10 Things I Hate About Accomplishing Goals: Lessons Learned While Writing My First Book
[Part 2 of 2]
Last week I wrote about the first half of the ten difficult lessons I learned while writing my first book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith.
Like I said, I had to face them head-on in order to achieve this goal that consumed my heart and monopolized my mind. I hope these lessons can be a catalyst for achieving your own goal as you turn your dream into reality.
You need time, but it is not on your side. If you don’t figure out a way to balance your job, school, love-interest, marriage, kids etc, you’ll never accomplish your goal. Sound hard? It is. That’s why it’s called a labor of love. In the real world a passion will drain your time. Just try to find a healthy balance that you can live with and won’t ruin your life, job, or family. Keep in mind, taking time for one thing means taking it from another.
You will fail. I know that’s not warm and fuzzy, but it’s true. Remember Thomas Edison? The fact is, most successful endeavors are built on a long succession of lesson-learning failures. That’s really the point. Just learn from it. Talk to a successful person and I’m willing to bet they’ll back me up on this. I can’t tell you how many bad decisions I have made. As much as it pains me, I am trying to prepare myself (as much as I can) for the fact that my book might not be successful. In fact, (statistically speaking) it probably won’t. That’s life. Will I learn from failing? I sure hope so. It’s the only solution.
You know why people can’t stand most artists and writers? They know everything about everything. They’re not teachable. People who aren’t teachable don’t take any advice from anyone. But someone else’s perspective is important. You always need an outside opinion, good or bad. You’ve got to learn to ask for input and be able to take it. Just try to know the difference between negative criticism and constructive input. How will you know? You’ll have to decide that one for yourself. And don’t think someone has to be an artist (or whatever is in line with your goal) to have helpful input. Listen to the .02 cents of nobodies, somebodies, and anybodies. The best goals are accomplished with the help that comes from standing on the shoulders of others.
I know it’s a religious term, but revival is real. That is to say, your vision/goal/idea will die. You will inevitably lose momentum. No one will care. Life will interfere or get really stressful. You’ll start to hate your idea and get sick of it. You will change as a person. Your core idea will likely need to evolve many times over. I rewrote my book several times. It’s 60K words, but there is easily another 60K that ended up on the cutting room floor. Like Frankenstein, do whatever you have to do to revive your goal back to life every time it dies. Stay focused. Keep believing. Make adjustments. Reshape it. Roll with the punches. Just bring it back to life! It will never get done if you don’t.
Build a Vision:
Yes, building a vision is different than setting a goal. Setting a goal is the end of one point, while building a vision is the beginning of another. It is a long-term, big-picture look at what you want to happen in the end. You have to think beyond your goal a little. Once you have a tentative vision of what you want the future to look like, then just fill in the steps¾seeing is believing, after all. What is it that you want to do? Write one book? Write one book every 1-2 years? Write, speak, and consult? Now how can you get there? The vision will change drastically as time goes on. That’s fine. But the vision gives a framework and avenue for the goal to flourish and evolve. It keeps you moving. Building a vision is not easy. It is one of the hardest things for me (and probably you too). Most artistic people aren’t strong in administrative tasks, which building a vision is. But you have to do it in order to accomplish your goal.
This is some of what I’ve wrestled through while writing my first book. I wish you many blessings and much success in your goal. Beyond that, I would like to help in any way I can. That’s why I’m doing a phone conference called 10 Things…LIVE! It’s for dreamers like me and you’re invited. You just need a phone to be part of it. I’ll be talking in more depth and fielding questions on the difficult process of accomplishing a goal. Visit www.10thingslive.com to sign up. I’m even throwing in a FREE copy of my book for everyone who does!
And this just in. See Jason talk a little bit more about his book and his beliefs.