My passion is my writing, and in that, I am seriously results-oriented. Tracking results creates an environment conducive to competition – and what a compelling motivation that is. I’m just as competitive with myself as I am with other people, maybe not. Maybe it’s more. That’s why I record my goals every year and push the next year’s goals just a little further out than what I accomplished in the previous year. I strive to improve myself, and it’s a system that works for me in writing.
A light bulb or two flashed for me these past few days. If I approached everything in my life the way I approached my writing (and my parenting is the only thing that comes even close at the moment), then I could be more successful in the rest of my life.
For example, my work projects. The projects are getting done, but I’ve been accused of not keeping track of my work accomplishments. It’s true, I don’t. It’s done, and I move on. Why don’t I celebrate these accomplishments they way I do with my writing? I even have the proper format in our three times a year evaluation process. What the hell have I been thinking? I need to compete with myself at work! I’m making a chart of my accomplishments, keeping track of how long certain tasks and projects take, and looking for ways to cut my time on them, that is, do them faster without sacrificing the quality my work is known for.
Then there’s the fitness. I’ve been struggling to get in shape and lose some weight, and in my failure to do so, I’ve been gaining instead of losing. Depressed about it, I’ve been eating crap. It’s no wonder I’m sleeping worse than ever. Yet my writing is in an amazing place. I need a results goal other than losing pounds. So my friend and I are signing up for a 5k in November. I don’t know that I can run the whole thing, but I’m sure as hell going to start my training program and give it my best shot. It’s 7 weeks away, and the training program I’m using is a 10 week program. Even if we (my running buddy and I) run half of it and walk the other half – it’s a start. And the next race, we can try running the entire thing. And the race after that, maybe we can try running it faster.
Will this work? It can’t be worse than what I’m doing now. I have to try it. (and in this, I feel very much like one of my characters, except that this had better work, and I’m heading for my happily ever after!)
I challenge you: look at your writing successes, or the success of whatever else your passion maybe be. Look at how you can apply it to the rest of your life. You don’t have to love the other things as much as your passion, but your passion can give you the tools to do those things better, and in doing them better, perhaps you’ll enjoy your time spent on these – or at least your successes.
For me, it’s competing with myself. I’m going to try and out-do myself this last quarter of the year in all aspects of my life. How about you?