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500+ for 50 – day 40: twenty-four hours at a time

Forty days ago I began my quest to contribute five hundred or more meaningful words to my blog each and every day for fifty consecutive days.  So after tonight, I will have completed eighty percent of my goal.  And I have to say that it feels pretty good to have reached such a milestone.  The fulfillment of my commitment is now most certainly within reach.  I can see the finish line off in the distance.  The ten days that follow will pass with ease.  And when it’s all said and done, I’m sure that I’ll feel sad to part ways with this journey.  But ultimately I know that I can keep on heading in whatever direction that I choose, and that’s very exciting.  The future is brighter for me than it’s ever been.

I’ve been approached by a number of people who have been unable to comprehend just how it is that I’ve been able to balance all of my other priorities and still find time to commit to this venture.  To be honest, it hasn’t always been easy.  I’ve had to take on quite a bit outside of my writing throughout the course of the last forty days.  My girlfriend and I just recently completed a move into a new condo in Chapel Hill.  And we’ve had our fair share of visitors this summer…my parents were in town for a weekend at the onset of this project, and my girlfriend’s parents were also here for five days just a couple of weeks later.  This weekend will be no different…my best friend and his fiancé will be spending the first UNC football weekend with us in our new place.  And I couldn’t be more excited for their arrival.  My writing will get done.  I will not break my commitment.  And if it means early mornings or late nights, then so be it.  I will see this through to its completion.

I believe that most people can relate to the busyness of life that has been so characteristic of my last forty days.  It’s our demanding and unpredictable schedules that make committing to ventures like these so intimidating.  Many people will tell you that they’d love to have the time to follow through with something meaningful on a regular basis, but that with their current schedule it’s simply not possible.  The reality is if you’re waiting until the day that you have enough time available to get started you might as well get comfortable, because you’re going to be waiting for a long, long time.  Life is not able to offer you more than your allotment of twenty four hours each day.  So you’re going to need to make time.  And that will require prioritizing.  It will mean cutting out the things that are wasteful.  If you wish to create opportunities to develop your talents and skills on a regular basis, you will need to be disciplined in your efforts, skillful in time management, and relentlessly committed to your pursuits.

Too often in life rather than taking action we instead sit idle contemplating the difficulty of the tasks that lie ahead of us.  And in doing so, we totally disarm our efforts.  We allow our doubts and anxieties about the process to discourage us, and rather than give ourselves the opportunity to fail, we quit before we even get started.  That’s why it’s critical that we restructure the way that we envision the demanding journey lying ahead.  If we focus on the monumental task that it will be to, for instance write five hundred or more words for fifty consecutive days, we’ll be sure to feel overwhelmed.  Instead we need to break it down into parts.  In my particular case, that involves visualizing how it is that I will find the time and inspiration to write today’s blog…not tomorrow’s or any day after’s.

Several years ago I remember hearing Chip Kelly, now the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and at that time the head coach of the Oregon Ducks make a statement about the motivational mantra he used with his team throughout a very successful season to keep them focused and on track with their lofty pursuits.  The words that he used were “win today”…simple but profound.  As a goal seeker with significant aspirations for my future, I found Coach Kelly’s slogan to be a very powerful visualization strategy and I sought to immediately put it into practice in my own life.  So I began making every effort to win the day with my sights locked in on the ultimate sense of achievement that I would feel when I was able to finally reach my desired milestones.  And slowly but surely, I developed a grit and tenacity within me that was unbreakable.  I grew to understand that I could routinely win the twenty four hours in front of me if I simply summoned the will to dig deep and make it happen.  Day by day, by getting the best of every twenty four hours given to me, I knew that would undoubtedly inch my way to my final destination.

Success is about commitment.  If you remain committed to the realization of your dreams, you will reach them in time.  But you can’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed by an apprehensive view of the arduous journey ahead.  You must simply take it one day at a time with resolute determination to win the battles before you and then allow yourself to rest well in preparation for the inevitable challenges to be presented tomorrow.  Don’t overthink things.  Just keep moving and remain committed to taking action no matter how challenging life may be for you tomorrow.  It’s your duty to win the day, no matter what it offers you.  If you stay committed to that principle, before you know it, you will have trained your mind and body to find victory in any circumstance.  And the tasks that originally seemed so daunting will become effortless for you to complete with regularity. 

Eighty percent sure feels like a wonderful milestone on this present journey of mine.  By I know in my heart that day forty is just another day.  So tomorrow I will go out and win day forty-one, because I understand that that’s what it is going to take to be successful.  And I know that when this journey ends, I’ll still be ready to push it again on day fifty-one.  Because all that I have are the twenty four hours that lie before me.  And I hope to make the most of them every day until the moment of my last breath.  I hope that you will choose the same for your life.

May God Bless!

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