I awoke in bed this morning, unable to get back to sleep. It felt early, I guessed at 5am. I checked my phone, saw that it was 5.30am. I put my phone down and closed my eyes, but it was no use, sleep wasn’t coming back to me. I needed a wee, but I was caught in that awful limbo period between needing a wee and not wanting to crawl out of bed to have a wee. So I picked up my phone again and started scrolling through the Daily Mail app instead.
Now, waking up and scrolling through the Daily Mail app is something that I’ve told myself repeatedly that I wouldn’t do anymore. For good reason. It’s garbage for the soul. So I told myself this morning, as I laid there reading about Harry and Megan having a baby, that I was killing my soul, and so I opened Facebook messenger instead.
LOL. “PUT THE PHONE DOWN, IDIOT”.
However, I had a message from a friend sat unread, linking me to a podcast I hadn’t heard of before. I clicked the link and started to listen.
The interviewee on the Podcast started to describe her journey to success, and as I laid lazily sandwiched between the soft cotton sheets, I soon came to the realisation that my success was not to be found from laying in bed listening to a podcast about someone else’s success. So instead I put on some clothes and went for a jog on the beach, listening to that same podcast as I ran barefoot on the sand. As I listened I became inspired by this woman’s tale of trying out shit, failing, and trying again until some stuff started to work out. I jogged casually at first, and then as I became more enthused about the exercise, I started to sprint. I ran sprints back and forth until I could no longer breathe. When I stopped I waded into the cool water and laughed like a maniac.
And then I coughed, a lot, because I’m getting over a virus (and I haven’t run in over a month).
Like running, I haven’t written a post in a while, and seeing as I was seemingly on a roll this morning, I cracked open the laptop when I got back from the beach and threw some words on to the screen.
There’s a lesson in here somewhere… I published 4 posts in both June and July, in August that tally crept up to 5. September? Well, it peaked at 8, and could have risen to 9 or 10 if I had pulled my finger out and published a couple of posts I drafted whilst I was away on holiday. Regardless, it’s been at least 3 weeks since I published something, so as I ran on the sand I resolved to get something, anything, published today. To get back on that horse, and regain some momentum.
The fact I haven’t published anything in a couple of weeks – had created this nagging sense of not doing something I was supposed to be doing. I suspect this means that by the simple act of repetition, writing has become a habit of mine. And like a smoker who hasn’t had a cigarette in too long, the absence of the vice has caused a craving. Which is why I’m sat here typing words as I ride the train into the city, instead of reading soul-killing garbage on the Daily Mail app.
Tony Robbins (TR) fan comment alert: Tony placed a huge amount of importance on two concepts if you want to truly achieve something: Total Immersion, and Coaching – i.e. learn from someone who already knows what you want to learn.
– Want to learn French? Move to France. Speak to French people every day.
– What to learn guitar? Buy a guitar. Get a tutor. Play for at least an hour every day.
– Want to dance salsa? Go to classes multiple times a week. Go to Salsa clubs.
– Want to be a great writer? Well, you get the picture…
If I want my writing to improve, I must force myself, even when I don’t really feel like it, to write. By writing often, I do risk writing badly. This is a risk I must take. If I want to avoid ever writing something that isn’t very good, then I may as well pack it in now. The way I see it, writing badly is an inevitable (but hopefully occasional) fallout from writing at all.
The same also goes for Salsa. I started to learn to salsa about 6 months ago, and in that time I have learnt the basics, I’ve learnt the timing, and the fluidity of my movements has improved no end. However, my progress stalled of late – taking one solitary class a week is no where close enough to total immersion to ensure my mastery of the skill continues on an upwards trajectory. No, in order to do that, I need to be taking at least three classes, on multiple days a week, ideally from great teachers.
So last night, wracked with jetlag, following a long day in the office, 2 hours in the gym, and so keen to go home and put my feet up in front of the telly, I instead forced myself to do two back-to-back, hour-long salsa classes, and then I committed to a three month membership that opens the door to 9 possible classes a week. I’m paying the money, I am now accountable.
You really just have to get up and do shit to make shit happen.
What have you totally immersed yourself in? What are you already great at? What do you want to be great at? What could you do more of? How are you going to do it?
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