Four months ago I posted a blog about my “pregnancy”. If you didn’t read it, feel free to check it out now, but I’ll give you the short version now. In April (mid-march actually) I was trying to figure out how I was going to achieve a number of goals that I had and I went on a bit of a tangent. I wrote out everything I wanted to accomplish during this year and how I would need to change the way I did things. So, now that we’re four months into this nine month ordeal, where do we stand?
Well…I sort of gave up. I started incredibly strong. I wrote twice the number of blogs and watched/listened to three times as many talks as I had planned, and was ahead of schedule when it came to writing ebooks. I had stopped playing video games, stopped watching TV for pleasure and basically had given up anything that wasn’t in direct alignment with my goals. I was absolutely euphoric with the progress I had made. But I was more tired than I’d ever been and grumpier than I should be.
I began to realize that while this was an important series of goals, it was equally important that I retain my sanity, or what was left of it. And so…I sort of…gave up.
I’m still writing A LOT. I’ve written 17 blog posts in the past 4 days. I’m still writing ebooks and am more or less on schedule with them. I stopped watching TED talks and 99u talks because…well…I saw pretty much all of the ones I wanted to. I’ll start up again once they reload on content. More important than “what did I DO for these four months” is “what did I LEARN in those four months.”
People Are Awesome
The first thing I realized, looking at all the truly incredible things that people had created over the past few years, was that people are just incredible. The amount of creativity and ingenuity that I witnessed from web developers, graphic artists, musicians, actors and so on and so on was absolutely enthralling. And then I realized that I was an observer, a passenger. In the words of Jamie Gerrard I was, “working at someone else’s desk.”
I decided at that point that it was not enough to simply sit by and watch people make incredible things, so I decided to throw my name in the hat. I decided that I could do better, be better.
The Door Is In Front Of You
One of the things I’ve thought for a really long time is that really cool things happen far, far away. San Francisco. New York. Those kinds of places. And then I started learning about startups doing incredible things in Detroit. I started hearing about incredible people doing incredible things right in my own city.
I started doing my research and learned about the incredible entrepreneurs that were making a difference inside my own city. I started connecting with these people, learning everything I could from them.
If It Ain’t Fun, Don’t Do It
I am very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish over the last four months. I think that it has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I’m glad that I did it. But at the same time, there are a few things I’m even more proud of. My son hit his first baseball. My daughter learned how to say “it’s awfully cold today.” My wife got accepted on an international volunteer trip to Switzerland. I built a deck and tore another one apart. What I learned was that there were things that were far more important than TED talks and ebooks.
I had a lot of fun doing writing, reading and learning but I had a lot more fun playing with my family and watching my kids grow. So whatever you’re planning on doing, just make sure the juice is worth the squeeze.