The One Make-Or-Break Skill You Think You Have, But Probably Don’t

by

If only we

had the knowledge
had more time
had more money
had more energy
had a boss who would let us
had someone to go with
had (enter reason here),

then we would do the thing we want to do.

If only the celestial bodies that are our excuses would line up in perfect order, then the great dream we have numbed our friends’ eardrums with could finally be realized, all neat and tidy.

It’s not our fault, we say. It’s that the road we need to navigate has too much debris on it. (Silly road!)

Because if we dare admit that the art of actually finishing something was a skill in itself, then every external excuse would suddenly become nothing but bullshit buoys; outposts for us to hang on to while we trick ourselves into thinking that we truly mean what we say, and that we could flip the “finishing switch” on whenever the world stopped conspiring against us.

Newsflash: There is no switch & the world will never be on your side.

Finishing is in fact a skill and its most important attribute is: personal accountability. No accountability? No finishing.

So before you set out to do what you’ve been telling everyone about for half a decade, be a person of your word first.

Because right now a lot of people are flakier than baklava.

Want to write tonight? Write.
Signed up for an online class? Take it.
Bought a book to read? Read it.
Call/email people back when you say you’re going to.
Show up to things you say you’re going to be at.
Stay at home and work if that’s what you told people you were going to do.

Stop RSVP’ing to 7 events in one night while telling your friends that you’re trying to write 2 books, get your sailing license and learn Mandarin in your free time.

Stop getting drunk off the euphoria of false commitments and instead, close the loop on your accountability.

Take yourself seriously for once, because blaming everyone and everything else for why you can’t do what you want is what cowards do.

But in order to convince yourself you can do something big, you have to prove to yourself you can commit to something small.

Dive in.

Become the kind of person who could be as great as you want to be.
Become someone you yourself would bet on.

Otherwise, you’re screwed.