Good Things Develop in Time

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway

– Earl Nightingale

We are a culture of wanting, a generation of impatience. Without instant answers we let muddled, hurried thoughts lead us to frustration – “if not now, then when?” – and subsequently abandon the path before reaching its first curve. We want the results without the work. How can we ensure that we reach our goal when the clock on the wall seems to show time zooming by at a frightening pace?

1. Train your mind in patience. Start small, set little boundaries, challenge yourself. Promise yourself to do an extra set of crunches, try 24 hours without social media, or put your favorite guilty-pleasure food at the edge of your desk, and see if you can go 8 hours without touching it. Little successes add up to big ones in time. Each step is significant.

2. Make a list. Of 10 things you would do if time were no issue, if no obstacles stood in your way. Look again at the list. Realize that each one of these things is possible – the obstacles are the excuses we make for ourselves. Pick one and commit 30 days to getting closer to that goal. You reach the end of a month and it’s still not done? Well, you’re 30 days closer than you would have been had the idea just stayed on paper. Put time into it, get something out of it.

3. Refrain from patting yourself on the back. Studies actually show that if you tell everyone that you’re planning on doing something, you get the same emotional response as if you had actually completed the task. Ex. if you say “I’m going to run a marathon,” and everyone gives you a thumbs up and says “great” before you’ve even bought a pair of running shoes, this little convo can stop you from following through with your initial plan; you already received validation. So be hard on yourself. Keep chugging along whether or not others cheer you on. The reward comes from the journey itself, not only the result.

4. Acknowledge those who doubt you, but don’t let them slow you down.  There will always be people that think what you are doing is crazy/not worth your time/impossible/silly/whatever – but that’s why it’s your dream, not theirs. Use any concern and skepticism as fuel. Just like a drill sergeant who whips you into shape, let their words ring in your ears just long enough to light a fire under you. Then go. Do, create, be, and never look back.

5. Keep going. No matter what. Even if the path does not take you where you expected it would, you’ve learned something. And your brain thanks you for it, I’m sure of it.

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How to Not Stop After One Good Idea

It’s easy to feel satisfied with yourself after a job well done. The project was a hit, your ego’s been lovingly stroked a bit, and you toasted champagne. But how do you deal with the daunting feeling that creeps in a few days after your joyous success? What’s next? 

How will you possibly recreate that sense of achievement again? It is tempting to use the routes that are tried and true. “It worked last time, it’ll work this time too” you try to convince yourself. But, in the back of your mind, a little voice will remind you that you will need to do something different this time around. How many movie sequels have you seen that were legitimately better than their forerunner? A handful, maybe? And those that were able to entertain you were ones that did something different. Starting again from scratch will be hard, yes. But you had a good idea once – don’t sell yourself short by thinking that you will only have one good idea in your entire lifetime.

Brainstorm. Write down everything no matter how crazy, trivial, stupid, or unimportant you may think it is.

You will want to censor yourself. Don’t.

Instead let every idea that comes to you have a space on the page. It is only by digging around and seeking out the new that we escape bad habits of the old.

Surround yourself with other creative people. Those that are thinking at a million-miles-a-minute will inspire you to do the same.

Hold yourself to impossibly high standards and the planning for your next big thing will be a breeze. Go easy on yourself and watch how the road in front of you quickly turns into an insurmountable impasse.

Allow failures to push you forward, not hold you back. Every failure is an opportunity to learn one new way not to do something.

Never stop at that first good idea.  You’ll thank yourself for it.

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