I like to think of myself as a patient person, most of the time.
Okay, maybe some of the time.
Or, maybe it depends on the situation. That's probably more like it.
I just read Gary Vanerchuk's piece on Medium, "Why 1 View is Everything". It was a big time reality check for me. We all start from zero, and we build gradually over time IF we are willing to put in the time and effort every single day. No one becomes an overnight success. That is, they don't if they want sustained success over a long period of time.
We have to be willing to pay our dues by working at it and by cultivating our craft. It can't just be lip service. That will never get it done. I keep being reassured by those who I consider my mentors to keep going and that you're never too old to get started.
And there are days when I think I'm working super hard and that I'm on the cusp of getting to where I want to be, but it's not sustained effort. I'm not working hard at it everyday. That's all on me. That's me not making this my priority.
Joshua Fields Millburn, one half of The Minimalists, talks about how a priority is the one thing that is at the top of the list. However, many of us talk about the "priorities" in our lives. As Joshua said, it's like having 10 priorities that are all at the top. That just isn't realistic or logical. We can only have one true priority.
If we're going to make a commitment to our priority, we need to answer the following questions as I have with writing my first book:
1. What is my priority?
My priority is writing my first book.
2. What is your number one goal with regard to your priority right now?
Self-publishing my first book of essays on living more intentionally.
3. What deadlines have you established for achieving this goal?
My rough draft is due to my editor in two weeks. A second draft and cover art will be finished by the end of August. The final draft and finished product will be published by October 20 (my 50th birthday).
4. How are you going to work toward achieving this goal each day?
I will spend 1-2 hours daily working on various aspects of the book...writing, putting together intentional reflections, editing on my own, formatting, marketing, and publicity.
5. At what time will this take place each day?
I will spend time on my book from 9-11 each morning. On days I cannot work on it in the morning (due to commitments for my day job), I will work from 7-9 in the evening.
While it's all well and good to have a plan in place, it all comes down to execution. We can map everything out, but if we don't actually do it then the plans weren't worth much. Once again, it comes down to having a compelling enough WHY, the reason to do what we say we're going to do.
In my example above for writing my first book, my "why" is that publishing this first book of essays is one way I feel I can add value to others' lives by getting them to think about how they can live more intentionally. Each essay I'm including is from my own life experiences and the intentional reflections after each one are questions I thought about as well.
Secondly, this book will also allow me and others who buy the book to help different causes. Whenever someone buys one of my books, they will have the option of having a portion donated to one of four causes that go from local to global in scope.
Finally, this book will be the first step in writing additional books (I already have the outline for my next book and a sketch for an all-encompassing journal) and lend more credibility to my consulting services. When others see something tangible in front of them, they get a better grasp on who I am and for what I stand.
A person really only needs one compelling reason, but all three of my reasons intertwine with one another. What it really comes down to though is just that for each of us, the WHY.
So, what are you waiting for? If you're going to get better, it starts now and continues every single day. Make a plan and then do it.
When spring hits, things get a little crazy in school districts. People are leaving, being hired, and are transferring from within. It can make you a little dizzy with all of the jockeying for positions.
And when news spreads like wildfire on a Friday afternoon, look out friends. It's like a twister that appears out of nowhere!
With all the information coming in, suddenly you might feel like, "Hey, I want to jump ship too. But wait a minute, I have no life boat!"
It's that feeling of doing something, because it would seem like "everyone" is doing it when that isn't the case at all. It happens every year at this time, and yet it's treated as if it's something revolutionary.
So, take a step back, take a deep breath and remind yourself, "Not my monkeys, not my circus." In other words, none of it is your business. Yes, do we like to hear news of who is going where? Sure 1However, does it affect us personally? No, it doesn't. So, then why do we suddenly find our hearts racing as if it does?
I have no idea.
Except, maybe I do. There's probably a part of us that is envious of those who are about to experience exciting changes in their lives. When we have something fresh and new, it's like opening a present. However, I think it happens, because sometimes we get a little stuck in our routines.
So, what do we do when this happens?
Instead of searching for that life boat to take us on a new adventure, we can create our own adventure by reinventing ourselves within our current job (that is, if we're in a job that we truly enjoy). Instead of doing the exact same thing each day, we can change up our routine and implement new strategies. We can reorder our day. Sometimes it takes a minor switch to give us the boost we need to get reinvigorated.
Or, if all else fails and there's no life boat around, grab a life jacket, jump in, and start swimming.
We are always evolving.
As we do so, there are growing pains. There are setbacks. Times when you feel confident in what you're doing. Times when you wonder what in the hell you are doing.
When I started Get To It Life Coaching roughly three years ago, I had a vision of it taking off easily. Not effortlessly, mind you, but I felt in my heart that this was a service that I could provide to assist people with their goals. As a coach of various sports over a 20-year span, I thought this was a natural fit and that I would be incredibly busy.
Not so fast, my friend. What's interesting about life coaching is that there aren't any credentials for it. Even though I felt like my coaching, teaching, and school counseling would be enough for people, the business didn't take off as I had envisioned.
Don't get me wrong, I've had some amazing clients who were incredibly successful achieving the goals they set for themselves. It was an honor for me to be a part of their journey.
When my last two clients achieved what they set out to do, and there were no others waiting in the wings, I determined this was the push I needed to move in a different direction.
Even as I worked with clients, I started fulfilling my desire to write more by contributing a column twice a month to two local newspapers, writing more consistently on my blog, and contributing material to a few online publications through medium.com.
I've begun shaping the consulting side of adding value through positive vibes by way of personal and professional development opportunities.
What that means in a nutshell is that I'm no longer going to provide life coaching services. I loved it and I'm passionate about adding value to people's lives, but I can do it more effectively and reach more through writing and consulting.
So, when you come to my website, you will notice that the Consulting Services tab is under construction. I'm taking my time ramping it up. In the mean time, my writing will continue to increase as I strive to put out more content on healthy lifestyles, debt elimination (through my personal journey), positivity, productivity, minimalism, and living a simpler life in general.
I've learned so much over the last three years, and I can't wait to see what the next three years bring!
"Love what you do! And if you don't? Find something you can love about it and focus in on it to drive you from day to day."
I remember having a job in a gas meter factory when I was in college that I loved.
Let me rephrase that. I didn't love the job, but I loved what the job provided.
1. It provided me with a great income over the span of four summers.
2. It provided me with the determination to get my college degree, because I didn't want to work in a factory for my full-time job.
3. It provided stable jobs for several members of my family including both my parents, both my step-parents, my grandma, one of my uncles, and one of my cousins.
4. It provided me with an appreciation for what it really meant to work hard.
5. It provided me many lessons in humility when my supervisors laughed at "the college kid" who was a slow learner.
6. It provided me with the pride I still have in my hometown even though I haven't lived there in almost 17 years, because that factory provided jobs to people who are the backbone of it.
7. It provided me with admiration for the people who have given a majority of their lives to working of 20-30+ years in the same place. That just doesn't happen very often.
What I learned from my summer job all those years ago drives me today. That experience was the foundation for who I am today. The funny thing is, I never really thought much about it until I hit an obstacle in my current career. I was struggling to find what I loved about my current career, and I just stared at a blank piece of paper.
Yet, I could easily write down several things I loved about my college summer job. I think part of it has to do with perspective. When we're in the middle of something, it's hard to pick out what we love. It's easier to reflect upon something with more fondness and appreciation that happened so many years ago.
The challenge is to take a step back in our current situation and ask some questions:
1. If it isn't a job I love, what can I find in it that I do love?
2. How has this job shaped who I am?
3. What do I bring to the table daily?
4. If I suddenly lost this job, what would I miss the most?
Taking that step back can give us the focus we need to drive our day.
It can, quite simply, help us fall in love with what we do, or at the very least remind us why we're doing it in the first place.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.