I am a firm believer in the saying life is too short not to do what you love. But even with that said don’t fool yourself into thinking you will always love what you do. I wish that were the case but it’s not.
There will be days when you hate being a writer (or whatever it is you do) and wonder why in the hell you thought it was a good career idea.
Passion about something can only get you so far. Don’t get me wrong so far is pretty far because without passion why bother. But along with passion, you have to have the motivation to execute the necessary steps to achieve your desired result. Especially on the days when you don’t want to.
Motivation can sometimes be the biggest obstacle to achieving your dreams because it’s not always easy to come by. And you can hope and dream and wish and talk all you want but if you don’t DO not much will happen.
We all know someone who’s a great person, but when it comes to dreams and plans, they’re all talk. They talk about what they’re going to do, how they’re going to achieve their dreams, how they will be rich and successful, how amazing their life will be when…
But when never comes. They don’t do a damn thing but talk big. There are never any actions to go with the talk.
I’ve been guilty of that before. I’m sure we’ve all been there a time or 2.
Like when I say I want to lose 20 lbs as I’m stuffing a Big Mac in my mouth. You know because the diet starts tomorrow and we all know tomorrow never comes.
The two actions are counter productive. If I want to lose 20 lbs I need to stuff my face with lettuce and go for a run. Not nearly as much fun as eating Big Mac’s but its what will get me to my goal. Big Macs won’t.
Man, I wish I lived in a world where Big Macs were diet food. Seriously, how awesome would that be?
Same with writing (or anything for that matter) I can say I want to be a writer but if I don’t actually sit down and do the work, I won’t become one.
Nothing beats doing the work.
The challenge as a writer to sitting down and doing the work is there often isn’t that instant gratification we all love so much. You don’t sit down and write a masterpiece in one sitting. Then publish it, and the next day you’ve sold a million copies and someone is calling you to buy the movie rights.
You can sit in front of your computer all day and not write anything you feel is worth keeping. It can be frustrating, but it’s the process of writing, and all writers go through it.
When you are at a point where you need to push yourself to keep writing you need to think of your end goal. Anything that’s worthwhile of accomplishing isn’t always going to be easy. If it were, it wouldn’t be much of a goal.
The day you type The End is the day when all your hard work will have paid off and will be worth it.
So what can you do to keep yourself going, so you do the work and reap the benefits?
Here are 5 things I do
1. Keep my eye on the prize. I have my life goals written down and hanging where I can see them every day. I make myself read them at the beginning and end of my workday to keep me focused.
2. When I get really frustrated, I take a break. Read a book, see a movie, go for a walk. Something to relax and get my creative juices flowing again.
3. I have an accountability partner I have scheduled phone calls with on Mondays and Fridays. We always start and end our week telling each other our goals, actions, and what we did (or not) get done.
4. On days I don’t feel motivated I tell myself just 10 minutes or 100 words. Then I can stop. So far I’ve never stopped there. Once I get myself started the momentum takes over.
5. Celebrate often. Life’s too short not to make it fun. You know the cliche all work, and no play makes you a dull girl. You need to work hard and play hard. It’s pointless to work, work, work if you can’t enjoy your life.
I’m the first to admit finding a balance is hard. I’m not even sure you can find a balance. At least not a 50/50 balance. It’s about what works for you. Doing the work to get you to your goals so you can live the life you want.
That’s the dream most of us have.
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