Of Habit and Grit
I've already gone through four shirts, 2 litres of water and most of a half gallon of apple cider. It's hot in Kansas City. The dog and I went on a 2 hour walk in Swope Park this morning. Then I drove around the city, watched an old man fish and three young men talking with gestures on a street corner.
I managed to find some food and get back to the hotel. My computer sat on the desk, where I had left it, taunting me.
I took a nap. Then I took a bath. I considered another nap, but instead called Laura, who I am so excited to finally get to meet tomorrow.
I ate a second lunch and finally sat down in front on my computer. My dog was snoring and twitching in a dream on the bed behind me and I wondered if I should make another cup of in-room, coffee-like drink.
I checked email. I checked bookFace and the twitter.
But finally I had to acknowledge that I didn't want to get down to work. I wasn't avoiding all work. I'd have killed for some client work. I didn't want to write.
Yesterday I saw a post from someone who is struggling with motivation. He was lamenting that he had read every book, but just can't commit to deadlines for his own projects. He was hoping someone might have a trick or a solution. I could hear the words not written, "I am broken. There is something wrong with me."
This is all of us. If struggling to commit to a personal project is an unassailable fault, then all of us are broken.
And this is where the follow your passion folks drive me insane. It's not about passion. It's not about to do lists, or writing words on mirrors. It's not about a lack of motivation and it has nothing to do with inspiration.
There is one determination of success and it is grit – the determination to sit down every day and just do the thing. It matters not if what emerges is a pile of steaming dog crap. What matters is the grit to sit down and produce it anyway.
Grit realized is habit.
So today I forced myself to pull my chair up and write these words. They weren't the words I expected to write, but they were the words I needed. If you are finding it difficult to work on something, please know you are not alone. Every one of us is right there with you. Acknowledge that you are not broken and then sit down and get started.
Me, I've done my hour and now I'm off to change my shirt and take another nap.
You might also enjoy my post on the Myth of Procrastination and Productivity.
Or this article on Staying Inspired.