By Jeff Lund
You know what “I was gunna” means? You didn’t.
Failing is one thing, but you wanted something and didn’t bother to show up.
I started to hate the phrase, “he means well” after I heard someone say it about me. I hated it because what that really means is that I didn’t come through. I wasn’t there. I didn’t hold myself to a standard. I didn’t hold myself accountable. And I didn’t like how that felt. It didn’t represent the type of person I wanted to be. To be alive is to know what it feels like to come up short, but at least you showed up. I don’t want to blame circumstances or have other people make excuses for me.
The thing is, I don’t think I am the perfect example, for anything really, but I think there are a lot of us. On one end of the spectrum are the book-writing, Ted-Talking, optimized humans. On the other is the apathetic crowd who only spends energy throwing obstacles in their way, blaming others or reading self-help books and expecting the book to do the work, or to provide a short cut. There are no short cuts.
Then there’s us. The people who are inspired enough to do something about it, but slip. We have read about Grit, getting your mind right, Essentialism, and want it, but don’t live like the people in books. Yet. But we’re moving. Not just planning.
While a plan is the first step, it is also meaningless. It takes no effort to come up with a plan, but sometimes we feel so good about it and are so exhausted, that we stop there.
photo courtesy of brainfacts.org
“The plan was…” I was gunna, but…” “I thought about it, but…” “I wanted to, but…”
An important aspect of this is positive self-talk. Being frustrated with a lack of follow-through doesn’t mean that you’re worthless. You want something more and however you fell short is not representative who you want to be. It means that you know you’re a closer, and you want to close.
Some adopt a lone wolf or “me against the world” attitude which is stupid. There are people who want what you want. You are in competition with some of them, but most can be your allies. If you discovered that it’s better to be a lone wolf, that’s probably because you were running with apathetic, unedifying, negative influences. So yeah, get away from them. Find people who hold you accountable. Find people who don’t make excuses for you. Find people who will pick you up and charge ahead with you. Find people who make you better.
Don’t waste your time polluting your brain with inconsequential nonsense. Stop wasting your time being a sucker and providing free marketing for negative people who use you through your likes, retweets and shares to become rich.
Fill your Instagram with people who are doers, not watchers. Listen to their podcasts. Read their books. THEN DO SOMETHING. FOLLOW THROUGH.
Sign up for the Open. Finish last at your box or gym. Who cares! You’re doing it and you’ll get better. That’s the damn point.
Jeff Lund is a teacher and writer from Ketchikan, Alaska.