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Monday, January 04, 2010

No Excuses

I actually managed to get some reading done this holiday season, made it through two books and they both had a pretty positive impact on me.

They were 'Bird by Bird' and 'The War of Art'.

Interestingly enough, what I got out of both books was simple yet profound in its own sort of way:

Just sit the hell down and write already. Do it every day. No excuses.

It's the 'no excuses' part that really stuck with me 'cause the more I thought about 2009, the more it seemed to sum things up. 2009 was probably my least-productive year so far, it felt that I was constantly unfocused and flailing... more importantly, I seemed to have an excuse for everything.

Work not completed, gym memberships lying fallow, coasting on a whole list of topics and generally being a mopey SOB about all the stuff not done.

In short: I wasted a whole hell of a lot of time. I let my failures stack up inside my own head, decided not to roll with the punches, allowed myself to stay down when I was knocked down.

Sure, the whole thing wasn't a wash -- I got married, I climbed the CN Tower, met countless amazing people. But in my own head, I just couldn't get it together and the farther I got into the year, the worse it was. By December I just felt like a jumbled mess. Confused, unfocused, worried.

Even worse, in the end, the storm was going off all in my head. Nothing getting written down, nothing getting sorted through -- just crap crashing into crap crashing into crap inside my skull.

What I needed was that kick in the ass. That ol' internal re-centering. The books helped but it was my own realization of the problem where everything clicked. The mercury congealed.

Do the work. No Excuses.

And so, here I am.

I've talked about my own inner battles with Discipline before, trying to keep myself on the straight and narrow. And I've realized that that's the trick: Trying.

Do or Do Not. There is no Try. (Thanks Yoda).

No Excuses.

Just sit down, do the work, get'r done.

Hallelujah.

Welcome to 2010.

Cheers,
Brandon

2 comments:

Michael said...

Hey, I just happened upon this and am commenting as I have a habit of doing.
You are not alone. I am not alone. If all of us could come together and actually get accomplished what we KNOW we should, there would be no opposition able to turn our path... and what a world that would unfold as we moved along!
I was taking a technology course one time, engaging misery trying to prepare myself for a coding project in Visual Basic, and a classmate said: "Just Start Coding".
Of course he was right. Of course I have never been able to make it work, for me.
I have often said that there are undetermined numbers of threads of ability, temperment, circumstance, influences and a whole lot of other things that go into making the successful, famous, and even just the happy people that populate existence, and the absence of even one of those threads negates the potential combination of the rest.
I just haven't figured out which thread or threads are out of place in my universe, and may never do so.
Keep on trying. It doesn't help to KNOW what the problem is, because the problem gets lost in the mind's desire to continue contemplating. We have to figure out how to put on the brakes, then "Just Start Coding".

Brandon Laraby said...

Yep, as my dad says, 'eventually the rubber has to hit the road'.

All the talk in the world -- or in my case, the moping -- isn't going to get things done. Just gotta get'r done.

I used to code (waaay back in the day) -- tho' nothing even remotely close to useable came out of it. I had my stints with Qbasic, C++ and VB... alas, I kind of left it behind.