One of my favorite thing about the new year is that people think, for just a little while, about the future. They set goals and figure out what they'd like to accomplish in the next twelve months. A lot of these goals tend to be centered around health and fitness, while others might be about finally starting a company, socializing more, etc.
But one of my least favorite times is around the end of January, when a vast majority of people have either forgotten or given up on their goals. It's too hard to break out of their comfort zone and daily repeated behaviors, so they just decide to keep doing what they have been doing. To them, the perceived pain of change is more intense the pain of where they are in life.
By the way, I'm definitely not immune to such things. On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I spent hours developing goals, setting plans, and working out how to make this next year the absolute best that it could be. But then, on the second, something funny happened. I woke up, crushed my morning routine, did my work..and nothing. I felt a surge of exhaustion. Sitting down in a quiet room to rest, my inner voice asked an interesting question.
"What would happen if I did nothing?"
At first, the thought appeared to be absurd. But then, sensing the value that was coming with this line of questioning, I decided to ask again. "What would happen if I did absolutely nothing this year?" The answer that came back surprised me.
"Probably what happened in 2017." That shocked me. How was that possible? I busted my ass in 2017..how could doing nothing produce the same results? The answer came back "Because you didn't see things through until the end. You didn't continue to work down the path to build momentum." This was, while painful to hear, undoubtedly true.
I have been guilty of deserving the phrase "ADD AF" in the past. Occasionally, I remind myself of a dog, jumping from one awesome thing to the other, never truly completing it before moving on the next thing. This is how, at the end of a year filled with work and effort, not much has been released.
Oh sure I've had radio shows, podcasts, and so forth come out, but compared to the amount of work that I create, it's truly nothing. So, I asked myself "Why do I hesitate to finish? Why do I hesitate to release things?"
As I sat and thought about it, it became obvious. Each time a project ends, it feels like a death, not the wonderful thing we assume that it should be. Each time I finish a book or an album, I begin to exhibit the emotional states of a manic depressive and am, I'm sure, very unpleasant to be around. For me, finishing things is not enjoyable. Finishing things hurts. Therefore, I avoid it, even by using subconscious behaviors.
Looking at 2018 now, armed with this knowledge, my mission becomes clear. It is to complete and experience the "little deaths" of the creative process. It's about courage and persistence when the going gets tough. Often, I have waged war against the concept of inspiration, finding it to be unreliable. But, looking at my past, I can't say that I truly had pushed it out of my own life. I shall endeavor to do much, much better in the coming days.