Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#trust30 - Day 6

Status Update: Well, it looks like I've lost my hard drive. I bought a cable to hook it up via USB to another computer yesterday, hooked it up--and nothing. I tried it on two computers, and neither could recognize the drive or anything on it. We'll have our IT guy look at it next. Hopefully, he'll be able to recover the data and get it running again.

If not, I'm set back about four chapters. I was working on Chapter 20, and my surviving backup (I lost a memory stick, too, as luck would have it) has the manuscript through about half of Chapter 16. But it's not a total loss: I just learned some history that was going to force a significant rewrite of those chapters, anyway. Here's my excuse.

Coincidence? Yeah, maybe. But it'll work out in my favor.

Which brings us to Sunday's #trust30 prompt. I'm two days behind--but I'll get caught up tonight.

Come Alive by Jonathan Mead

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

(Author: Jonathan Mead)

Let's just put the bottom line up front: If I had a week to live, I would drop everything and spend every minute with my family. Work just isn't important enough to spend that week there. Writing isn't important enough to spend that week doing it. This blog isn't important enough to spend that week here. If I only have a week, I'll spend it building memories.

But that's not really the gist of this question. The real question is how is preparing for the future stealing your todays? In what ways am I spending so much of myself preparing for what is to come that I forget to live now?

Well, here are a few items I could add to my "To Stop" list:
I can stop saying "my wife deserves more of my time"--and start planning date nights.
I can stop saying "I need to get back into the gym"--and block out an hour a day for working out.
I can stop saying "I need to eat healthier"--and go stock up on fruit and veggies.
I can stop reading business books--and start building my business.
I can stop saying "I don't have the time/energy to write tonight"--and start sitting my butt in my chair and setting my watch for fifteen minutes.
I can stop being busy--and start being productive.

How do these goals improve my now? I've already found I'm happier when I get stuff done than when I merely plan stuff. Most of us are. There's a place for planning, but it can't be the end. I make now better by planning as much as I need to--not more--and then making it happen. It's like General Patton said: a good plan now beats a perfect plan tomorrow.

I'm off to make it happen. Get your nerd on!

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