Easy Ways To Tell You’re Not Spending Enough Time On “It” To Build Something and Achieve Success.

I want to X. I don’t care what it is. I want to lose weight, get healthier, get fit, move, change jobs, become a craftsman, learn something new, start a new hobby, create a side business, become a whatever, read more, rest more, go more, do more, be more. Fill in the box. It doesn’t matter what it is. Here are ways you can tell you’re not spending enough time on it to build something and achieve success.

I can see multiple posts of yours on my Facebook timeline. Which means you post all day or night. I pull up my feed and all I see is your posts. Some of those posts are about how you figured people out, you are strong because you got your shit together and we don’t, and basically anything that makes us feel like you are accomplishing all this stuff when in fact you are just sitting at home doing nothing but posting memes on Facebook. Sorry I might be talking about my sister.

You keep talking about starting. You never talk about finishing. All we get is one day I will and when I get to that point I will. You aren’t going to do it. It’s okay. Just admit it and do what it is you want to do or don’t do anything.

It’s in your head. You talk about how you are a writer, painter, reader, doer, be-er, but you really aren’t. It is all in your head. You have the stuff to do it. You have the desire or thought to be that, but you don’t actually make consistent effort towards being what you say you want to be. Or doing what you say you want to do. I can’t succeed because I don’t have time. No you don’t succeed because you don’t put in consistent effort. You aren’t actually doing anything.

You can’t talk about your failures. My dad was an entrepreneur. Not because he talked about it, posted about it, or thought about. Because he went out and got office space, put some furniture in it, and opened for business. He had many failures which was a good sign he was trying. It wasn’t just in his head. It was real. Some people think they are entrepreneurs, but they don’t have one try and fail story. They just have a lot of ideas. If you haven’t actually tried you won’t have any failures. If you haven’t take any serious action you can’t succeed. Success requires actual work.

It’s Not a Part of Your Daily Life. Everyone called my dad a dreamer. He was, but he was also a doer. Now along the way he should have thought about keeping a mundane full time job to help pay the bills, but he didn’t. Instead he would focus on doing his thing 40 hours a week. He decided golf was his thing. He lived and breathed golf, becoming a golf pro at a local country club. We knew he loved golf and was changing his life to incorporate it because he read about it, talked about it, went to classes on it, got a job in it, and designed and built a course. It was a part of who he was. We all knew. You might not be spending enough time on your thing if we can’t see it in your daily life.

People who really know us are pretty good at identifying what we are about. If they aren’t saying you are a writer it’s because you aren’t writing enough. If they can’t say you are a painter it’s because you aren’t painting enough. When you do it enough people will identify that and regardless of your success with it, will announce to the world you are “that” person, doing “that” thing. If they aren’t saying it that should tell you something.

My dad was a golf pro. Everyone knew it without knowing it was his job. It didn’t matter how good he was at it or how much success he attained doing it. It mattered that he spent the majority of his time talking about and practicing golf. You couldn’t talk to my dad without knowing what he loved. He loved golf. Actually talked about it more than he talked about me.

I know all this because I am guilty of all this. In 2015 I started a career transition and a nice life crisis. My husband encouraged me to start writing. He thought I could make a go of it. I did start. I do write. I have started and stopped several blogs. I have written on a semi-consistent basis, but the majority of my work has been done in my head. Which means I think more about being a writer than actually writing. I know because I keep track of what I write on some home grown pieces of note paper. I entered all that into an Excel spreadsheet and quickly realized I am not putting the time into writing that I think I am. I talk more about it than I do it. If I really want to write then I need to write. I need to write enough that the people that know me say I am a writer. My husband hasn’t said that yet because I am not spending enough time doing it.

You know if you really don’t want to be something don’t be it. Just do what you do and then do nothing. It’s okay not to have huge goals of changing your life and becoming something else. Maybe you just want to get a job, work it, and then go home and hang out with your cat. Great. Just do that. There is no requirement to become something other than you are today, but if you do have some goals, don’t chalk up your lack of success to anything until you take a good hard look at how much time you are spending on them. I can’t make my Instagram go. How much are you really posting? Have you measured it? Let’s be sure we aren’t just thinking about stuff. Let’s be sure we are doing it.

Marcy Pedersen

Originally published at https://aprolificanthology.com on January 23, 2020.

Writer, analyst, life-long learner, and obsessed about improving life and work processes. Connect at marcypedersen@icloud.com

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