“I learned the value of hard work by working hard.”
Margaret M. Fitzpatrick
“Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
“If you want to achieve some really big and interesting goals, you have to learn to fall in love with hard work.”
I’m really happy to be here and I’m going to do my best to not get up from this chair until this blog is finished. I have set a goal of 175 blogs by next Wednesday, but I might try to finish by Monday, the day I return to work. That means three a day. I don’t think that’s too difficult if I focus. And it would be nice to reach a goal early.
When I set my goal to reach 150 blogs my birthday, I was not aware of how much I would learn about myself. I also was not aware of how healing it would be. To write that much, I really had to look at who I was, what I wanted and what I lacked. It was a powerful process and I’m glad I did it. Although it was difficult at times, I reached my goal. I noticed how quickly I became less diligent once the pressure was gone. That told me that I still struggle with some of the same issues, laziness, procrastination, and poor time management. Yet I also realized that by setting high expectations for myself, some that created pressure for me, I could create growth.
There are other areas in which I could set high expectations. For example, I would like to earn an extra $2500 this month. How could I do that? The only thing that comes to mind is finishing my books and marketing them heavily. Perhaps if I did The Work around my money issues, I might come up with other ideas. That number seems large, but so did the number of blogs I had to write last month.
What, by the way, is my obsession with money?
It’s not an obsession. It’s a realistic assessment of my current situation and of my future hopes. There aren’t, to my knowledge, a lot of ways to make money in education. I could go to paid in-services. That brought me some good extra money this month. Or I could become an administrator, but that’s not where my interests lie, so I doubt that I’d be very good. I could substitute, but I’d only be able to do classes on Fridays, Saturdays or afternoons. Perhaps I could get a part-time job somewhere. I could write a lot more resumes, but I have to find paying clients. I have some thinking and planning to do.
So far I’ve written a little more than a page and I still don’t what this blog is about. Maybe I should go to bed, but no, I’m going to sit here until I figure out at least a small part of my life and what I’m supposed to be writing tonight. This is hard work…all of it, the thinking, the writing and the planning. It’s hard because I don’t know what to do. So I will keep sitting here and keep writing until the Muse speaks to me or a good money-making idea occurs.
This is the work, just sitting here until the ideas come. Sometimes this is all there is. Sometimes it’s not very interesting. Sometimes it’s about not leaving until the job is done and done well. Sometimes hard work is only fun and romantic after the fact. The way to make it easier is to stay focused. This is all there is. This is all there needs to be. Today in my radio show I said that when I’m present and focused, hard work isn’t hard. I’m not thinking about the difficulty or even the results. All I’m thinking about is getting this blog done. All I’m thinking about is that there is nothing else but me and my writing. That’s it. There doesn’t need to be anything else. In fact, I don’t even need my writing; I just need to be present. It’s usually my writing that keeps me present though and that’s one of the reasons it’s so important to me.
The Spanish word for “stubborn” is “terco.” That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m being stubborn. Estoy siendo terco. I’m not giving up. I’m not quitting. I’m stubborn. Persevering. Determined. Obstinate. I’m not stopping until I’m done. This quality has often helped me, but it’s also caused problems. I stayed in jobs and relationships far longer than I should have. My stubbornness is helpful in times like these, however, when I’m trying to get things done, it's very helpful. I’m literally falling asleep but I’m going to keep going. I’m almost there.
In fact, I’m done. I’ve written enough for tonight. I got another blog done. I got more words written. Perhaps this wasn’t my greatest blog ever, but it wasn’t my worst either. I heard an expression a long time ago: It isn’t a piano.
That means that this blog doesn’t have to be the most beautiful thing ever written; it just has to get written, just as if I were moving a piano. All that matters is that I get it in the right place without doing any damage. I just need to get my writing done and not do any damage.
What counts most is that I get it done.
What counts most is that I Get Started and Keep Going.