I once had a client who was working on a beautiful novel about a lighthouse keeper. She had painted the picture for me-the sweeping vistas, the dramatic plot lines, the attention to every detail for historic authenticity. She had the passion for the story, she knew the plot backwards and forwards. There was just one teeny, little problem.
She wasn’t getting the book written.
Every session she’d say she was ready to start writing and at the next check in, she let me know she had a little more research she had to get done and then she could finally start writing. Except, as is so often the case, the research never ended. One interesting article led to an interesting website, which led to an interesting book…To be fair she was doing some writing- character sketches and an outline- all of which she would write and rewrite depending on whatever she would find during her latest research session. The novel itself never took shape.
Myth #4: I’ll get to it eventually
Hear me very clearly: The laundry will never be done, your house will never be perfectly organized and uncluttered, the projects at work won’t slow down and you won’t get to it once you feel like you know enough to finally get started. Eventually is a very slippery concept and a concept we hide behind as an excuse. Eventually is always “out there” away from you and goals don’t reside there. Goals reside in this moment. How are you using this moment to make progress? If you are are holding out for “eventually” to start you goals, you will never begin.
Yes, research is important, and so is laundry and so is work. AND squeeze in time for new action between those things if you truly want to make your goals a reality. There won’t be a perfect time when everything else in your life is caught up, under control, moving along smoothly to dedicate your energy solely towards your vision for your life. Your dreams are what you work on while all the other stuff is happening around you.
The trouble with the eventuality myth is that it sometimes gives the appearance that we are taking action towards our goal. For example, “I’m cleaning out the basement so I can write there.” Trouble is, after you spend a month emptying out the basement you realize the room needs to be painted. So you paint the room. Now the room needs furniture, which isn’t in the budget. Or maybe you get the room exactly the way you want it. You sit to write and suddenly you realize the room doesn’t have enough light- or you are too jumpy being so far removed from the rest of the house. Can you hear the phone from down there? And, conveniently, the laundry is in the next room over so you convince yourself you can multi-task by doing laundry AND writing down there. And your book never gets written. You did a lot of things- things that looked like they were moving you toward your goal. But the number one thing to writing a novel- the writing part – never took place.
Here’s a big clue- if you find yourself qualifying your dreams by using the word “when,” (As in, when I have time; when the children are grown; when I make partner), odds are you’re hiding from those dreams. Stopping worrying about finding the perfect time. The perfect time is now.
Let the laundry get done…eventually.