New Journal Entry – Making Room
Ooohh eee what an amazing two weeks. Well, truth be told there have been highs and lows but right now as I type this journal entry, I’m pretty darn high! I’ve just returned from a one hour horse riding lesson with Alice and it was amazzzzing.
I haven’t been horse riding for 15 years but after 20 minutes or so it felt so natural again. I think that’s the beauty of learning something when you’re young – it just gets engrained in your muscle memory.
We started with 15 minutes in the paddock where we walked and trotted round and then went on a 30 minute hack around an off road path. When we got back to the paddock, we got to do a bit more trotting and it was awesome. Alice was a natural!
Check out Connor (my pony) and Harry (Alice’s new best friend) below. Beaut.
Earlier today, I went for a cheeky little run to the park and sat with Alice in the sun to read. We’ve just had the best day. Very simple. Very present. Very nice.
Last week was a little different! I had my final DARETOGROW event of the year in Newcastle on Wednesday evening and it was incredible. I literally love the people who come along – fellow trail blazers.
That said, I did cry a lot last week. I think it was due, in part, to the stress of preparing for the live DARETOGROW events – they’re a big deal for me! But it was mostly due to the pressure I was putting myself under generally. I have been trying to do far too many things at once…far too many. And I think we all do it. We set a million and one goals and strive for them all simultaneously, make no progress in any one area and give up on everything. Sound familiar?
I spoke about this at the last DARETOGROW events. When we try to do too many things at once, we look like the sketch on the left of the model from Greg McKeown’s book – Essentialism. We push ourselves in so many different directions, we don’t get anywhere! When we focus our energy, like in the sketch on the right hand side of the model we get somewhere…fast!
The trick is to recognise this and decide where to focus your energy. Tony Robbins says it all the time: “get razor sharp focus on your goals” and I think I’d heard it lots of time but never really taken action on it.
And so, in a bid to give myself a break recently whilst practicing what I preach, I decided to pause the DARETOGROW events for the next few months and dedicate my time to what will make the biggest difference in my life: writing my book.
I’ve been writing a book since I was 22 year’s old. My first attempt focused on helping graduates to get their dream jobs and ‘achieve accelerated success’. This is where the name of my first company – Gradvert – came from; the idea of graduates advertising themselves for success. I got pretty far with my early ideas and wrote over 10,000 words, which is pretty amazing by my standards. That said, the book was pants and I gave up on it. I followed that process three times before parking the idea aged 25.
Last year, when cleaning out some old diaries at my parents’ house – I’d kept journals from age 22 to 27 or so – I found this one goal written boldly in the front of every notebook: write a book. “How tragic” I thought to myself. It made me so sad to read that over and over again and to have made no progress on it. It’s a goal I’ve had for such a long time and it’s something that’s so meaningful to me. I feel like what I’ve learnt could help a lot of people and so I want to share it. I always have.
Earlier this year, then, I committed to writing my first full draft. I hired a book coach – someone who had published three books on Amazon – and I got to work. Last week, I paused the DARETOGROW events and yesterday, I wrote the introduction to the book, which you can read here.
I’ve decided, as well, not to push any other service or offering over the next few months. There is so much I can do – coaching, consulting, web design even – but just because you can doesn’t mean you should! And so, I’ve paused it all. All I’m doing for the next few months is helping current clients and new referral clients but I’m not marketing my services in any particular way.
That’s pretty scary to write in black and white by the way but this quarter is my time to write and fulfil a goal I’ve had for so long.
You see, what I’ve realised is that we’re all so busy in life we get bogged down so easily in ‘stuff’, in routine, in activity. We get pulled in a million and one directions and so it’s no wonder we feel like we never make progress in life.
Now that I’ve paused the DARETOGROW live events and set a clear intention for myself I have so much more clarity. And, because I’ve taken so much of the pressure of myself in other areas of my life I feel like I have more time; more room to breath and just be me. Perhaps this is why I was so excited to go on a run today and why I dared to book in horse riding – I had made room to just enjoy life.
What I’m reading:
I’m still reading Drive by Daniel H. Pink – oops. I got a little over excited and also started reading “Originals: How Non-Conformists Change the World“. This book is long but comforting – it helps me to understand why I feel compelled to rock the boat and how important it is to do so. It’s full of examples and studies that show how original thinkers work and succeed – it’s not that they’re necessarily smarter or more talented; it’s just that they try more things!
What I’m watching:
I’m pretty obsessed with transformational speaker Lisa Nichols at the moment. If you’ve never seen her in action and if you don’t know her story, watch this interview I saw a few days ago. Wahoooo!