The photo to the right shows Griffin at an open casting call for the role of a 10-year-old boy in a new movie that will be filmed in Asheville and star Josh Brolin!
So — Griffin saw an opportunity to do something new and challenging, and he jumped on it.
I’m absolutely delighted that Griffin seems to have made Helen Keller’s famous quote, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” his own personal mantra.
So – is your life a daring adventure or downright boring? I ask this because we’re coming up on the end of the 3nd quarter of 2015. In other words, 2015 is almost over.
How do you feel about that? Do you feel satisfied by what you’ve accomplished so far? Are you excited and enthusiastic about what you know you’ll achieve by the end of the year?
Or do you feel a sense of disappointment and frustration? Are you worried that another year will go by and you won’t have much to show for it?
No matter what, I think we can all agree that often we feel like we don’t have enough time to get everything we want done. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I think we can all relate to the frustration that comes from feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all that we want to do.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
First, let’s look at the facts: human beings are wired to seek novelty and challenge. It may sound nice to live on the beach sipping fruity drinks all day, but studies actually show that no one really wants to do that all the time.
So we reach and stretch and find that we always have a little too much on our plate (and sometimes we have waaay too much). We generally feel slightly overwhelmed. And that overwhelm can feel stressful. But it doesn’t have to.
One of my clients had a long-held desire to write a blog, but never felt like she had the time to pull it off. Then she saw that her local city newspaper was asking for submissions for a “readers write” column.
She saw that this would be an opportunity to write for public consumption and make connections within her new community, thus accomplishing two of her goals, so she jumped on it.
She went through the initial stages of the selection process and became one of the semi-finalists for the job. This was great news, but she also found out that in order to get the gig she had to submit a winning column in seven days.
The prospect was a little daunting because she was on a business trip for most of the days leading up to the deadline. This meant she had little time to research the piece (research that would have to include interviews), write it, and polish it before the deadline. The discomfort around the timing led her to wonder if she really wanted the job after all.
I agreed that the timing was not ideal, but then I suggested that the unexpected deadline in the midst of a busy week was not a bad thing. I reminded her of Parkinson’s Law, something I always remind myself of in a time crunch. (In fact I was working under it as I prepared this article!)
If you’re not familiar with it, it goes like this: “Work expands or contracts to fill the time allotted for its completion.” For myself, I’ve added a corollary a sentiment best expressed by Duke Ellington. “I don’t need time,” he once said, “I need a deadline.”
In other words, never mind how long something has taken you or others before. Chances are good that it took as long as it did because there was simply more time to get it done. Instead, focus your attention and get going.
What’s the best way to get going? I’ve found that my best friend when I’m facing a deadline is a timer and the concept of the “15 minute sprint.” That’s how I accomplish almost everything. I define the task, set the timer and Go. For 15 minutes. And I repeat as necessary.
If you’re really up against a deadline, I encourage you to use the sprint in combination with the following additional strategies as needed.
1. Get Accountability.
When we’re working on something in our private lives, giving up is extremely tempting.
At work, though, that’s generally not an option, and many folks who let their personal dreams languish can move mountains when they’re under the watchful eye of a boss.
That’s why I love having (and being!) a coach. The coaching relationship provides the same guidance and accountability that we get at work—but it does so for goals that we set for ourselves.
So ask your friend to be an accountability buddy, or pay for a coach. Make it public. Tell your family at dinner, or announce it on Facebook. Whatever you want to do, put some public accountability in place so you have to get it done.
2. Define the Time.
A goal should be grounded within a time frame and given actual dates. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. Remember, Parkinson’s Law states that work expands or contracts to fill the time allotted.
So when you want to finish a project, or a task related to a project, set the time to work on it and a completion date that seems just a little ambitious. “Someday” isn’t a viable plan. But if you anchor it with a date, “by June 28th”, then you’ve set yourself into motion to begin working on the goal.
3. No Distractions.
You know what’s great about setting the timer for 15 minutes?
Your brain finds it a totally doable amount of time to fully commit to a task without distractions. Any longer and you’ll find yourself thinking about whether you’ve got an email, or that you have to start the dishwasher, or you need to walk the dog.
I call it the “15 minute sprint” because I like the feeling of being in a race against the timer. And I want to win.
Just as a successful life comes out of a collection of successful days, a successful project really does come out of a successful series of sprints like these.
So whether you’re setting a timer for 15 minutes or an hour or an entire afternoon (keeping in mind that what you think you can manage and what your attention span can actually manage may be two different things), remember you’re in a race against time and avoid distractions.
4. No Excuses.
This is actually the most important aspect of all: your belief in yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to.
That’s the other thing I love about the coaching model – I may doubt my ability to pull something off, but my coach always believes in me. She sees me in my best possible light and with her reflecting that back at me, it’s like I can’t help but do the same.
Maybe you don’t have a newspaper deadline looming the same way my client did. But I’m guessing there’s something you want to accomplish, but haven’t.
Know what? All the same rules apply. Even if it’s something that seems impossible, if you set a date and do a little bit of concentrated work on it every day, you’ll be shocked at how soon a lofty goal can become reality.
Remember the story of my client at the beginning of this essay? She submitted a quality essay to the newspaper by the deadline.
She didn’t get the gig, but she proved to herself that she had what it takes to write for public consumption – and then she produced a widely read and much loved blog for two years over on my website.
So are you ready to set a few spacious (or detailed) goals? Do you want to give your dreams a deadline?
Let’s discuss them over a special completely complementary Live On Purpose Discovery Session.
To apply for one of the discovery sessions I have available this month, simply click here: http://midwifeforyourlife.fullslate.com/
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