“The opposite of quitting is rededication. The opposite of quitting is an invigorated new strategy designed to break the problem apart.” – Seth Godin
“For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” – T.S. Eliot, East Coker
These times challenge all of us, but some more than others. Perseverance seems a quaint notion, but really what else do we have but the courage to press on in the face of it all? I write this knowing I’m less challenged than some, more than others. I’m one of the lucky ones, it seems, and yet life keeps throwing curveballs at me just as it does to you. I believe the way we react to anything is just as important as that which happens to us. Short of an abrupt ending of our existence, we have this choice of how we deal with the cards we’re dealt in any given moment. I hope to play my hand well today and in the one to maybe 16,000 days I have left (That’s a lot of blog posts: I hope I don’t repeat myself too much).
I pulled this Seth Godin quote out of a draft I’d done six years ago, well before I started writing every day, well before COVID-19, well before the current political climate, and well before I became the current version of myself. We’ve all changed, really, some in profound ways, others less so, during the last six years. In some ways the world is worse, in others it’s steadily improving. We can say the same of ourselves. And for all my tongue-in-cheek humor about repeating my blog posts, I won’t be the same person next week, let alone in twenty years, so I figure the material will change accordingly.
The other day I had a great idea for a novel. I immediately started writing down the core plot and completed a first paragraph that stirred me. I’ve been waiting for the muse to tap me on the shoulder and offer up a nugget like this for some time, and I hope to do it justice. But I know it will die on the vine if I don’t chip away at it every day. And so I’ll keep writing, keep researching, keep reinvigorating and breaking it apart. You’ll know when it’s ready – this one will take awhile to get it right. Anyway, I believe the idea came to me because I’m showing the world and those random muses flying by that I’m committed to seeing it through. To doing the work that matters. Ultimately life is about showing up, and I’ve been doing that for 702, er, 703 posts now. And I’ve got my eye on 1000 and beyond. Whether anyone reads it hardly matters, it’s transformative for the author.
Shortly after that idea for a novel, I had another idea for a business. Not a leave my career business, but a nice side hustle business that would be complimentary to my life after work. Funny how these things all come up like this, fully baked in the mind. It makes you wonder what else is up there between the ears, waiting to be set free. I do know that the reading and thinking and writing all open the trap door, letting ideas out and capturing a few along the way that would otherwise drift on by. The rest is just persistence. Showing up and doing what must be done, today and those tomorrows too. There are plenty of quotes out there from Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss and others about the tremendous value of blogging every day. I’m finding that value compounding, not financially, but in creative output and opportunities that open up from the consistent effort and the openness to receive the world. That’s reason enough to press on, writing today and tomorrow too.