November 23, 2017

The year has not ended.

I've realised it's learned behaviour to make the focus of the end of the year, an assessment of what we have (not) achieved and goals we have not met. It's almost automatic how my mind will dig up all evidence to suggest it was a wasted year with nothing to show for it. But that's a scam. I know it now. My mind knows I know it too. So we have this understanding. But that's a topic for another day.

If we take a hard look at our goals for the year though, we'll see that some of those goals we sprinkled generously on paper at the beginning of the year just to fill the page can be distilled to 1, 2 or 3 major things that are really critical. We'll also see that some that we gave ourselves a whole year to turn in, can get done during a short period of leave, a weekend, a day off, three months of that extra hour working at night or the slow next couple of weeks into the new year. 

Most of the things we think will take a year to get done, can probably take a block of 3 weeks, one month or one quarter if we give it the intensity of focus it needs. Under pressure, I have seen myself cram into 6weeks, 6 months worth of work from my MBA and still come out with good grades. I have also noticed I can't keep  up that laser focused intensity on certain projects for too long and some of my most remarkable output have been that one day I wrote my eBook from working at it from am to pm, that week I fleshed out a novel (seating unpublished among others in my laptop), that 3,000 word paper I wrote in two days- one for research and the other for a first draft. So imagine if I expect to complete a project like that over a year, I would likely run out of steam.

There will be those goals on the list that we don't get done because we don't know what to do. It's amazing how much work you can get done in thirty minutes of clarity than several months of misdirected passion. It's amazing how much you can get done when you are not under the pressure to make it perfect. It's amazing how much permitting yourself to put what you have down even if its a rough draft, a raw idea, a body of work that is imperfect but captures the meat of the matter or meets the basic requirements can do for you. It's amazing how much progress you can make in the face of real odds just by doing the one you can do, then the next one you find to do after that and the next and the next until viola, you are done!

There will also be goals we don't get done because we are intimidated by the sheer effort required. I've had those types of exams where they tell you it's 8 questions answer 3, and I remind myself that the ask isn't to read all 10 lessons but to be an expert on 5 so I can answer 3 questions lol. Assignments where I remind myself that the ask isn't to master all the theories and concepts but to demonstrate my mastery of a few relevant ones for my paper. Work deliverables where I have to strip the mountain in the project into molehills by simply meeting the basic requirements not reinventing the wheel.

As I began to say, the end of the year has a bad rep but we can treat it as a beginning- a way to start ahead of the new year to find those 1 or 2 critical goals, break them into size and execute with clarity.

So forget the time of year. You're right on time to make epic things happen!

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