I have been working on some long term secret projects that I hope to unveil in the months ahead, and the following has been on my mind.
Maybe this applies to you too…
How Can We Stay Motivated to Finish Big Projects?
When we work on something “new” and exciting…it’s easy to start, but hard to follow through and finish.
After the excitement and newness loses it’s glitter dust, the hard work really starts.
The Lyrics to “On Broadway” say this well…
They say the neon lights are bright on broadway
They say there’s always magic in the air
But when you’re walkin’ down that street
And you ain’t had enough to eat
The glitter rubs right off and you’re nowhere
Some projects offer “quick and easy” gratification.
For Example – I get Instant Warm Fuzzies from
- uploading blog posts (instant responses from you- my reader)
- uploading Youtube videos (instant responses fans!)
- buying something (instant “in your hands”)
- cleaning something (instant visual feedback)
You see, when we see an immediate (or almost immediate) result, it’s fun…especially when we get positive feedback.
The catch? Sometimes these instant results are fun, but not so meaningful 🙂
On the other hand, many meaningful projects require serious follow through, like
- working on a new piece of music
- writing a book
- preparing a DVD or CD
- building a new guitar teaching website (oops – did I just say that? shh…)
These kinds of projects leave you with just a “little piece” accomplished at the end of a day.
It can be hard to stay on track, because the feeling of “drudgery” can leave us uninspired and tired. At the end of the day, we get
- no instant gratification
- no instant results
- the vision of a a long road ahead…
The Solution? Build Your House – One Brick a Day
The following metaphor came to mind yesterday while I was running.
I ran past a construction site and had a moment of clarity.
Let’s say I have ONE brick every day that I can place somewhere….anywhere I want.
I have a choice – I can place that new brick in a brand new spot here on planet earth every day, OR I can put it on a foundation that I have been building.
It’s a choice. Where will I / you / we put a brick today?
In a year’s time when we look at those bricks…
A house will surely get built if we put a brick each day on the foundation.
But – it may feel more fun to start new each day…but where will we be in a year?
The feeling of drudgery, and work suddenly becomes more do-able when you realize that chipping away at that guitar arrangement, book or project – will certainly pay off, in hindsight.
Someone wise once said….”Slow & Steady wins the race”.
I’ll see you in the slow lane!