“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. TRY again. FAIL again. Fail BETTER.” – Samuel Beckett
When I was in my early 20’s and people asked me what my career goal was my answer was simple — “to write a book” I’d say.
I knew somewhere inside of me I had a book waiting to be written. But, I
was lazy AF never took action to make that dream a reality. What I did do was make a lot of excuses each and every time I sat down to write:
“I have writer’s block.”
“I can’t write on my computer, it’s too distracting.”
“I’m too tired. I need to clean first. And make coffee. And go grocery shopping.”
It got to the point where I convinced myself I needed a typewriter to fulfill this dream of mine. I envisioned myself typing away as the clickety clack of keys manifested into a book, MY book. The creation process would take place as I sat up in bed, hair frazzled like Einstein, manically typing away.
In the background, a cool breeze would serenade my senses and inspire my thoughts. Weeks later, I’d produce the next “it” book…because it’s that simple right?
I remember placing the order for my typewriter (aka my “muse“) and anticipating its arrival like it was my baby in utero waiting to be born.
A few days later my front door buzzed loudly, and I quickly turned off the Judge Judy marathon I was watching and made a beeline to answer it.
Butterflies flapped wildly in my stomach as the mailman handed me the package. I carefully brought it back to me room and opened it. Without wasting any time, I grabbed a stack of crisp white paper from my closet, inserted a piece into my typewriter, and began writing:
Once there was a It all started on a It was a dark and
“WTF!” I said frustrated. “Why isn’t this story coming out?”
I still couldn’t write. I still sat uninspired. I still felt writer’s block. And I quickly became disenchanted with this piece of equipment that I thought was going to save and inspire me. So, I placed it under my bed where it sat collecting dust alongside water bottles, empty chip bags and all of my writing potential for the next several years.
I placed my dreams of being a writer on an indefinite hold until the summer of 2017 when I’d had enough of living MY life out of alignment with MY vision.
So, I started planning — only this time around, I gave up my bullshit excuses and took action. I created a vision of what I wanted this website to look like. I hired a graphic designer to create my logo. I created topic ideas for articles. I read about other bloggers and how they found success. I guest blogged weekly to refine my writing skills and ability. And I wrote manically EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I knew I couldn’t just “launch” without a plan. I knew if I only had a few pieces of content queued up I wouldn’t be able to stick to a publishing schedule and I’d drop my dream AGAIN because planning and taking action are CRUCIAL to success.
My first piece went live in the fall of 2017. And over the course of the past seven months, I’ve built this blog from zero subscribers to almost 15 thousand. I’ve published 52 pieces of original content. I’ve written 54,288 words (not including this piece) which is the equivalent of book. And I’ve done it all while working full-time and raising a 4-year-old.
Now, I’m not telling you this to brag (okay, maybe a little), I’m telling you this because you can do it too. And look, your version of success might look wildly different than mine, but at the end of the day, we all have the same 24 hours in each day and the only difference is how we CHOOSE to spend our time.
Life is short. We hear this all of the time, but rarely does it “click” because most of us don’t really grasp the idea of physical mortality. We think we can push things off to another day, or another time because we still have so much time. But we don’t.
There are no guarantees and there’s never a “right” time to begin. Just start. Everyone starts somewhere. You can’t run a marathon if you don’t first learn how to walk. And you can’t live your dreams if you don’t take the initial steps needed to make them a reality.
As I write this I’m standing on a crowded New York City subway during rush hour. I had to convince myself to pull up the notes on my phone to write because what I really wanted to do was play a crossword game. Then I asked myself, “will playing this crossword game help me get closer to where I want to be?”
The answer was a firm no. Playing a game on my phone wouldn’t help me take another step towards my dreams. So I turned it off and opened this up instead. Because that dream of mine? It’s not based on a stroke of luck it’s based on me taking consistent action ESPECIALLY when I’m not feeling inspired or motivated.
And that’s the secret. It’s that simple.
You HAVE to work when you don’t feel like working. You need to push yourself when you’re unmotivated. Because you CAN do this. That dream of yours? It’s worth it, and it’s within reach. None of us are given a vision, thought or idea that we can’t bring into reality.
Unfortunately, most of us won’t put in the work that’s needed to manifest those dreams. Most of us get too caught up in the “nothingness” of life (aka TV, social media, drinking, pointless time-wasting activities etc.). We lose ourselves working towards this bullshit societal status quo and end up working for other people who are building THEIR dreams.
So, do you want to be successful (as defined by YOU)? If you do, then you need to ask yourself these four questions right NOW:
- If I could do anything in the world, money being of no concern, what would it be?
- What’s one thing I can do right now to align with my dream?
- What are my biggest time wasters?
- How can I waste less of my time?
And then, when you feel tempted by the “nothingness” of life, ask yourself, “does my doing (insert action) align with my vision, and will it help or hinder me from manifesting my dream?“
If the answer is hinder, then immediately STOP what you’re doing and ask yourself, “what CAN I do to align with my dream?” And whatever your answer is, do that. No matter how hard it seems. Or how unmotivated you are. Take action. Make things happen.
Success is intentional. Many times we look at people and we think, “Oh, (insert person) had an easy life. (Insert person) was born privileged. I’m unlucky. I can’t have X, Y, Z because of (insert bullshit excuse).“
Success happens when our actions become bigger than our excuses. And look, we all have excuses — I had TONS of them. But our excuses are just reasons that we talk ourselves out of the things we CAN have because of fear, doubt, limiting self-belief and lack of self-love.
Small consistent actions turns into MASSIVE results. This blog is proof of that. And look — I still have a long way to go, and SO much to learn and SO much to do, but I’m finally jogging now and soon I’ll be running. Will you join me?
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.