motivated by the joy of figuring things out. His scientific journey (which earned him a Nobel Prize) also provided him with truly wonderful days.
Here is a partial list, in alphabetical order, of narratives light and dark that can serve as fuel to push us to do work that others might walk away from:
They all work. Some of them leave you wrecked, some create an environment of possibility and connection and joy. Up to you.
by Seth Godin