This post is just as much of a kick in the butt reminder for me as it is you.
I’ve been on a writing break for about 6 weeks now. I dunno, I just couldn’t find my mojo, I didn’t have anything to write about or anything I felt was worth reading. I don’t know why it started, but I’m glad it’s over. Maybe I just needed to spend some time being and not doing, and for that I am appreciative.
This morning I woke up refreshed, ready, and wanting to write, and that’s always a good sign.
For about 9 months now I’ve been writing a book. I had the idea late last summer and I started writing a little bit of it every day. I have over 80,000 words, which after editing, changing my mind, and adding, would probably end up being about 60,000 words. And while that would be enough for a substantial book, it’s not all I have to say. Luckily, I’m not limited to writing just one book, but there can’t be a book 2 unless I write book 1.
So, why haven’t I written it yet? Fear of course. Yup, me the person who works tirelessly to inspire, motivate, and teach others to feel fear and do it anyway, has been allowing fear to keep me from doing the work.
After a conversation with a friend last week I realized that I’ve been making excuses. I was telling myself that I didn’t know how to get it published (although a simple google search could teach me and I could very easily learn the process of self-publishing). I had decided that I’d wait for the opportunity or person to present itself/themselves and then I would finish the book. But the truth of the matter is, when the opportunity or person presents itself, I need to be ready. I can’t say, “Oh, you’ll help me or publish for me? Great, just give me three months to finish it and I’ll send it to you.” and expect them to wait for me.
So, I realized that I need to do the work. I must, at every opportunity, be doing everything within my power to set myself up for success. I can’t claim to want something so badly, and then not do all that I can to prepare for it. That means eliminating excuses, overcoming procrastination, and doing the work, no matter what.
At the end of the day, I can turn it over to the divine powers that be. I can pray for it, wish for it, put it on my vision board, and wait for it, but only after I’ve done the work. Why would I be rewarded with something I haven’t put forth the effort to produce first?
Whatever your thing is, do the work. If it takes 2, 5, or 10 years for the opportunity, the money, or the exposure to come, you’ll be ready when it happens.
You will be rejected.
Sometimes the thing you want, you won’t get.
Sometimes you’ll get a flat out “no”.
Being the best person for the job isn’t always enough.
Some things require you to fight for them.
Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty.
Feel angry, be hurt, and cry.
And then, fight.
Fight for a ‘yes’.
Fight to get a second chance.
Fight for an opportunity to show or speak or do.
Fight for the thing you worked so hard for.
Everything won’t come easy. Most things will require a lot of consistent hard work. And ever after all that, you still may not get it or be given a chance. But it doesn’t always end there. Lace up your gloves, get back in the ring, and fight for it. There’s usually more than one way to have what you want, so find another way. Fix what’s broken, improve, grow, makes changes; just don’t stop at “no.”
Two years ago I put up a post called, Power and Control. That post was based on the quote pictured above which I heard in a car commercial. I decided to revisit that quote and post today because I think it’s worth repeating.
A few years ago I struggled with anger issues and although it seems like anger would make you feel strong and powerful, especially in the heat of the moment, it didn’t. In fact, the anger made me feel weak and then feeling weak made me angry and the cycle repeated itself. It wasn’t until I took the time to understand the anger, the cause of it and how to deal with it that I truly felt powerful.
When I learned to exercise control, I felt like Thor. I mean I felt like I could have pulled that sword from that stone with my pinky, I felt so strong. It was empowering having the knowledge and ability to choose more pleasant thoughts and actions than anger.
If you want to feel powerful, exercise control. Easier said than done, but worth doing.
Self-control with what you DO: Choose the actions that get you closer to your goals when you really just want to take a nap.
Monitor what you SAY: If it isn’t true or helpful, if it doesn’t improve the silence, shut your trap.
Change what you EAT: If you know you shouldn’t, if you can make it for cheaper, if you’ll regret it later or your trainer would smack it out of your hand, eat its opposite.
Control is the ultimate expression of power, and you know how much you love to be in power.
Easy lives are for wimps. The straight and narrow path, the always have the answers, never a grey sky or hard day… who needs that?
Not you. You need the sucky days, the situations that you can’t believe you’ve found yourself in, the moments when there’s absolutely no one to talk to or tell, the ‘toughest time of my life’ kinda weeks. That’s the stuff worth living through.
Great days, success, easy weeks, direction, hope, all that is fantastic, feels great, and it’s what we want. But the flip side of that, those are the things that force us to problem solve, to challenge our beliefs, to form our own opinions, to test our strength, and that hand us a medal of honor at the finish line.
Hate not the times when you feel lost, scared, or alone. Don’t run from the unknown, the scary, the new and the solo adventures.
One day, the dream, the goal, the big great idea you had is going to be before you. The opportunity that you’ve wished for will be presented to you, and the fear and realness of it happening will make you wanna puke. But, when it happens, go for it. Just get out there and try it. Give it all you can, your best effort, and if you fall, if you fail, if they laugh, great. People who do nothing are the people you’ll never hear of, they’ll never create something great, they’ll never change the world or the life of another person. We don’t need any more of those types of people.
We need you. Even if you don’t yet know what you want to do yet.
There’s a legal age for when you can drink, drive, vote, and run for president. But that’s where the restrictions pretty much end.
Work. Service. Entrepreneurship.
Those things don’t have a start or ending age. There are 6 year olds who run businesses, and there are 60 year olds living abroad, volunteering their time in the name of charitable service.
‘As soon as’ thinking.
As soon as… I grow up, graduate, live on my own, have enough money or time, then I can do something great. When one or all of those things are in place, then I can make a difference, start a business, volunteer, or create things. But, if you’re old enough to read and understand this, then you already know that there’s always going to be something else. There will always been another thing needing or begging for your attention. Life doesn’t slow down, time is not a renewable resource, and if you’re waiting for the perfect conditions, you’re really just making an excuse.
Whether you are a full-time student, working full-time, or raising a child, there is always time for the things that are important. If it matters to you, it’s up to you to set aside the time to do it.
If you want to learn something new, or get back into drawing, dancing, running, etc. get to work. If you have a business idea, if you see a problem in your family, community, or country that you have a solution that could resolve it, you have to make it important enough to work on it.
The people we admire most, the buildings we marvel at, the design that inspires us, the movies we love, all those things exist because some person decided to see them through. One person made a decision and dedicated their time to that thing and kept at it.
Hard things, big things, and even small and meaningful things take time and dedication. They require patience and perseverance, they may even demand that you put other things on the shelf for a little while.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth working hard for.
Get to work, chump.