Sitting in front of another white screen with a flashing insertion point, yes that’s what it is called, I googled it in order to avoid having to write something more. I have done this for night after night with a bunch of good research, solid ideas, a good narrative, all backed by a mind committed to a mission statement. So with all of the tools, necessary to succeed, why am I still here?
The truth lies in what I have on my mind, and what I have allowed to occupy my heart. I am an over-committed person. I have a family in which I am a grandson, son, brother, uncle, husband, and father. My life is blessed and very full, however, I also have a very strong desire in my heart to build something bigger than me, that can help people and maybe even change the world. The great thing is, I am not unusual. While living a life, charged with purpose it also brings with it a set of challenges that no one prepares you for.
If you have decided to be brave and step into living a mission-driven life, like I am attempting then I would like to share the biggest lesson I have learned so far.
Ideas are Free!
I have lost count of the number of “World Changing” ideas I have had. They have occupied every area of my brain and heart and they have taken up every minute of my day. The issue comes with the realisation that ideas are free, and now I need to work in order to take the idea and make it into the game changer I am certain it is.
While my heart gets very invested and excited, my mind and body fuel is finite and my heart’s pursuit burns me out. My body times out like a Windows PC, and my mind follows closely after. My heart then suffers yet another heartbreak, and the idea gets benched for a large serving of insecurity. It can take some time to rebuild the guts to start again, but by that point the creative momentum I was running on has been replaced with bad habits, like two hours of television and facebook before bed. The casualty of this transaction is the idea, which could be a greater loss than the world would ever know.
Create some rules. I have found that when you allow your mind to create anything based on designs provided by your heart, you all but unplug your learned ability to know your limits. The rules I am suggesting are not meant to stunt your creativity, but rather harness your excitement and drive and allow your body and mind to get the job done.
Here are my rules;
- Get it out of your head and make it history in a journal. By doing this you can come back to your idea, you can build on it, you can be tired and not lose it. After all, the world needs it, right?
- I fight order, especially when I am trying to create something, but there is power in structure. Set out your day to include time to journal and time to reflect. (If you aren’t journaling, then start because this will advance your ideas exponentially) Continue to plan time, preferably every day, to do things to build on your idea. Finally, gain commitment from your partner, wife, and family. They need to be on your side in order for this to become a habit. There is nothing worse than feeling guilty about taking the time you need to accomplish your mission.
- Guard your mind and your time. Your mind is surrounded by so many, easily reachable distractions. TV and social media will very quickly throw your mind into a state of decay. Consider the time you lose by watching three episodes every night. At an average of 1 hour each, that’s 21 hours a week, almost a whole day, you are losing to gain very little.
- Make Habits
- Persevere through the discomfort of breaking old habits set over a lifetime. For me, this includes coming home and just watching TV. Its hard, but push yourself to ask, “Is this getting the job done?” and then act on that to be constructive. Keep at it and you will create good habits before you know it.
- Maintain Yourself
- Maintain your body. The difference between what you are doing and the majority of people you surround yourself with is that you are living a life like theirs, and you are adding an extra dimension. Don’t be surprised that you are tired and have less “free” time. Rest and eat well, your ideas won’t make it if you don’t. With time your expectations will adjust to answer for progress rather than down time.
- Take Action
- Get used to the notion that your idea will require you to pull the trigger. Don’t get stumped in fear, by commit to taking an action every time you revisit your plans. Get a quote, send an email, call someone who can get you closer to your goal. Daniel Priestly, in his book, “The Entrepreneur Revolution”, set himself a rule to make 3 calls to 3 people who could impact the development of his idea. I have done this, and it’s a great motivator and gets things done.
These are my rules, which like all things, are a work in progress. I am committed to achieving the life I have imagined in my mission statement. It would be easy to simply accept that the life I live, and see lived by my friends, family, and peers as the only life I am capable of living, but this would be the greatest regret of my life. I am choosing to have less sleep, less free time, and less knowledge of the current plot of Neighbours in exchange for the chance at making a meaningful difference in the world. If you feel even a fraction of this, it is worth committing to changing your own rules and moving towards a life charged with purpose!
If you have other rules that you use or thoughts on the rules I am using, I would love to hear from you! Perhaps you are unsure of how to move towards that dim image in your mind, I would love to hear from you too.
Thank you for reading, and as always, if you dig it please share it!