Before you jump to conclusions because of this title, please understand, not only is this a quick shake for hopefully anyone reading this, but for myself as well. Constructive criticism is an absolute must for all of us to grow as creatives and again, this is a post for myself as well.
Whenever I talk to individuals about their dreams and aspirations I started to notice a common trend.
“I would love to, I just don’t have the time right now,” or “I just don’t have the equipment,” or my absolute favorite “I just don’t know where to begin.“
Being the cocky son of a gun I am, I would always get frustrated and try to tell them how these are all just excuses that you set for yourself. I knew that inside and out and then would spend much of the remaining time together trying to show them that they can do this.
It all starts with one idea… and that idea will die unless you act.
Quick Back Story
Now, as many of you know, life has a funny way of flipping your world upside down and for me, it was well deserved. I was talking to my wife one day and we were discussing some ideas we had and why I wasn’t starting to act on them. Then it occurred to me. I messed up. I gave her… an excuse.
Now to my credit, I normally am very good at practicing new skillsets, diving head first in to learning beyond my norm, and trying new things but my big character flaw was executing the final result. This website for example. I have had this thing and the domain for a long time but I always found a way to not publish it.
If it isn’t obvious already then allow me to lay it out for you. We as human beings tend to do everything in our power to remain comfortable. Create a solid state of equilibrium and then once there, it can be a big pain in the @#$ to get out.
I always love a saying my wife always says and I must admit… it changed my life.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.”~ Some Wonderful Human Being
Well for many, I would always suggest baby steps. And because my brain is rather analytical and likes to break problems apart in to shorter chunks (probably learned this from coding), allow me to lay a simple list out:
Create a simple goal – This can be anything from building your own website from scratch to losing x amount of weight. Have something relatively definitive though or else the next step can seem rather complicated.
Baby steps – Require yourself to at least do a set amount of your goal per day. Even if it is just 20 minutes, that is still progress. Now most of the time, if it is something you love, that 20 minutes will easily turn into 2 hours so be careful!
Measure your progress – Let’s face it, we love to see that what we are doing is actually paying off. So again, make it an effort to actually document your progress for you to compare your results to in the future.
Do your best not to discuss/share your new endeavor with others – This is a something that tends to be the most difficult for many but the reason for sticking to this rule is simple. The majority of the time you ‘share’ your goals, you tend to be doing a couple things: Subtly asking for others to hold you accountable and also giving a false sense of accomplishment by simply talking about your goal.
If You Are Crazy Like Me…
I would love to tell you that this approach works for me 100% of the time but for some reason, the approach that I have found works best for myself is to immerse myself entirely with my whatever my goal is. Baby steps just don’t work for me because I get distracted with a new idea and just go for it. So for me, if I want to get something done, I need to go all in. With that being said, I still try to abide by all of the other rules especially the last one.
The more I write this, the more I realize that this post is pretty much something I needed to tell myself. I genuinely hope, if you made it this far, I was able to help you in some small way but excuses can be a hard habit to break. But let’s face it, I am sure it would be much harder to live with myself/yourself if you don’t try at all right?