A Tip For Hustlers Who Want To Enjoy Parties
Are you always working? Is your brain always 'on'? Results oriented, your focus is on your hustle, your customers, your latest sales funnel, or your latest product improvements. You enjoy setting big goals, creating 6-month ‘action plans’ and making them a reality.
If that’s you, you may have a difficult time winding down and enjoying yourself in social situations. You know the value of your time and spending a few hours chatting with strangers, possibly with beer in hand, may feel like a waste. You arrive, meet a few people and feel good, but after a few hours have passed you get that nagging feeling that you should probably ‘do’ something. This may even lead to you avoiding social situations.
You may not be the kind of person predisposed to ‘chill’ for long stretches of time. You’re always taking action so hanging out from 6PM to 4AM feels like an eternity. Even as you sit chatting with your drink, you can’t help but think long-term, about your goals and how to reach them. It’s natural and automatic for you.
This focus is a good thing, but I know from personal experience that it can detract from your enjoyment of a party or social gathering. You’re talking, dancing and maybe singing karaoke but your mind is elsewhere. You’re not sure if you’d enjoy yourself more working, brainstorming, or learning something new.
My mind often trails off like this at parties. When it does, I usually do one of two things…
Ignore The Feeling – Just try to enjoy myself and put those thoughts out of my mind.
Leave The Party – Go home and bury myself in work.
The problem is that this leaves me either standing around not enjoying myself and wondering why I’m here, or going home alone to a night of solitude while my friends enjoys themselves together. Neither of these options is ideal, so I did a little experimentation and took a few notes.
If you sometimes find yourself at parties and, oddly enough, wish you were working instead, here's a 3rd option that may improve your experience. It has worked for me.
Your desire to work isn’t a never-ending mental state. Just like hunger telling you that you need to eat, or thirst telling you to drink, it will go away if you take the correct actions. IF, however, you try to ignore it, it will grow just like hunger or thirst. You have this desire to work because you’ve conditioned yourself that way. It’s a good thing!
My ‘aha’ moment came when, while I was at a party in Lima, Peru, my thoughts began to drift to my business. Rather than seeing my desire to work as a negative annoyance, a sad side effect of working all the time leaking into my social life, I embraced it.
I told my salsa partner that I was going to ‘work’ for an hour or so. (We connected on Facebook before we split up.) I found the friend who had invited me to the party and told his as well, as any polite guest would. Beyond the notification, no explanation was necessary.
Then I walked outside to the nearest Starbucks, swapped out my beer for a coffee, and began taking notes on the latest podcast episode of ‘Perpetual Traffic’. (A well-known podcast for Internet marketers)
After listening to the episode, writing half a page of notes and finishing my coffee, I returned to party for more salsa dancing. My nagging desire to ‘do something’ was gone, I had an incredible amount of fun and I was more fun for others to be around.
Align Your Actions With Your Natural State
Rather than fighting the ebb and flow of my natural state, I embraced them. Nagging ‘work’ thoughts had always taken some of the enjoyment out of parties for me, but I had a much better experience by embracing them. While meeting people as I arrived at the party at 8PM, learning a new business strategy in Starbucks at 10PM, and upon returning for a little more fun at 11:30PM, I felt like a winner and I felt in flow.
You go to the party to relax. For some people, relaxation may just involve the flashing lights, some alcohol, dancing, and strangers-turned-friends. For others, a little in-depth learning or or high-level strategizing may be the icing on the cake, especially when mixed with the positive mental state (abundance, love, free-expression, non-judgement) you’re likely to pick up at a party.
If you’d enjoy a little work, why not work? You know how much fun you can have doing things that are technically defined as ‘work’. You’ll enjoy your evening more if you see it as 8 hours of ‘free time’ rather than strictly defined ‘party time’.
If this blog post describes you, especially if you are avoiding social situations because they 'take too much time', I encourage you to try this for yourself. Follow your natural tendencies and enjoy your evening the way you want to.