This title may be a little dramatic and exaggerated but I’m trying to make a point here, bear with me.
I like people with ideas. I enjoy listening to people talk about projects and future events that they want to launch and work on. I enjoy the enthusiasm people spread when they are talking about how they will make this world a little better, how they’re motivated by having an impact on this world. And I don’t think we can have too many of these people. I don’t think there can be too much creativity, too much initiative or too much individuality. We need that kind of people and the world needs them even more.
But if your words remain without action, they lose their worth. Promises that aren’t kept are shells without content and how much are shells worth if they have no content to protect? I know how easy it is to lose track of time, to lose track of promises you made to yourself and to others. Life has a way of accelerating time whenever you need it to stop and stop when you’d rather want it to hurry.
Promises that aren’t kept are shells without content and how much are shells worth if they have no content to protect?
Which is why you need to do it now. ‘It’ can be anything. It is that one thing that has been on your mind forever, running riot because it hasn’t been given the attention it deserves. The thing you said you’d do on the weekend but then the weekend came and you felt tired from an exhausting week, and so you didn’t do it. The thing you promised yourself you’d start doing on the 1st of January but then that day came and it turned out to be a day where you absolutely needed to stay in bed half the day and a friend wanted to meet up for coffee later, and so you didn’t do it. Maybe it’s the thing you actually took a day off to do but then sat in front of your television and accidentally dosed off, and so you didn’t do it. And then you postponed it to the next day, week, month or even year.
Your thing then ends up at the back of your subconscious mind, which rarely reminds you of it and when it does, it’s at 3 in the morning when you can’t sleep. Why can’t you get sleep? You can’t sleep because your subconscious mind is annoyed at your inability to stick to your promises and because you’ve shirked your responsibility. You’ve passed that responsibility on to your subconscious mind, a data-bank that cannot ever really forget something, so it has to store everything you come up but never engage with. How annoying that must be. And so you’ve made your subconscious mind bitter, and you expect it to let you sleep at night? That’s not how it works and that’s not what your mind deserves. It’s not what you deserve.
You’ve passed that responsibility on to your subconscious mind, a data-bank that cannot ever really forget something, so it has to store everything you come up but never engage with.
Or else, you made the effort to write your thing on some to-do list. Congrats! One less dust collector in your mind. But now that list is lying under a bunch of more important and impending files on your desk, not collecting any dust because it never sees daylight. Equally pointless.
The point I want to make is that you have to assume responsibility. You can talk all you want about what you’ll do in the future but if you’re all talk and no action, no one will keep listening to you for very long and more importantly, you’ll never get anything done. And don’t get me wrong: I know that many projects cannot just be kickstarted from nothing, many projects need to be prepared and planned ahead and, arguably, that’s even the most important thing. But at some point, you’ll have to be honest with yourself and decide if you’re actually preparing your thing or if you’re using preparation as an alibi. Is what you say you want to do something you really want to do or is it something you use to boast your confidence, a sort of decoration you wear to make yourself feel better and impress others? I’ve found that it’s really painful to truthfully answer that question, and yet it is crucial.
if you’re all talk and no action, no one will keep listening to you for very long and more importantly, you’ll never get anything done.
Why is it so important to be honest with yourself?
Because the worst thing you can do to yourself is give yourself up. There can’t be a worse breach of trust than the one between you and yourself. If you keep postponing your thing on a daily, weekly or yearly basis, in some way you keep giving yourself up and even if you manage to keep it out of your consciousness for some time, it never really leaves you.
The goal here is not to accomplish every single project that crosses your mind. You can’t possibly do everything. The goal is to hold yourself accountable, to be honest with yourself and discard the ideas that, deep down, you know you won’t do. And there is no issue with that at all. There is nothing to be ashamed of in deciding that you want to spend your time with something else. It is even necessary. You need to make space in your head for other ideas and for a better relationship with yourself. Once you’ve done that, that is when the real work begins. When you have a clear view of your thing, because you’ve been honest with yourself and discarded all the projects you know you won’t engage with, you’ll be able to focus on your thing. Once you’re focused, there’s no going back. Make use of the spirit and energy of new beginnings, know that it’ll wear off if you don’t exploit it, and start.
you need to make space in your head for other ideas and for a better relationship with yourself.
No postponing. No excuses. No weekend off. No meeting up with a friend. No accidental naps. When life comes in the way, fight back. Don’t let your thing get dusty. Do it today or you won’t ever.