So, I have clearly failed at NaBloPoMo 2009, leaving me an embarrassing two for four on the endeavor overall. Honestly, I was doing just fine until the little backend snafu set me back a few days. By the time I figured it out I was back a few more days.
I retweeted a quote last night that resonated pretty strongly with me (so we will forgive it for being from Ashton Kutcher):
Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action. – David J. Schwartz
I very quickly received a reply from Colin, one of my quality Philly twitter friends:
@krisis That’s why I don’t get off on passive conversation of awesome stuff like many seem to. I want to DO.
That, too, resonated. I’m a planner – whether it’s for NaBloPoMo or my unendingly pending new album. In many ways my planning is a good thing, but it can mean that I delight more in the thought of something complex than the joy of doing something simple.
Intrigued by the line of thought, I followed the thought to it’s source. Mr. Schwartz is the author of a book called The Magic of Getting What You Want – ostensibly a self-help book, but just as much a life-simplifying manual along the lines of personal favorite Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
Check out this brief excerpt from the book, as compared to both my endless planning and Colin’s response:
Set a time frame, for your dream fulfillment.
It is a fact that people work more efficiently and faster when they impose deadlines or a timetable on what they do. Some time ago, I knew two well-educated young men who had considerable expertise in computer-systems design. … Every weekend for a year they planned their future business. They continued planning for a second year, and a third year. By this time, they finally concluded there was too much competition, so they’d better give up the idea of their own consulting firm.
Imagine how different the result would likely have been if they had agreed at the outset, “We’ll spend our weekends planning for one year (or six months), and then we’ll open our business.”
Keep in mind that as Disraeli said, “Life is too short to be little.” If you live until age 75, you will have spent only 27,391 days, 3,910 weeks, or 912 months on this earth. Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action.
As much power as I find in my planning, I need to let those words rule me a little as well. It’s not about winging it, or not planning – it’s just about knowing when to stop planning and start achieving.
What about you? Do you spend more time dreaming than living your dream? Or, do you spend too much time living to have many dreams to live? (Did that make any sense?)