I had just gotten back from working in Las Vegas for four days. My main computer just crashed and I was already turning around to leave town again to do a photo shoot for a magazine cover. I was fighting off a very difficult cold virus and was running off of just a few hours of sleep.

I stopped off at a gas station to fill up and grab a bottle of water. The attendant behind the cash register must have seen the look of exhaustion (death) on m face. As I was walking out the door he said to me “don’t work too hard.”

The statement caught me off-guard. Perhaps it had just been awhile since I heard anyone say that.

I simply responded with a smile and got on the road. However the statement stayed in my mind throughout the entire drive.

Don’t work too hard…

Perhaps I could rush through my photo shoot? Maybe I can put off my upcoming deadlines for either Monday Night Football at the bar or just a few hours of extra sleep. Maybe I could outsource my post production and editing to a third-world-country and can use those extra hours of each day to watch TV.

I arrived at my photo shoot, unloaded all my gear and then poured every ounce of my creative energy I could muster up into the photo shoot.

On my long drive home I felt near death between a mix of sleep deprivation and cold bug taking its toll. Despite that, I felt amazing.

I have not come this far in my career by taking shortcuts. I do work hard. I invest. I earn what I get. And because of that, I slept beautifully that night and woke up refershed and ready for the next day of work.

James Patrick