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.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.