Last night I had dinner with a dear friend of mine who told me I was so driven, and asked me how I do it.
She also told me I have a specific ability to work hard.
And that she is not like that. She added that she started a book a few years ago, and never finished it.
I was flattered… and not sure what to say.
We have this image of the driven individual, destined for success and different from other people. So I loved that she saw that in me.
Let’s face it. That’s not really me 🙂
I’m so prone to Shiny Object Syndrom. Plus, I get scared a lot, which doesn’t help with drive, and getting things done.
(Also, I’m not a mum yet, and she is. Let’s face it I have no excuse!
No tiny individual depends on me for survival and dictates my every move… so if I get sweet FA done, that’s not really fair to my space in the world right now)
That said, I’ve been working independently for years now. And as an artist, if I don’t kick my own butt nothing happens… so the subject of obsession and getting stuff done is definitely top of mind.
Here’s what I learned about obsession my Caro d’amour, and maybe the reason why you never got round to finishing your book (which by the way was a beautiful project, and please don’t beat yourself up for not crossing the finish line, everyone has been there)
I’ve realized that you can’t make big progress, take massive action, stay the course if you’re not obsessed.
Just Obsessed? Yes, just obsessed. Wanna hear what the lovely Conor Mcgregor has to say about that?
“I’m not talented. I am obsessed”
It’s what Tony Robbins and all of the other coaches speak about when they say “Start With Why”.
The truth is, I never fully understood what it meant until last year when I decided to go full-on with my tango school, and be a full-time dancer and artist.
Back then, we worked out that if we could invite people to try out our tango classes, then a fraction would stay and keep learning with us. As simple as that.
And at that point, I became obsessed with the number of people registered to attend our free workshops.
It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning.
It was (almost) the only thing I spoke about with Pablo.
I actually found it very hard to focus on anything else: I was writing a show at the time, and could feel that it didn’t receive the attention it deserved.
And because I was so obsessed, I made it happen. I improved my skills, advertised, went out there in a bigger way. I was checking that number all the time and racing my brain to find new ways to reach more people and invite them to share a tango with us.
It worked. And now, I can start obsessing about something else, which is great 🙂
One thing I learned is that if it’s the first thing you think about in the morning when you wake up, you’ll find a way to make it happen. That’s the test: is it your first thought of the day?
Problem is, what is probably in your head every morning – as has been the case for me for many years – is somebody else’s obsession.
Your baby’s needs.
Your current client assignment.
The article you’re writing for that newspaper.
Your partner’s career problem.
Or maybe some negative thoughts about yourself, and how you never get anything done, or the fact that you’re waking up late again, etc…
Basically, you obsess about anything else but your book. Am I right?
But the other great thing I have learned is that you can change that. Consciously. It takes commitment, effort, imagination, but you can become obsessed with your own success again.
My coach, Fabienne Fredrickson, recommends creating a Mind Movie. It’s basically a short clip, set on music that moves you (and makes you want to kick ass), with the images of your dream life – or what you want to achieve.
I’m not sharing mine because there are some dirty images that might shock the beautiful You – but hers is milder, and here it is. She made it over 10 years ago and she says that only 2 more things in it have yet to come true.
The trick is to play it to yourself over and over again, especially first thing in the morning, and last thing before going to bed at night.
So far, mine helps – See, I’m writing this post after all!
Hope this helps. If it’s not that book, it will be another one and I can’t wait to read it!