Creating Steam

This weekend was a three day weekend for me and an amazing one at that.  I felt incredibly happy the majority of the time, yet looking back, I’m dissatisfied with how some of my time was spent.

On Friday night, I chilled out with my roommate and watched ‘our show’.  This isn’t a problem, but the fact that I didn’t do ANYTHING else is.

On Monday, my extra day off, I cleaned in the morning, but napped in the afternoon and fell asleep really early that night.  I was going to do some life errands, but I put them off until today.  Uncool.

While this may seem like a typical weekend for most people,  I know that I don’t want to be most people.  I want to accomplish a lot in life.  Like, a LOT a lot.  Like, an insane amount.  And that requires that my extra time be utilized to its maximum capacity.

Most weekends, I find it incredibly easy to work on the things that I am building in my life.  It feels exciting and fun.  But this past weekend, I lost my momentum.  I wasn’t feeling inspired on Friday and Monday, and I simply didn’t care that much.

So what does this reveal?  Does this imply that I shouldn’t be working as hard as I have been?  Does this suggest I should lower my expectations of myself because they are clearly a bit unrealistic?  Does this foreshadow the impending doom of my lofty ideals?

Hell no.

Upon reflection, I realized that I am never going to be gung-ho, balls out, 2 year old who just got a sucker excited about reaching my goals 100% of the time.  That’s just not possible.  I’m going to get tired.  I’m going to get discouraged.  I’m going to get lazy.  This is normal.

But, I don’t want to be normal.  The difference between ordinary and extraordinary lies in pushing through those moments where you feel like you’ve hit a wall.  Ordinary stops and shrugs its shoulders.  Extraordinary picks up a sledgehammer and starts swinging.  Ordinary makes excuses.  Extraordinary refuses to give in to stumbling blocks.  Ordinary settles.  Extraordinary achieves.

Creating the incredible requires that you just. keep. going.  Everything is so easy when you have that inner desire.  Sometimes, though, you can lose your steam.  Its disheartening when you can observe this happening in yourself.    If you feel like your fire is dimming, take steps to fan your own flames.

In order to create steam you need fire and water, much like creating progress takes motivation and effort.  You’re going to have to add fuel in order to keep the flames alive.  Most of the time, the wood is conveniently plopped in the stockpile close at hand.  Sometimes, it’s still going to be in tree form and require an ax and some muscle.   Other times, you’re going to have more than enough wood, but adding more water becomes necessary so the pot doesn’t boil dry.  It could be as simple as turning on a tap, or as consuming as grabbing a pail, hiking a couple miles, and filling that sucker up.

Regardless of what you need to do in order to keep the momentum, it is going to take mental determination.  Being willing to put in the extra effort creates the difference between achieving awesomeness and settling for humdrum and mainstream.

Sometimes, putting in the effort is easy because the flames of motivation are hot.  Other times, it’s simply a matter of principle that keeps you going.

When it comes to promises made to other people, are you a man or woman of your word?  If you are, how much more important is a promise to yourself?  Know what you want to achieve, and make yourself a promise that you will get there.

And then?

Keep your promise.

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