Finish this sentence:
“The trajectory of my life would be drastically changed if ______________.”
First let me qualify this statement. Whatever you write as a result of where your mind goes first, I want you to focus on the effort and not the outcome. The effort has everything to do with YOU, the outcome has nothing to do with YOU. Why in the world would you create a goal or dream that you did not have the ability to influence? How will you know where to begin if you never take the time to identify what it is that you most desire in the moment. Effort is your’s and you should own it. As a matter of fact, you should own it sooner rather than later. What happens as a result of your effort is beyond your control and for you to focus there would be counterproductive and most likely lead to discouragement.
“Is it Possible” is a title meant to draw your attention to the effort required to accomplish your (fill in the blank) statement. This question will hopefully lead to a lesson in self-reflection. The way that I would have finished the statement above 2 years ago is quite different than would I answer today. The ironic thing is that the subject matter is the same. For the last 2 years I have wanted to become an author. I kept asking myself “is it possible?” The devastating thing is that even before I sat down to do any writing my focus was on hitting a Bestsellers List. That is absolutely insane, but in the moment it seemed perfectly logically. Why wouldn’t I expect my first book to be a success? Again, my focus was misplaced and premature. What has happened in the last 2 years is that I have actually found the time and execution to complete my book (and I could not be more excited!)
What have you been putting off for fear of an outcome that is less than favorable? What have you not tried because you think you will fail? One of my mentors shared with me very early on that I am always free to fail, but never not to try. Outcomes will never occur if you do not apply yourself. Outcomes will remain an obscurity unless your efforts become the focal point. For me to write my book, I had to schedule my daily writing time. I will never forget the first time I sat behind a blank computer screen. It was most definitely one of the most intimidating experiences of my life. But you know what…I just kept writing and each day got a little easier. The collection of my daily efforts over an 8 week period resulted in a finished product, my book! I’m not sure I can be so dramatic as to say “the trajectory of my life would be drastically changed if I produced a rough draft of an idea for a book.”
My efforts were not perfect, but they were performed nonetheless. My book, 2 years later, has been written, edited, published and is now ready for distribution. On Wednesday August 12th, my book will launch and I have no idea how well it.will sell. I am confident however that I have done everything in my power up to this point in time. I guess it’s possible that The Problem with Perfect will hit a bestseller’s list right out of the gates, but its not probably. What is much more possible is my second book (and then third book and so on) hitting a bestseller list. My first goal has been accomplished and now that I know how to actually write a book, there will be improvement with my progression. Eventually, I will hit a bestseller’s list…I AM THAT DETERMINED, but its probably going to take a bit longer than what I hope for.
Now when I see shelves like this one, my dream becomes much more real. This is an airport bookstore filled with bestsellers and one day, one of my books will appear alongside these under a section labeled “Best-Sellers.” This is the nature of progress. We get better with time, attention and most importantly commitment.
In closing, I would encourage you that YES, the “it” in your life is possible. Maybe your an athlete, or an aspiring chef. Perhaps you have dreamed of becoming a CEO or a Broadway actress. What are you doing (or not doing) NOW that you can take ownership of and make it a practice? Effort must precede outcome. Without your decision and daily devotion to the task, you will never find yourself in a situation to decipher the outcome.