A personal note on struggle, consistency, persistence, and fierce commitment.
Something > Nothing
Some time ago, I made a promise to myself to write in my journal every day.
More recently, I’ve committed to publishing on my blog every day.
I honestly feel that it’s one of the best ways for a leader to reach the people that need it most. Long form, heart felt, and often … raw.
Back and forth, up and down — My mental commitment to the blog waivers, and I often wonder why I made such a silly commitment. Nobody is going to remember if I miss ONE day. It’s resulted in a pre-bedtime mental meltdown on more than a few occasions, usually around 11:00pm, if I still haven’t published my blog post for the following day — they usually get blasted out around 5am to those who’ve previously subscribed to the list.
Well, it’s 11:00pm now, and I not only haven’t written tomorrow’s blog yet, but I didn’t write anything last night, and so I still haven’t posted anything for TODAY on the blog. My streak was on the line. My word, my commitment… in question.
In the midst of initiating several community outreach and relief programs for immunocompromised citizens and to support local businesses, I find myself running out of time these days more than I ever have.
Not long after I zip out of bed with a million ideas swirling in my head, I turn from my desk and catch a slight shimmer of the sun setting behind the tree line through my office window. What the hell? Where did my day go? As of 10 minutes ago, I convinced myself that it’s OK to miss a day of publishing on my blog. At 11:??pm, I decided that.
Some 5 mins later, it hit me like a train. If I can’t sit my sorry ass down and write about [insert one of the 6,000 writing prompts I’ve taken note of over the years] then how on earth can I EVER talk about consistency and commitment to my readers again?
I talk about consistency, NON STOP. — “One step up Mt. Botl” — The whole damn premise is about taking as many or as few steps as we possibly can, with whatever might we can muster, every single day. One step, if that’s all we have to give–so be it, toward a better life. When the day is done, those steps, the offering of our best effort, as gratitude for the gifts we’ve been given, will be worth resting on. Tonight, I sold myself short. It wasn’t my best effort. I’m tired as hell. But damn it all! I. HAVE. A. LOT. TO. GIVE.
I had another step in me, and I almost stopped trying.
What made me realize it? Shortly after convincing myself of how fine everything would be if I had gone straight to bed, a good friend (and loyal reader) reached out and asked if I’d published a post today. He told me he’s been reading EVERY SINGLE ONE since I started blogging daily again, and thought maybe my email-client app made an error. A trap door, to escape my guilt…
My first thought? Tell him you’re not sure why it didn’t send but that you’ll do 2 of them tomorrow. My second thought? You’re a fucking phony, Jakob.
So, here I am, 11:36pm, and I’m going to get this thing out before midnight. Today will not be the day I break the streak.
I could’ve prioritized earlier in the day. It’s on me that it’s not done yet, and it’s on me if I want to stay true to my commitment—not because I’d wallow in pity if I DID miss a day— but because in THIS moment, right now, I still have the ability to choose.
There’s no way I can bring you a life-changing, profoundly new perspective with every post. What I can do, with certainty, is be an example of the consistency, the persistence, and the fierce commitment to excellence that I often ask of ALL my people — my family, my friends, my readers, my mentees, my teammates, my business partners, everyone. I never relinquish the standard with them. I better not allow myself to do it when I am staring at the decision with a clear mind. So long as I have a choice, I need to choose right. I can’t live with the consequences of knowing better, but choosing otherwise.
I’m writing this, in a roundabout way, to say THANK YOU.
The friend that reached out to me was just one of many folks that’ve sent me a heart felt message over the years. They’re usually regarding the impact I’ve had on them and/or the people who they’ve shared my work with. Though I often can’t comprehend the sort intimate experience they have with what I write and speak about, because that experience is always uniquely their’s, I do know that these sort of experiences that they’re telling me about are EXACTLY why I do it. Whether it cuts you deep, makes you think, affirms a truth you’ve held within you, bores you to death, rattles your brain, or totally wrecks your current worldview, I’ve always wanted to create an environment that quenches folks’ thirst for knowledge and deeper understanding of what it takes to Make The Best Of This Life (Mt. Botl).
Maybe, just maybe, I’ve taken a step or two up THAT mountain. When I first started writing, I didn’t think I’d ever have people feel as strongly about some of these ideas as I do/did.
I have been exhausted. I really have, but then I think about the wonderful folks that trust in my consistency. The people that wake up and use my blog to set the tone, to shake things up with a positive perspective or a difficult concept, I’m instantly re-energized. This is not about me. It never has been.
So, thank you for fueling my mind, and in turn, my life. My character was tested tonight, and alone I failed, but it was our connection, writer to reader, that lifted me up.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reminding me what it’s all about.
Thanks for trying to be a better leader in your community.
Thanks for staying composed, committed, and consistent, even when others around you are not able to. All of our energy and actions are more contagious than any virus… don’t forget that. Everything we do, or do not do, serves one purpose, or another.
If you can’t climb your mountain today, then just take one step, and if you can bare it, take another, and another, until you either cannot take any more steps or the day is done.
Sometimes, we find ourselves staring right at both of those.
I’ll tell you what… that sort of day? It’s the closest to excellence that I’ve had in a while.
The last few months have been a trying time for me.
I’ll break free from these chains, somehow, someday.
But as of right now, at 11:59pm – what I certainly WILL NOT BREAK is my writing streak.
One step up Mt. Botl