Being Human

Sit down and hold on to something. I’m about to blow your mind!



People aren’t perfect.

Epic, right? Take a moment to let that sink in before you read on.

In a blog that gets updated once every other week (or less. I’m a little afraid to look back and find out for certain just how often I neglect this particular undertaking) it’s easy to give the impression that I’m always moving forward, perpetually improving and inching ever closer to my goals.

If I were perfect, that might be true. I might wake up every morning with the sticktoitiveness to stick to it. Instead, I tend to wake up most mornings thinking “don’t wanna! Can’t make me!” And since I’m only fighting with myself and not some external force capable of imposing their will, it’s rather common for me to be a little bit lazier than I probably ought to be.

Whether it’s overindulging my appetite, hitting the snooze button until I’ve got no time for the gym, or ticking the inconsequential things off my To Do list rather than tackling major projects, I regularly come up short on what I know I’m capable of.

When I sit down and make plans, it’s easy to see the road ahead as a montage of late nights with my laptop, tightening my belt after the last few reps, and spooning steamed vegetables onto the side of my plate. Set that against a Top 40 hit and it’s easy to be optimistic about making positive changes.

But when it comes right down to it, the work is hard. That montage, inspiring as it may be, is probably shorter than any half-decent warmup, and then you’ve still got the workout ahead.

So sometimes you get off the treadmill early, or have an extra helping, or reshuffle your character sheets and say the novel can wait until tomorrow. After all, your exhaustion and distractions and excuses will all evaporate between now and then, right?

Well, no, but we all manage to convince ourselves of it on a regular basis. Or at least I do.

This blog isn’t about self-motivation. If I knew enough about that to write a blog, I wouldn’t still be obese and a quarter of the way through the first draft of a novel I’ve been mulling over for five years.

Sometimes you can’t find the motivation. You lose the fight with yourself. And that’s fine. You can’t not screw up. What matters is what you do next.

I’ve heard it said that success is getting up one more time than you fall down, but I tend to brush that off. If your goal is to run a marathon, you can get up every time you fall and still die of old age before you get to the finish line. That’s admirable determination, but it isn’t success.

Success isn’t trying, it’s doing, and being mortal, we’re all working against the clock.

Don’t waste time beating yourself up over something. In the time it takes you to call yourself an idiot, you could write half a sentence, tie up your running shoes, or put the ice cream back in the fridge.

Don’t read a book on motivation. If you’re motivated enough to buy a book on motivation, you’ve already got what you need. This part isn’t mental, it’s physical. Get up and do something.

Seriously. Now. Close the browser window and go work on something. You’ve wasted enough time reading this crap already, so stop thinking about what you want to do or how best to do it, and actually accomplish something! You won’t finish that marathon falling down and standing up again, you’ll finish it by taking one step, and then another, and then another.

But, you know, come back when you’re done. I get lonely.

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