You bought the new notebook, snagged a new pen, and listened to a motivational podcast. You’re ready to do the work!
But two things happen as you start…
1 – You freeze. The thoughts in your head never make it to the tip of the pen. The brain trips up on its own wiring of ideas. Warning!
2 – You get going but know that what’s splurging on paper is crap. You’re producing sheets of melting ice. The writing is ugly, an explosion of everything at once. Such cacophony melts your heart, deadens your spirit.
The urge to quit and give in to the resistance smatters dreams. But that’s because goals set the bar too high.
What if instead of focusing on the goal you focused on the system instead?
Systems or habits are more powerful than fears. Discipline overrides motivation. The real work happens when you make it a habit to sit down at the desk and write hundreds of words regardless of the outcome. And now you’ve got something to play with.
Writes James Clear in “The case for having no goals in your life”:
It takes a long time to strike the chord you seek. The rest of the time you are practicing in attempt to nail it down. Often times it is one edit that makes all the difference. Stuckness also propels you to get out of your comfort zone. Taking on new challenges such as public speaking can push your creative potential. Even bad experiences give you fresh ideas and force you into new territories.
The muse only works in your favor if you’re willing to be consistent and put in the work. “Remember our rule of thumb,” writes Steven Pressfield in The War of Art, “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
The rest — the Moleskine notebook, the perfect pen, the dreamy goal — are excuses that trip you up.