Attitude is everything. Or nearly everything. I've seen that to be true in my own life countless times.
But often, I still do this crazy thing. I say, "Oh, if only I weren't so sleepy I could do that important work. If only I weren't so stressed. If only I knew more about that subject or had that important person's contact info, then I could get meaningful stuff done. If only I had a Gatorade. If I only had more time."
But why should I expect that the most valuable work grows out of ideal conditions? History doesn't bear that out.
If MLK, Jr. had thought to himself while in an Alabama prison cell, "If I weren't in jail I could get my freaking work done," he would have missed his only opportunity to write one of the civil rights movement's most enduring letters.
He even admits:
"Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?"
What we think of as obstacles just might make up the exact set of conditions that our work needs most.
Attitude is everything. And there's always a choice.
Did you just get laid off? Did your org just lose funding? Did your new big thing just get ripped by the critics?
FML or MLK?