Showing posts with label The Thinker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Thinker. Show all posts

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It Always Comes Down to Focus



How Did This Happen?

A few months ago I found myself stuck in a malaise.  Every day was a repeat; not much happened except the same old same old.  In December of 2011, I finished my master’s degree, three years of classes, including three and a half semesters of thesis writing.  It was an incredible effort, but I finished.  Mentally and intellectually I need some time off, so that’s what I did.  Before I knew it, I got stuck in a rut and felt mired in the bland boringness of doing nothing.  For a while I wasn’t sure what to do.  I mean I knew that I wanted to start writing again and make some headway on my novel.  But the thing was, I wasn’t writing, not one word.  Well, my one saving grace was this blog.  Other than that, I had abandoned my passion.  And that needed to change. 

I also remember thinking that it was about time I started learning how to play my saxophone.  See, I played for a little while back in grade school.  I really liked it but had absolutely no discipline to practice. So about two years ago I bought one with the intention of taking lessons.  Sadly, no money ever materialized for said lessons and the sax sat in my closet unused.  Fast forward to March 2012.  Here I was with time on my hands, desire to challenge myself, but still I wasn’t doing anything.  How did that happen?  Simple, I got caught in a fallacy.  I had convinced myself I need outside influences and resources to achieve my goals and follow my mission… but I was wrong.

During a conversation with my brother it came to the point where he said to me, “Maybe you’re not really a writer.  I mean, you aren’t writing.”  And you know what?  I took offense to that, without knowing why.  And then it hit me, he was right.  Damn him but I wasn’t writing, I was making excuses.  And then he said it, the line that resonated through my brain.  If indeed I was a writer, “every day you don’t write, is a failure.”  Harsh?  Yes, but necessary.  It was then I decided that I WAS a writer and I WOULD write every day, or at least make the attempt.  I also decided that I was going to teach myself how to play the sax, I mean really, what was stopping me except me?

Having a Plan Helps 

My plan was simple:  Write 500 words a day and practice the sax for 10 minutes every day after work.  For one whole month I adamantly followed the routine, without fail.  I focused on my goals; I prioritized my time, and constantly reminded myself of the failure I did not want to cause.  Now I stay focused, and even though I don’t write or practice Every day (schedules and responsibilities do change) I am constantly reminding myself of the price of failure, and refocusing my efforts to maintain as much consistency as possible.  Do I fail?  Sadly yes, Do I continually fail by not refocusing on my passion?  Not a chance. 

Every day I don’t write is a failure.  Now reword it for yourself: “Every day I don’t ____ is a failure.”

Thanks for reading.  Your comments and questions are always welcome!


This wonderful picture came from sitebits. Check them out.  The sculpture is The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin.

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