I knew a girl once who had lots of dreams. Lots of inspired ideas for businesses, projects and strategies for becoming successful...
Despite all the planning and sometimes the work, nothing ever happened. She'd get to a certain point in a project and always, and I mean always, something would happen that stopped her.
Watching her go through this process a dozen or more times, I could easily see that it wasn't the projects that were at fault - though she would have sworn - every time - that that's where the problems originated.
No, something inside her head made her stop.
Fear? Nervousness? Lack of commitment? Insecurity?
Any and all of the above. It didn't matter. She needed, in a sense, to be stopped - because it fulfilled her world view of what's possible and what isn't.
Because - and it sounds obvious but is no less true - that you are only capable of what you think you're capable of doing.
Success is a state of mind.
If you think your project will fail, it will - because your mind will look for signs of failure from the moment you doubt it. In turn the signs validate your suspicions and your project collapses from within.
During all the time I knew this girl I had only one project - to be a writer full time. She would often belittle my aspirations and say that she was the doer, the champion, the succeeder - and I was just a hopeless dreamer.
Difference was, I knew that I wasn't going to stop or that I would lack the commitment to seeing through my goal.
It didn't matter how many people - friends, family, loved ones - told me (lectured me!) that being a professional writer was silly dream, a waste of time pursuing, etc., because in my heart I just didn't believe them.
There comes a time when you have to sacrifice everyone else's world view for something you know in your heart to be true.
That if you want something enough, you can get it.
Inspiration is wonderful. It captivates and possesses you.
But inspiration has no value unless you pursue its ramifications.
It could be you take the first tentative steps on a path and start to feel that perhaps you were mistaken. Perhaps you didn't want to work on the project as much as you thought you did. That the kind of person you think you might need to become to finish the project is not who you really are.
This happens with long term goals too.
Many people have second thoughts when they realize that their success might require them to become a different person - one outside their comfort zone.
Beside which, we all know that planning and strategizing is fun and safe and exciting until we get real world feedback - and realize that the consequences of inspiration put you in the firing line - on the battlefield, as it were, to continue the metaphor.
We all want to be the commander, directing the troops from a safe distance. Getting down and dirty in the trenches isn't really part of the plan!
But if you want to succeed, you need to make a commitment - and stay the course whatever happens. For a start, it's the only way to know whether your inspiration was valid to begin with.
And if you have a habit of stopping when you should be pushing on through, you'll find that your faith in yourself, over time, will diminish.
Success like reinforcement. And there's nothing like seeing one project, to the exclusion of all others, right through to the end, to help get your mind in the right head space to take on anything.
The more projects you finish, the more faith you'll have in your abilities. But finishing that first one is where it all starts.
Don't let yourself get sidetracked by the myriad of possibilities.
Pick one project and go for it.
Even if you're not sure it's The One.
It won't always mean that the rest of your life will be taken up with it. but it might take a year or two of total commitment. And it's that total commitment that will change you - for the better.
Once you succeed in one thing, you'll know that nothing is impossible - if you believe in yourself. And you can't really believe in yourself properly until you've seen something through, right to the end - and been the person capable of doing that.
The girl I mentioned above still believes that she's capable of anything and everything - but has yet to prove it to herself.
She blames the world for not complying with her wishes. She rages against the unfairness of the system - whatever that is - and how everyone is out to get her and scupper her plans. As a result, she can be nasty and defensive and cruel.
Her own insular, self protective world view has become the enemy within. She's still poor - emotionally and financially.
She hates me, of course, and as she calls them, people like me, because we don't fall into the category she's created for us.
She believes that to be successful you have to be greedy, vindictive and manipulative - which in our experience is definitely not the case at all!
The successful, wealthy people we know are happy, generous and just well, nice.
And they get things done.
They let inspiration guide them, intuition counsel them and have the courage and self-fulfilling confidence to stand by their actions - and see their dreams and goals and plans through - right to the very end.
Your Success is My Concern
Rob Parnell's Easy Way to Write
“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.”