This past weekend, I spent some time wandering through Barnes & Noble with Cuddlesworth. She likes to read books. I like to look at ‘em. Nah, I’m playing. I like to read books too…at least the first 150 pages. I think my book completion rate is something like 60%, but that’s just useless information I wanted to share. Moving right along…
We ended up in my favorite section: personal development and business/management. The elation strolled through my veins like a Black greek at a picnic. There were so many options and titles that I’ve heard about or intended to read that my chest got tight and my feet got happy. I’m pretty sure I even made an audible sound unbecoming of a man of my stature. Something like “eeeeeee” or “geegollywillikers!”
You wouldn’t believe how hard it was for me to focus. I wanted to read the first 150 pages of everything. I bounced around from title to title and back cover to back cover. Next thing I knew, half an hour had went by and the store was getting ready to close. It was quite tragic. I was flabbergasted. All that time spent looking at books and no decision…until like two minutes before the staff came around carrying civil war rifles armed with bayonets to poke and proud people in the direction of the doors like cattle. And when forced to make a decision, I went with Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich. I’m about 110 pages in and I think this’ll be one that I actually finish. The information and approach is just that good.
The experienced in the bookstore mirrored much of the rest of my life — particularly the part that’s tied to the internet. Every day I get a rush of ideas and see new opportunities. Every day I have to remind myself to stay focused. I know what I’ve done in the past.
I’ve spent weeks thinking about projects I’d never start, and money setting up websites that live in a state of perpetual incompletion. I’ve jotted article titles, that much like the books I’ve began, have a 60% finish rate. I’ve made promises, left doors cracked, and missed self-imposed deadlines. I’ve endured the mental paralysis that comes with trying to accomplish everything, only to realize I’ve accomplished nothing. Or at least it feels that way at times. I’ve learned that my idea and information search sessions are often nothing more than cloaked procrastination.
I’m not gonna say I have to do better because I have and continue to do better. I’ve eliminated a lot of the surplus noise from my life, but I still have my moments. I still see a ton of new opportunities and wake up with new ideas. I still have to remind myself to stay focused on the goals I’ve set. And it’s the self-awareness that keeps me off the guardrail and on the path to my success. It’s what allows all of us the opportunity to be successful. I say opportunity because self-awareness is worthless if you don’t use it to make adjustments that add value to your life. It’s also what’s allowing me to make this the last sentence of this post without going on tangent.