Jay Shirley

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The Daily Practice

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A moment of solitude.

Published: 22 Sep 2012

As you can imagine, I track my goals religiously. I take great pleasure in doing this. It allows me to objectively judge my personal growth over time. It’s far too easy to enter a slump while simultaneously believing you are progressing. Charting my progress is the only way I can prove to myself I’m doing as well, or as poorly, as I think I am. I take it very seriously.

However, I frequently drop one of my goals. Well, actually two. Both are centered around writing. I’ve struggled with this over the last year and with how frequently they get dropped. This week I made peace with not writing.

A moment of solitude is invaluable.

I really liked what I wrote last and I had a follow-up already outlined and ready to go. I’m eager to write it and I sat down a few times to try. I failed, though. I couldn’t flesh it out. I would read what I wrote and be disappointed. It is time to change things up when you can’t even follow your own writings from five minutes ago.

The struggle this time, though, was different. I knew why. I also knew I wasn’t going to spend any time harping on it. I wasn’t going to be continuously rewriting without any positive changes. It wouldn’t help. My brain was simply too busy.

The last few weeks I’ve been working on the mobile TDP applications. I’m utilizing a highly efficient strategy to obtain maximum reach between Android and iPhone users. There is a lot to learn and figure out, even with this sharing. All this crammed into a short period of time. It was mentally exhausting and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even in my sleep I was thinking about it. I rewrote two pieces of code in my sleep, and quickly implemented the changes when I woke up.

This type of distraction is very bad for my writing but it’s excellent for myself.

A fine balance means excellent growth.

All last week I spent my time learning, tweaking and experimenting. It was tremendously enriching. I feel substantially more well-rounded and versatile. So what if I missed writing? I love to write, but writing in and of itself is not going to allow me to obtain my fantasies.

It is critically important to not justify missing goals. It’s an undesired event. However, sometimes it makes more sense to leave them behind so large leaps can be made improving other areas. Put simply, the ends justify the means.

Now things have slowed down. I’m not filling my brain with new information each day, instead rehashing and absorbing what I learned. I’m more calm about the work and my brain isn’t so tumultuous. I still have so much to do, and add more to my list each day. The difference is how much new stuff is being incorporated. If I’m maximizing efforts in one category, other things must be put on hold. I’m limited in capacity and capability.

I can never hope to accomplish everything, but working steadily each day I am guaranteed eventual greatness.