I’ve mentioned that my friend Otis was homeless at one time, and living in an abandoned apartment behind my house. He was lonely, and I remember one day he rather miserably said:
“I don’t understand why I can’t get a girlfriend.”
Such grief in his voice. I said, “well, tell me what it is you feel you have to offer a woman.”
“I’m loyal, and honest, and warm. I listen, I’m supportive, and kind.”
I didn’t want to hurt him, but the words just tumbled out: “she can get all of that from one of her girlfriends. What is the specifically MASCULINE quality that will motivate her to project her specifically FEMININE qualities? What is you demonstrable power? Your ability to build a nest?”
He looked at me as if I was speaking Martian.
Otis knew something about everything, a wide-ranging, fine mind. But he had never, ever focused that mind and those emotions to produce any result a kid in high school couldn’t have done. No power.
Nothing to trade for beauty. And because he was physically unbeautiful himself, he had nothing to trade to find and hold a woman he would want, and it was painful to watch unfold, year after year, decade after decade, until in time his health collapsed, and he died.
Those are the only options: either trade power for beauty, or make an even-steven trade across the board. What I very rarely see is HER power for HIS beauty. And what I’ve never ever seen is a total mis-match, where one has both and the other has neither. Not even once, although people have told me of such unicorn relationships.
I use his name because I don’t want my friend to have died for nothing. I see aspects of Otis’ story in so many otherwise intelligent and good people. They never develop their power, and then wonder why they can’t get the results from life they crave.
Let me put this in the adult-child framework: they never grew up. Never fully developed their adult selves. Because if you do ANYTHING long enough, with emotion behind it, you will gain experience. And if you pay attention, you will travel. And if you ever had a specific outcome in mind, you’ll notice if you are getting closer or further away. If you learn to control your fear, you will overcome obstacle after obstacle, and eventually reach at least the short and medium-range versions of your goal. And then, all you have to do to earn a living is guide people along the path you’ve walked, so long as you have been heading somewhere someone wants to go.
If there is a single thing I’m trying to nail for Jason in our five-minute morning sessions, it is the concept of “Atomic” “Fractal” goal setting. It is:
- Knowing your outcome clearly (“What”)
- Knowing your “Why”–the emotionalized reasons why you want this thing.
- Knowing the “How”, the specific steps to accomplish it, and what the most important thing you must do TODAY to accomplish it.
Today fits into your plan for this week, which fits into your plan for the month, which fits into the plan for the year, the decade, and your life.
If you can see the clear connection between the long-term overall life plan and the actions you take on a daily basis…you have it whipped.
Ultimate Outcome: Joy
Long Term Outcome: A life spent in blissful “Flow State” as much as possible
To do this, I must avoid pain as much as possible. That means fullfilling my obligations to family and society. This means I must make money doing something that brings me joy and puts me in flow state. Writing is a great example of this.
Long Term Outcome (clarified): To be a successful professional writer.
Ten year goal: Ten novels
Five year goal: Five novels
One year goal: One novel
Quarterly goal: First Draft of novel.
If I were unpublished, my one year goal might be:
One year goal: Selling a story.
Quarterly goal: 1-4 stories a month. 4-12 stories
Monthly goal: 1-4 stories finished and submitted
Weekly goal: 1 story.
The more important your goal is to you, the more critical it is to operate at the higher level of output and performance. The question would be to clearly define the WHAT and the WHY. Increase the WHY until you are burning with motivation. How? By connecting your goal to every chakra. I can tell you why my writing relates to survival, sex, power, emotion, communication, intellect, and spirit.
If YOUR goals do this…nothing will stop you from kicking ass to get it done.
DAILY: ONE SENTENCE EVERY DAY, minimum.
Get that? There is NO excuse not to do one sentence, every day, if it is something important. If you go to bed at night thinking about it, your dreaming mind will kick out at LEAST one sentence. Write it down. You have just made the connection between the “atomic” level (smallest possible action) and the global lifetime ultimate intent (happiness, ultimate success)
WHAT: Write a sentence every day
WHY: The life you desire, on every level.
HOW: Think about your story last thing before you go to sleep. First thing when you wake up. Write or dictate and transcribe one sentence.
If you do that, then you will advance. Learn. Grow. You will accomplish goals. The INSTANT you have sold a story, you have a skill you could turn around and sell. Hell, there are people teaching writing who have never published a thing. You’ll be ahead of the curve.
Being the master means being the student. Others will call you the Master if you are far enough ahead that you are beyond a horizon. They cannot see where you are.
IF YOU CANNOT SEE WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER, you probably have an unrealistic expectation of yourself. Be where you are. The person you were last year could really, really, use your advice. There’s your market.