Always be sniffing for clues that you are doing real and important work.
A nice cocktail to look out for is the mixture of fear that “this might be a total waste of time” mingling with moments (minutes, maybe hours) flying by because you are totally engrossed in something.
This fear you’re feeling comes because there aren’t clear external markers for what you’re working on, or because some people you trust are telling you that this won’t work, or because you can sense that you’re further out on a limb than you ever have been before.
When this sort of nagging doubt comes together with a project that completely engrosses you, one that sometimes grabs you and won’t let go because you’re so in sync with the work…that’s a great time to keep going for it.
That kind of synchronicity doesn’t come along often, and the fear and doubt you’re feeling is the worry that you might do something big and important.
You might. Which means that when you pull it off, you won’t be able to walk away from it.
That’s scary too. But it’s just this kind of work that we need from you.