John Leonard an audience of one.

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Opportunities

I’ve been reading inspirational content today as an issue of Offscreen Magazine arrived, which I absolutely adore. There is nothing quite like losing yourself in a physically printed and beautifully laid out magazine - especially while I sit over a sandwich in a local cafe, and get away from my desk and its’ associated stress.

As with a lot of web content I read, there are the stories of how people managed to become successful and achieve what they wanted to in life. This mainly focuses around two aspects - being brave enough to take the leap into uncertainty, and working hard enough to make a difference regardless of the circumstances.

I envy these people. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to emulate their success, but I appear to have a block (entirely self inflicted, of course) which stops me automatically becoming as successful as they are purely by reading about them in magazines, following them on twitter, and reading about them on the internet. If that was all that was required in order to be as successful as them, I’d be a multimillionaire by now.

Let’s be honest. I have multiple projects on the go, and all of them are progressing, albeit slowly. I have lots of ideas, now that I have embraced the feeling that no idea is a bad one, and deserves attention. I have the desire to make these ideas bear fruit, but of course I am trapped by a situation that is by no means unique to me - I simply can’t, or won’t invest the time to turn what could be successful into an actual living and breathing project.

I could spend another thousand words bemoaning the lack of motivation that I go through occasionally and I could endlessly repeat the previous written blurb about the commitment that is needed to take a project from an idea to a real thing, but in all of this I must also give myself a little breathing room. I have acknowledged the successes that I have managed - I write every day, and for the last god knows how many (23?) days I have published my 500 word outpourings on the internet, unedited and largely forgotten once published. I manage a day job, I go home to my lovely wife and our adorable little boy, so I have a lot to be thankful for.

Expressing a bit of regret that the latest idea that has captured my fruit fly like attention for the last few days hasn’t quite managed to flourish into adulthood purely through my wishing it so isn’t going to improve the situation any. I’ve tried brow beating myself into it, and I’ve tried all manner of lifehacks and tricks to build up the push to get me going. Ultimately, I’m trying to fool myself and that never really lasts long. I will always wake up and realise that I’ve been fooled at some point.

What does work is repetition, and what gets me to repetition is sheer bloody minded grit and determination. If I can’t magically harness the endless enthusiasm that should drive me through each project, then there is no other substitute than for digging in my heels and dragging my way through the project until the habit takes over or the enthusiasm comes back.

So there ends the self help sermon for the day. Off to do project work, after the day job is complete. It is a friday night, after all. If I can find the energy to lie slack jawed in front of the TV, then I can probably summon up the wherewithal to construct a mind map, install some software or a theme on the web somewhere, or take just one little step to get another project just that little further off the ground.