We don’t really know what the upper limits of human potential are. Has there ever been a person who applied themselves fully? We know what it looks like when a person makes a concerted effort. These are the people in the history books and the heroes we hold dear. Now try to imagine what 100% of personal potential might look like.
What could humanity do and achieve if everyone on the planet applied realized his/her full potential? What would that look like? Maybe that’s what the metaphor of heaven is meant to convey, yes?
What are you aspiring to? Have you given up on something? Something big, something small? Why?
There’s more to you than you ever imagined.
Look, it’s a small thing, but maybe you’ll find it inspirational. This morning I bridged a 60 lb. heavy bag for the first time — and I did it for 3 sets of 5 reps each (video below).
Yes, I know there are tens of thousands of folks in gyms worldwide who can bridge a heavy bag. But when I started pursuing this goal five months ago, a 15 lb sandbag felt heavy. Goes to show that if you apply yourself with intensity, you can make amazing progress at anything — inside the gym and out — even if you’re middle-aged.
Now it’s time to hit the next goal: the 75 lb. bag. And also I have to raise the money to build a temple, and I have to save the world too. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get crackin’.
You must set goals and make plans if you’re going to get where you want to be. I know it sounds like work. I know you’d rather leave your schedule open. Some days you don’t feel like doing whatever it is you need to do in order to hit that ultimate goal. But you have to, because you probably won’t make it if you don’t.
In Jan of 2012 I decided to start tracking my workouts in more detail, mainly because I got serious about hitting my grip strength goal. I made the sheet public. I have no idea how many people have actually seen it, but it doesn’t matter. I know it’s out there for the whole world to see, so I maintain it with sincerity.
Last week I added my writing output to the spreadsheet and changed the name of the sheet to My Productivity Log. If you want to see how I’m doing, check it out here. There’s a link on the right hand side of this page — yeah, right there, filed under MY OTHER PROJECTS.
In order to hit my other goal — paying the bills by writing — I decided that I needed to write at least 1,000 words per day, 7 days a week. Not 6 and not 5, but 7 days a week, every single day. Sure, I could have taken a couple of days off. But dedicated people from all walks of life often work every day, don’t they? Do hard charging entrepreneurs, doctors in residency, detectives trying to catch killers, and parents struggling with two jobs trying to put food on the table take days off?
Decide what it is that you want to do, achieve, or become. Figure out what you have to do to get there. Find a way to track it, and do so in public. It changes the game.
Take the microphone and step out on stage. Tell the world that you’re on your way to the top.
My first post is up over at Writer’s Lunch. Check it out.
Waterfall at Bryan Park
You’re a goal driven person. You maintain focus on what matters, cut away superfluous activity, stick to the plan. Goals are met and things achieved.
Then one day you realize that life is happening somewhere out there instead of right here, that life’s water is slipping over the dam.
Slow down the waterfall. Take a minute to stand still and experience the flow. Breathe.
Re-evaluate the goals later. For now, just be. Think about absolutely nothing.
Dark forces have conspired to put me behind on my writing goals. Actually, that’s not true. It’s not that dramatic.
What really happened was that I allowed myself to get distracted and then I gook a mini-vacation on Friday of last week.
Now it’s time to knuckle down and catch up.
I’ve talked about writing goals before. I mentioned that setting daily goals gets things done. Now I want to talk about the power of habit.
Habit is a bitch. It can embarrass or even kill you — as in picking your nose, biting your nails, snacking while watching TV, or smoking. I should know, since I have a history with all four. Although I seem to have the smoking thing licked (clean for almost 18 months by the grace of the gods), and the snacking thing too, I still struggle with nail-biting and and nose-picking.
What can I say. We all have our demons.
But habit can also work in your favor. A gabillion books have been sold on the subject of the positive power of habit. I haven’t read them, because I figured it out all by myself. A pity I didn’t write a book about it, because I would have made a wheelbarrows full of money. Anyway, the point is, go form some habits that benefit you.
Here are some of my beneficial habits (there are too many to list all of them):
- Every night before bed I set the coffee pot to brew at 5:00 am.
- Each weekday morning I check my goal progress and work social media over coffee until 5:30 am. At 5:30 am I exercise until 6:30 am (unless I’m injured, like I am now, in which case I write or futz around for an hour). At 6:30 am I come in, unload and reload the dishwasher, and straighten the kitchen so my wife comes downstairs to a happy kitchen. I eat breakfast, wash up, and head out for work at 7:30. On lunch break at the office I write 1,000 words.
- On Saturday morning I work on secondary writing projects, visit my Mom, go to martial arts club, and grocery shop.
- On Sundays I rest, blog for the week, visit my Mom, and cook all my breakfasts and lunches for the next 5 days.
What kind of habits could you form that would benefit you? Give it some thought and you might be able to realize your dreams.
And please try to stop picking your nose. It’s a nasty habit.
By using firm goals, last year I wrote Ghilan in under 90 days, and this year I intend to write “The 14th Mansion” (the sequel) in the same length of time. I’ve been outlining and writing snippets for about a month and I have 7,500 words as a starting point. The goal is to finish by 5/15/13, spend a few weeks editing, allow a few weeks for formatting and cover production, and release on 7/1/13.
Here’s where I am, in terms of total words, so far.
Hey, fellow authors! Open up a spreadsheet somewhere or start/maintain a journal, log your daily totals, and keep track. Trust me, it works. A solid baseline is 1,000 words per day.
Thanks to setting firm goals, I now know that 370 people have downloaded by books, and that 370 more readers than I had before I started.