Monday, October 31, 2011

Quitter Challenge: Chapter 5 - Tia

Confession time: I've been having a really rough time sitting down and blogging about this chapter. I've read it no fewer than 4 times. And each time the intent...?intention...?plan was to blog a happy shiny review about the chapter and keep it moving. But I just haven't been able to. I will explain as best I can while trying to stay on the topic at hand. I would hate for my explanation to become a non-sequitur and just simply be random babbling. Although can it be a non-sequitur since it's not a conclusion?(ACK!!!foiled again by random nerdy thoughts)

I am a planner. I had my whole life planned out by the time that I was 16 or so. College. Lots of Science classes (which I loved.) Meet a boy. Marry a boy. Go to medical school. Have a child after I finished 4 years of med-school. Start my residency in pediatrics. Have another child once I was finished. Work. Squeeze in a few more kids. Start my own practice. Retire early. Yeeeaaahhhh....none of that happened.  I scrubbed out of any chances of finishing college with a pre-med degree after my physics final reduced me to tears. I can't buy a date. And although it is by default, I am still a PROUD, card carrying co-founder of Team Empty Utero. (You seriously couldn't pay me to have kids right now.) But my personality is one that plans. And I make GRANDIOSE plans. I am go big or go home. And I don't believe is failure. At least I didn't. So I had no back-up plan to the whole med-school, perfect life scenario. Back-up plans were for quitters and losers and people who needed an excuse to not finish. And I was NO quitter. (Interesting that I'm now writing a series of posts ABOUT being a quitter...Do you smell that...Take a big whiff...that scent is IRONY.)

So when Chapter 5 began with talking about plans, I tapped out. I didn't want to hear anything about having a plan, big or small, because look where all of my planning got me. So instead of reading and blogging, I avoided and procrastinated. Because, you know, ignoring things will make them go away.

I'm tempted to just leave this post as is; wrap it up with a, "You know...I've got nothing." But I REFUSE to believe that I took NOTHING from this chapter so here goes:

1. Don't be to focused on the plan - Jon talks about the Plan Myth. Basically a lot of us buy into the myth that we need a great plan before we can change the world. And because we lack a step-by-step plan we do nothing. I have to be completely honest with you. I struggle with both sides of the planning coin. My personality type is one that plans. When it comes to my life I need a plan. While I am not so Type-A that I plan each and everything, I DO NOT like not knowing what the future holds. Conversely, I've spent so much time watching my plans fall through that now I don't want to plan at all. I don't want to get my hopes up. I don't want to try anything. But I don't want to do nothing. And I want to try it all. Basically, I want to plan and have everything succeed or I don't want to do anything. Yes, I am FULLY aware of what a mess I am, thank you very much.

Rather than focusing on the plan, Jon suggests we spend more time on the passion and then practice the passion. As I am genuinely struggling with my "passions" right now, I will say that I very much like the idea of planning AFTER the practice of the passion and hope to come back to the method in the very near future. But for now...I move on.

2. Cinderella was a fairy tale - I LOVE March Madness. Young men play their hearts out in a 1 and done tournament that NEVER ceases to amaze or entertain. And every year one team is always dubbed the Cinderella team. The mid-major team that came out of nowhere to make it to the Final Four (Looking at you Butler) is inevitably lauded as the Cinderella team. But to hang that moniker does a great disservice to the team. It's basically a backhanded comment. "Yeah, it took a fairy godmother and a miracle to get you here." To dub someone's success a "Cinderella" story is to detract from the hours, days, weeks, months and maybe even years they spent working tirelessly and without recognition on their craft. I'm POSITIVE that the 2010 Butler Bulldog team spent numerous hours working on defense, shooting endless free throws, running plays until it was all that they could think about it. And in the end it payed off.

There is something to be said about being diligent in the small things of our dreams before we "break big." We've all seen what happens we someone gets too much too soon. For me it's hard to be faithful in blogging every day. (Insert your "Clearly" comments here.) But I want BGLU to succeed. I want us to be voice for our generation. I want us to be different and still be relevant. And for that to happen I need to commit to doing the small things (blogging daily) every day.

It's the process of doing small but necessary things, over and over again and letting the momentum build, instead of getting decked out by a fairy godmother and being escorted to prominence in a blinged-out carriage. - Pg 130

I don't like sucking at things. I like being good at what I do. As such, I know that being great at blogging and having a great site will take time and practice. And I need to learn to appreciate this time of being David the sheep herder small before I can be David who slayed Goliath great. Plus, sheep herder small gives you time to screw up.

3. Invisibility is a great super power - There is something to be said about the readership of this blog. We have enough readers that having a vision for something bigger doesn't seem completely ludicrous. (I just spelled ludicrous "Ludacris." Thank you pop-culture.) But our blog is also small enough that if we screw up it's not life shattering or blog ending. Anonymity brings safety. For now I can voice my options on just about anything I want without severe interwebs backlash. I must admit, that's a good feeling. When I go off the rails and throw in a random swear, when I go on some uncharacteristically long ramble about some new British actor I currently LUV, when I whine about something that isn't truly whine worthy it's okay. I can work out the kinks before hitting the big stage.

Anonymity allows you to make big, gross mistakes without everyone watching.  - Pg 133

I like the fact that I can be a complete wreck and only a few thousands strangers will read about it. But I know me. And I can allow my invisibility to breed complacency. While I may be able to say what I want I can't become so comfortable at being free that I don't work on being great. So while the plan is to get big I must remember that I have to diligently utilize this quiet little corner of the web to get great (leave my grammar out of this.)

If you have Quitter you're probably wondering, "This is what she took from chapter 5...???" Like I said, I struggled with this one. Writer's block, lack of vision/motivation/passion, this chapter as a whole....any way you slice it, this was not going to be my greatest post. But it's done. (Insert a whimper of a "yay" here.)

And if you don't have Quitter...okay you really need to stop procrastinating and get it.

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