We all suck starting out.
There’s an old saying about nothing worth doing being easy. That may be true, but I’d wager that a lot of people trying something new for the first time never get far enough to find out just how difficult the thing is. You pick up a guitar, plunk out a few discordant notes, maybe plug away for a week or two until your fingers get sore; then you listen to Freebird, realize you’ll never shred like that, and suddenly the guitar is gathering spiders in the attic. You lace up your shoes to give running a try, and you manage to power through some really painful stumbling outings; then it’s a few weeks later and you just can’t bring yourself to head out in the eighty-degree heat, and once you miss a workout, missing the next is easy.
You set out to write a novel, thinking (rightly) that anybody can do it. You pound the keys for a good solid month before you realize that your characters are boring, your setting makes no sense, and your plot is as dead as a shark that doesn’t swim. Then your manuscript goes into the abyss of unfinished novels and you maybe start over, or you maybe just quit.
When you start something new, people say you should have a goal. Something to work toward, something achievable. And that’s well and good: you should have a goal. But there comes a point, when you’re up against that wall where the thing goes from hard to STUPID hard, when you need something even more than a goal.
You need a mission.
The difference is subtle.
A goal is something clearly defined that you want to accomplish.
A mission is something clearly defined that you MUST accomplish.
With a mission, failure is not an option. With a mission, obstacles are unable to stop you; they can only delay you. With a mission, it’s success or death.
The Blues Brothers were on a “mission from God.” NASA’s headquarters for space missions is called, unsurprisingly, Mission Control. Failure is not an option.
So, the next time you try something new, don’t set a goal.
Set a mission.
This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.