I recently took a class online about Idea Mapping with Ramit Sethi (if you don’t know who he is, please check him out. He’s got some great stuff.)
Ramit talked about why people failed and why they failed miserably. Down the list, he went citing people don’t think they are smart or credentialed enough to teach or coach, they are afraid, and they don’t believe that they have enough time.
Ramit argued that we do have enough time to do all the things we want to do its just that when it comes to taking chances, humans freak out because we all want something guaranteed. We want it here and now.
So he asked,
What would you do with three extra hours?
I found myself answering the question just as I always have; write more, read more, pick up a new hobby. But my answer was bullshit. I wasn’t dedicating three extra hours to my craft. I was doing more like one and half hours while the rest of the time was spent on fucking around with Netflix, playing Madden 17 on Xbox, even thinking I was doing something when I wasn’t (we know this as procrastination.) And although I have put more time and dedication into my work, I didn’t put the three extra hours Ramit suggested because I fell into the disease of instant gratification.
Writing has never been about money for me (It never will be. You don’t make shit off writing books.) It’s always been about the process, the internal digging through the recesses of my mind to find what mistakes did I make in the past that I could share with others in hopes they will not make that same error. But being a half-ass writer, a writer who only spend half his time sharing the world through his eyes is a disservice to the public. I have to be full time because my daily voyage navigating the treacherous waters of anxiety, fear, happiness, joy has to be done. Otherwise, I am not helping anyone including myself.
So what did I learn? Spend the full time allotted to navigate what makes you happy. Take the risk to see what is in your head and let it out with reading, building a business, exercising, whatever floats your boat. You may not be rich off of it; you may never leave your 9-to-5 job, but you’ll be helping out your fellow man.