Thursday, February 09, 2012

Getting Started

You have an idea of what you want to do with your life but you can’t quit your job. You still have to take care of your family and responsibilities. So how do you get started on something new? How do you find the time?

First you are going to have to find the fire in your soul to help motivate you during the process, because it might not be that easy. An interesting idea is not the same as a deep desire to do something that inspires you and those around you. I recommend you keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to do too many things at once.

When you feel true inspiration, then you have to map out some smaller steps to get to where you want to go. ‘I want to become a screenplay writer’ is too complicated. Sure you use that vision to motivate you, but a screenplay writer writes. So you need a screenplay idea and you need a computer. Then you look realistically at your day and find a time when you can carve out an hour. At first you might just want to write down thoughts and ideas. Eventually these will take form. Characters can emerge and inspire you. Personally, I find my best time early in the morning before anyone else is up. The hour is quiet and all mine to do what I want. But yours might be late at night after your family is asleep.

As you are writing your ideas down and mapping out your plan, you will find distractions. Don’t let them take over your dream. This process will take a deep commitment to see it through. Commit for the long haul; a year to five years to make something happen. If you have an urgent personality, this seems like a lifetime, but you’re going to enjoy the process, so don’t be too afraid of a long commitment.

Sometimes it helps when you are overwhelmed with the thoughts of launching into some new project or Purpose in Life to pretend you are helping someone else. If you were your best friend and she was in this confused place, what would you tell her about how to begin? Go to school? Read a book? Learn a new skill. Map it out. What would it take her to get started? How would you help her?

Don’t put it off. Sometimes we put caveats in our own way. When I finish this or that I will begin to Live on Purpose. I know my Purpose is such and such, but I can’t go there until this or that is complete. When I have my bills paid off, when I have my life organized, when my kids are grown up or in school. This is fear. Acknowledge that this thing you are about to embark on is scary to you. That is absolutely okay. Don’t think you have to deal with every fear you have in this moment of getting started. It’s not too scary to write down and idea or two. It’s not too scary to read a book to learn a new skill. It’s not too scary to sit at the computer and write a paragraph or two.

Getting started is only difficult when we do not break it down into small enough chunks. If you have broken it into chunks and it is still too scary, break it down even further. Pick up a pencil and paper, move the pen across the paper to create a letter, than a word, then a sentence. This might seem too basic, but the fact of the matter is, when you are in fear and can’t get started, you are not in the moment. You are in the future or the past. To create you must stay present.

Set the big goal. Write it down. Map out the steps one by one as if you are helping your best friend prepare for her life. Commit. Then take the steps and break it down into smaller, mindful chunks and do them one by one, in each moment you can find to do them.

Do not overlap too many goals, you’ll spin out. Do one in the morning and one in the evening and one on weekends. Or do one this month and one next month. Multi-tasking means doing too many things at once and not doing any of them well. Stay present with each task. When you see and feel the connectedness of this task with another task or goal, acknowledge it, make a quick note of it, and then return to the task at hand.

Don’t forget to enjoy the process! This is very important. If you allow this to become drudgery, another thing you must do; you are missing the point. Stop. Regroup. Remember this is your inspiration. This is your Purpose. Be grateful, be mindful and have fun!

Step by step, moment by moment, you will find yourself creating a Life on Purpose.

1 comment:

Fen said...

Thank you mom.