Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Difficult Objective

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”

Edwin Markham

If I were to do five blogs a day for the next six days, I would reach my goal of 100 blogs written during my summer break.  I don’t see this happening.  On my best day I have written three blogs.  I often write two, and sometimes only one.  There have even been a couple of days where I didn’t write any.  So to think that I will go from writing two blogs to five blogs seems unlikely.  It would mean I would have to forego almost all other activities for the next few days.  Besides, wouldn’t that be like “cramming for finals” – a practice I hate?  And could I write anything of value if I were pushing myself that hard?  The idea seems ridiculous.
And yet…and yet…
Can I try?  Can I try for five blogs today, and then try again tomorrow?  Can I just try?  That’s all – just try.  If it works, it works.  If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  One summer I set a goal of writing 100 resumes.  I wrote 80.  That is more than I would have written without my goal.  I had fun doing it, too.  And it made me a better writer.
Against all common sense and logic, I’m going to aim for 30 blogs in the next six days.  This is the first of the thirty.  If I don’t reach my goal, then I’ve lost nothing but time.  If I do, I’m going to feel very good about myself.  I’ll feel good about myself either way, if I try.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Always do your best.”
So I will.  I’ll do my best.
One way I can do my best is to now forget my goal of 30 blogs and concentrate on being a better writer.  Yes, the number “30” is still in my peripheral vision, but my real goal is to be a better writer.  The only way to do that is to write.   I’ve mentioned before that other writers say that three to six hours a day is mandatory.  I’ve also mentioned that I usually only get in about two to three hours a day.  Perhaps today I can move forward with more hours.  So there it is – my goal (my objective really.  My goal is to spend the rest of my life with my Muse in our house on the beach):  30 blogs in the next six days.  (Technically, I only have to write 29 and when I’m done with this one, 28.  So I’m already closer.)
What does this have to do with Purpose?  How does my personal objective help my readers?  My hope is that my readers will see the following:
·      Objectives should be measurable (29 blogs).
·      Objectives should be challenging (29 blogs!).
·      Objectives come with a cost.

I want to be clear on that last point.  There will be a cost to this.  It will cost me time.  To choose this means I will be choosing not to do other things, maybe everything.  If I am doing something else, it will be an activity that is equally important (like time with a loved one), or something that helps me reach my objective (like eating or exercise).  Everything else needs to be put on hold.  If tasks arise (like getting my car), then I need to finish them as quickly, as cheerfully, and as efficiently as possible. 
Purpose has a cost.  But it’s not higher than the cost of a purposeless life.  The benefits are also better.  So I’m going to keep working and keep writing.  I’m going to Get Started and Keep Going…at least 28 more times in the next six days.