If you have been a perpetual starter, yet could use some help in the “finishing what you start” department, try implementing the concepts and strategies below in your next (or current) endeavor.
It’s early Sunday morning and I’m sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee counting my blessings. After releasing my book, Do Over, this past Thursday it’s become so clear that I’m on the right track pursuing my passion selflessly. Writing the book has been a labor of love the past couple of years and to see it come to life has been somewhat of an “out of body” experience.
What I mean by that is I have always been a great idea person, and actually great with taking action and getting things started, as well. Where I have fallen short countless times in the past is within the follow-through.
“What was the difference this time?”
I’ve been asking myself this question over the last few days and I’ve come up with some answers.
1) I created a plan and worked the plan. I know it sounds simple, and perhaps you have heard the expression many times before. I’ve heard it myself so many times it has become somewhat of a cliché. Over the last few years I’ve found, however, how much power there is in simple clichés like this. For example the cliché “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been a staple in our society for as long as I can remember knowing what a cliché was. Did you know that it has been clinically proven that people who eat an apple a day are healthier people and make less visits to the doctor’s office? Be careful not to ignore or underestimate time-honored wisdom because it has been overused or it seems over-simple. We live in a society of “immediate gratification” which has so many of us looking for the “silver bullet” solution to our challenges and dreams. There isn’t one. We all know subconsciously, or consciously, what to do. All that’s left is to do what we know. Lesson #1… Trust yourself, do what you know! Then from that, create a plan and take action.
2) I’ve been sharing the idea of my book with anyone that would listen for the past two years or so. What this did is it kept the project at front of mind. By sharing the idea, it wasn’t allowed to dissipate. It was merely reality waiting to happen. The second thing sharing did is it held me accountable. It got to the point where not finishing the book was more painful than the last 10% of “work” necessary to finish it. Lesson #2… Share with everybody. Don’t keep what you’re up to a secret.
3) I’ll be turning 41 this month and have been experiencing somewhat of a mid-life crisis (I think that’s what it has been? Not sure, it’s an extremely unfamiliar feeling as of late.). I’m coming to grips with what has been so important to me in the past is not so much anymore. I’m finding doing for others has somehow replaced the dire need to do for myself. By attaching my book to something bigger than the significance of being a published author (which I humbly admit was my original intention three years ago), I HAD to finish the book. Others were counting on me.
After walking this earth for 40 years, I’ve noticed something about the human condition. A good number (not sure if it’s a majority or not) of humans will go out of their way so much more for others’ well being than they will for themselves. I created a problem so much bigger (buying a new house for someone in need) than the problem of “completing my book,” that by solving that bigger problem all of my little problems are disappearing. So, Lesson #3… Analyze your challenge or aspiration and create an even bigger challenge around it to the point your initial challenge is so small that by accomplishing the bigger challenge the initial one will be solved, as well.
There are more answers as to why this time I followed through and finished what I started, but these are three things that came to mind immediately. They came to mind because I noticed they weren’t present in my earlier endeavors and pursuits; and after all… that’s how you make your “Do Over” a success!
Analyze what was missing that the presence of which would’ve made a difference and be sure not to make the same mistakes twice. That is the essence of the book, this website and my work from here on out; and it’s my commitment to continuing sharing with you what will make YOUR “Do Over” and/or current endeavors and pursuits work.