“I am always doing that which I can not, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Van Gogh
Most people I know don’t actually like being beginners.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I have heard clients and friends say something like, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar (or speak another language, or sail, or run a marathon.)” And I always ask, have you tried? Have you taken lessons? Read a book?
The truth is there is a huge difference between wanting something and fantasizing about it.
When we want something we should feel compelled to take some action to achieve it. When we fantasize we may think it is something I want, but it is really just a day dream, or a lie to feel more interesting.
If you really want something don’t wait to find time, make time.
“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” – Andre Gide
Pursing any goal is a process of discovery. At some point between when we set out and when we arrive we are certain to find our selves discouraged, distracted, or feeling we are way off course.
Here lies the importance of both commitment and community. Commitment is our personal drive to move ahead, to see it through without abandoning our selves or our course. Community is the networks we build to help us complete our task.
Just when you think you are lost revisit these two. In solitude find the voice inside you that drove you forward. In community seek the wisdom and strength of others to show you the way, to remind you what it is that you set out for.
Half a job done is better than nothing at all.
One of the great challenges I see when clients are trying to develop new habits is the perfectionist mind set.
It seems we all want to be experts immediately. Or before we even begin we want the circumstances of our lives to be exactly right – the right about of time, the right atmosphere, the right amount of inspiration and energy.
Sure, one way to look at these challenges is to get into the psychology of it, but there is a much easier solution.
Just do something.
I have a friend who is an artist. Yet, he was constantly complaining that he was so exhausted after his day job that he couldn’t get his real work done. After some time spent encouraging him, discussing a career change, and countless other ways approaching the imbalance he felt, I decided to ask him what it was he was trying to create.
His passion shone thru as he discussed an elaborate series of work with love and thoughtful planning. There was one hitch though, it seemed he felt he should be able to do it all in one sitting.
Things take time.
Life does not always allow for distraction free environments where we can achieve our goal without interruption.
10 minutes a day on a project adds up to over an hour week. Those weeks add up to over 60 hours a year.
& here is the really interesting thing about spreading projects out over time. In all that space in-between the mind is still working on the problem – even if your not conscious of it.
So if you are overwhelmed and have a nagging project that never seems to get done, don’t wait till the timing is perfect. A page a day, a layer a day, makes it 100% more likely that you will get it done then if you keep waiting for the ideal conditions to get started.