Fearing The Known

For somebody who has browsed some of my older posts, it is clear that fear is a recurring theme over here. If you haven’t seen the topic around before, now you know.

To be honest, that’s how everything started out. With me writing, trying to motivate people (read me) to be brave and go after their dreams. To get out of the comfort zone, to step into the unknown and just do it.

And I have to admit, this recipe worked quite well for me. I ended up doing some pretty adventurous things I never thought I would have the courage to do. It felt good. It made me feel powerful.

But here’s the thing with that type of “charge” – it is not that long-lasting. You go out and do it, you feel the thrill and then it is just a memory. It still feels nice remembering how brave you were, but it doesn’t feel the way it does while you live it.

So what’s the remedy?

You go on to the next adventure. And the next one. And the next one.

It feels good to be the one living the fast life, right? The black sheep, the one who decided to follow the path less travelled. The one who has all the good stories to tell.

If that’s your sweet spot, the thing that not only makes you but also keeps you happy and gives you the feeling you belong, then you can stop reading here. You took a leap of faith and you won.

Yet if there is still something missing, something not quite right, maybe I have the answer to that. And maybe not, but I will share it anyway.

Most of the time it is hiding in our subconscious. We don’t realise we are so brave yet so afraid.

That’s something I’ve noticed, and maybe it’s just me, but I feel more comfortable going for the big risk than for the small one. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is true. Trying to fit in a group of friends feels more daunting than going to a foreign country for a month on my own.

Why is that so?

Because in high risk, there’s actually less risk of real failure. That thing is dangerous, not ordinary, not everybody is doing it. So even if you fail, you are still a hero, you’ve tried. Whereas if you fail in a low risk situation, like making friends, you are what? A loser?

Then there’s also the commitment part. You don’t make a relationship, a friendship work by diving straight in and it’s done. It requires effort, it requires you to show up daily and grow. 20% vulnerable today, 21% tomorrow.

These small daily wins are different from the big momentary wins. You want to live in a different city every 2 months? You get up, you go, it’s done. But actually settling there might be a bit more difficult, right?

The stakes seem to be lower with high risk – what is it to lose when there’s nothing stable?

And I can’t stress this enough – I don’t want to say don’t be adventurous. I’ve been advocating so long for that. All I want to do is make sure we recognise both sides of the coin. Neither stale life nor extremely unstable one is the way. Unless one of these is the way for you and it makes you truly happy.

If not, simply alternating between the two doesn’t help either. We need that balance, we need to incorporate the known into the unknown and vice versa.

Because big wins are not always hidden in the big risks. Or should I rather say, big risks are not always hidden into the unknown.

For some of us the known is scary, and it’s good to know.

On Impulse

This is how we function, isn’t it?
This might as well be all we are, right?

Impulses in a brain.

Our thoughts, our actions, our emotions, our fears… All on impulse.

Many things we do without really thinking about them. Some are habits, other crazy ideas we jumped into. Sometimes all turns out well, sometimes not so.

A great deal of these impulses might indeed control us beyond our will and understanding, but we are not slaves to all of them.
We can learn when to follow and when to wait and let go.

The truth is, everybody gets impulsive thoughts but not everybody acts on them.

When we sense an improper impulse, we should just evaluate it as such and let it go. We should not let ourselves get lost in it, be consumed by it.

Because it doesn’t define us. Because we need to know we are not our thoughts. We are not the emotions we want to deny. We are not the impulses we want to surpress.

Labeling ourselves with everything we think and feel is a game we don’t want to be playing. Not only is it wrong, it is also exhausting.

We do know from experience that acting on impulse doesn’t always have the best outcome. (And by acting on impulse I mean to act when we are triggered, uneasy, rather than these magical times when we are centered and take inspired action as if out of nowhere).

And when we face that not-so-good outcome, we tend to regret our actions. And this creates more troubling thoughts. And more tourturing emotion. So we end up triggered and uneasy again, and led by impulses again. We are stuck in this vicious cirlce, trying to distract ourselves, trying to run from what we need to face.

But there’s also another way. We can break the cycle.

We are used to always being on the go, to nothing and nobody waiting for no one, to life rushing past us, to always having to do. Yet this is not the only way for us to live.

We can stop for a second, acknowledge our destructive impulses, stay with them, wait a while and do nothing. (Yes, nothing nothing)

And guess what? They die out. They disappear as unexpectedly as they showed up.

We don’t deny the impulse, but we don’t act on it either.

We just observe it, as we’d watch wild horses running through the prarie.

And we might even appreciate this impulse. Its beauty and what it is trying to do for us.

We might even be grateful.
On impulse.

The Grand Affair

I guess I wouldn’t be wrong if I said most people’s definition of happiness would be something along the lines of “life always goes the way I want it to”. All of us want things from life, and most of us definitely want to get them. But not many do, do they?

Well, here’s the thing. We are human and it seems we are wired for wanting. It’s not like we get what we wanted and we stop wanting. Maybe we do, but just for a little while. And then we hop off to the next thing we want. And the next. And the next.

We tend to want the things we don’t have but others do. Even if they are not better objectively. We have curly hair, we want straight. We have brown eyes, we want blue. We have a nice house but the neighbours have nicer. The grass is always greener on the other side.

So then, if we applied this logic to what we tend to want from life, would we still want it if we had it?

To put this even simpler, would we be happy if we were always getting everything we wanted?

My wild guess is no.

Then we would probably want for once things not to go our way cause they always do and it’s boring. We would want some variety. Some adventure.

And these are things we want now too. We appreciate the extraordinary. We love surprises. We aim for out of the box.

So why then would we want to live a life so predictable? Where would be the thrill of living, if we knew whatever we imagined would eventually land in our lap?

I see this like a relationship and the way we choose partners. I think most of us wouldn’t be truly happy with a significant other who always does what we say and never challenges us and surprises us. We like them to be their own person with their own opinions and life.

Because, in the end, this is what makes relationships worthwhile. They give us the opportunity to grow by showing us new sides to ourselves and, oftentimes, new sides to life too. If the other person always did what we do, had the same hobbies and never proposed something new, we would not only get bored but also never discover new exciting opportunities.

It is true relationships can be a bit too challenging at times. We have to compromise. And we have to compromise a lot.

But we do it for the person we love.

Then why not love life and compromise for it every now and then too?

Definitely not all the time. Some things we want too much to give up on. But there are others we can compromise on.

Life actually does that all the time. Maybe it had another grand plan in mind, but it notices our efforts and compromises and gives us a chance.

So isn’t that a life worth living?

Isn’t that a life worth loving?

In a Superposition

It is not all black and white. Some of us find it harder to see than others.

After all, isn’t that what the grey is? Black and white coming together. And existing together as something new.

Let’s agree, most of us want to have our cake and eat it. We want it both ways, we want mutually exclusive things.

We want a great career, an amazing social life, entertaining hobbies and enough sleep. We want commitments but we want our freedom too.

The FOMO is real. We want it ALL.

Well, some good news here. Physics says that’s possible. If you’ve ever heard of the Schrödinger’s Cat, you get the idea (If you haven’t, check out this sweet and short article by National Geographic). The cat is both dead and alive until you open the box and observe just either.

And here’s where the magic ends. Once you observe things, they become just one of the (multiple) options they could have been. And observing things changes them. Your perception usually shapes them into what’s familiar or needed.

So it seems we can have it all, until… we have just some. Could be mutually exclusive, too. Everyone made fun of UK’s PM Boris Johnson when he said go out but stay home, we need a heard immunity but we need a lockdown, you only go outside if essential but have your meal in a restaurant.

We are faced with such decisions most of the time. It’s a balancing act. It is about understanding that something can be both sides of the coin at the same time.

And it is, more than anything, about accepting it. About respecting the duality of our world. Of your own world. You can be both good and bad, capable and incapable, enough and not enough. And that’s okay. We’ve been shown everything changes. Sometimes way too quickly.

Only if you are willing to behold the extremes, do you find the middle ground.

Therefore, you are not in a position to decide your future, you are in a superposition.

Just prepare, once it comes to actually living it, you would need to prioritize and make trade-offs.

Until then, you have it all. Right here, right now.

Which Way?

Is it just me or do we always spend more time thinking about what could go wrong and not about what could go right?

Yeah, I know that we need direction and our brain needs an amount of information that won’t overwhelm it. So usually when we imagine things going our way, we have one preferable way. Not that we may not be satisfied otherwise, it’s just easier to focus on one scenario only.

So why, then, do we choose to burn our brain with all the failure options? It would be TMI either way, so how did we decide that was the better one?

I can’t deny being prepared for a disaster can save you. Anticipating challenges and reacting appropriately is vital to survival, and I believe, thriving. Let us then admit that getting ready for trouble is not a complete waste of time.

Right?

Well, the concept looks good on paper (or in typing). However, are we really using all those pictures of doom our mind can come up with to train ourselves how to face whatever comes our way?

I’m not entirely certain. What usually happens is us getting so entrenched with all the stuff that could go wrong, we forget there are stuff remaining that could still go right. We burn out and prefer not to think. Maybe also give up our goal altogether. Without even trying.

Then this is what I want to ask. If we are not to use the negative scenarios as good preparation, then why not use the positive ones for good inspiration?

Have you ever even TRIED to imagine ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD GO RIGHT?

I know, it’s difficult at first. After being trained to go for the negative by default, shifting the perspective might require quite of an effort. But it’s worth it. If nothing else, it’s a good exercise for your brain.

I guess it all comes down to being realistic. Too high of hopes, and you end up shattered on the ground. But always being on the lookout for ways that can fail you… well, you’ll come across a ton.

Oh, and by the way, this is not me telling you to go for the positive, it is all sunshine and rainbows. It’s just a proposal that you may want to try out.

Who knows, maybe you’d anticipate that this event you are going to will be attended by recruiters too so you have your CV ready. Or publishers go to the same dancing class, so you’ve perfected your book pitch. Yes, it will also be helpful for you to know all you try might fail but that the world will keep turning.

So, there it goes. Whether you pick the good or bad scenario simulator is completely up to you.

Experiment and go for the one that works best.

Staying Home

It’s too much. I agree.

Those 4 walls. Or 20 walls or 100. Doesn’t matter, I want out. We all want out.

If somebody asked us “Would you like to stay home for 3 months and chill or just be flexible and work from home?” like half a year ago, most of us would be very excited to accept this irresistible offer. Okay, I agree the offer conveniently doesn’t mention stay home and don’t go anywhere else in rather unsettling conditions, but some people would still hop at the chance.

Most of us would agree for sure if it was for a few days or a week. We all need a break sometimes. From the business, from people.

But give us too long of a break and too much of ourselves and we freak out.

Most of us are completely not used to being by themselves. It almost feels unnatural. I agree we are part of a society and this is the way for us to function normally. For life to keep going on, at least 2 humans are needed. But making others a part of each and every aspect of your life is a recipe for, as we learned the hard way, failure.

Situations like this make us see that, after all, it’s not a bad skill to know how to be all on your own. As would be necessary every now and then.

Times are changing and our heads are buzzing with thoughts, analyses, mental notes and external stimuli. It would be kind of impossible to worry if you’ve turned the iron off in the times iron wasn’t a thing. It would be far from your thoughts to try to estimate whether 64 is a good number of likes in the pre-Facebook era. It wouldn’t be on your mind to spend hours watching inspirational (or stupid) videos on Youtube when this simply wasn’t an option.

And, hold on in there, I’m not saying these things are bad. They are part of our life right now and to a certain extent, a part of who we are.

So it is not about we allow those things or not. It is the extent we allow them up to.

Straying home has challenged us to live in a very stumilii-less environment. And this is not something we are used to. The discomfort arrives instantly. Something is missing, but do we know what? One more video, one more episode, 20 min more of scrolling, maybe more of the news?

Hearing our own thoughts and questions can be painful at times. Is distraction the answer?

I can’t deny it could be. But only a short-term solution. Cause you take yourself everywhere you go and in everything you do. Sooner or later, stuff comes out. And then you can’t play it distracted.

As usual, balance is the key. Too much of nothing, and you’d go crazy. Too much of everything, and you’d go crazy. But learning to be by yourself and to be okay with yourself would also improve the times you are not by yourself.

Staying home and dreaming to be elsewhere all the time is not the best thing you could do. You will go out eventually, don’t worry.

And now, why don’t you go take a look at the rooms you usually avoid to? Who knows what hidden treasures you may find there.

Back to Normal*

We humans are a highly adaptive species. We might not enjoy it, but we are all getting used to living in between 4 walls. Getting used to seeing the same 1-2 faces every day, getting used to moving face-to-face activities online. This is not a dream world but it is far better than the worst scenarios.

The panic quickly subsides and we are on to wondering when we’ll be going back to normal. We miss it, yet we are slightly terrified of it. After all, we can’t even be sure what “normal” will look like after this is over.

Hopefully, we’re going to come out of these unprecedented times with refreshed outlook. Better equipped to live a “normal” life.

Because, let’s face it. We’ve been taking so many things for granted.

The lives of our loved ones.
The food we put on the table.
Our (non-)fulfilling job.
Our house/room/bed.
Our social life.
Our mental health.
Our own life.

When all of this is over, I sincerely hope we will get to go back to normal. And yes, I’ll be glad to meet up with friends and to go to parks and pubs and go on that trip to a tropical island and start that exciting new job.

But that’s not exactly what I mean.

What I really hope for is we can go back to being cool with being normal. Because nowadays, this is something rare.

With the rise of social media and connectedness, we started to feel like being normal is not normal. It kind of looks like what’s normal these days is for each and every one of us to be extraordinary. To be a standout with his Instagram followers, his post retweets, his worldly goods and status.

I can’t deny that the opportunities to make it big right now are more than ever before. Our parents and grandparents never had these options.

However, fewer chances to succeed also means fewer chances to feel like a failure.

Scrolling down on Facebook/Instagram, every 5th post is an ad of someone who wants to tell you their secrets of how they managed to get… (insert here count of followers, subscribers, clients, fortune). Most of these are standing casually dressed in front of a pool, not as often in front of shiny cars. They preach and they preach, and they curse and they tell you to hustle and to aim for the top 0.000001%.

Not to rest until you get that.

And I totally get that. I know there is a God dormant in all of us who is just waiting to be awoken to start working wonders. I know we are capable of far more than we can even start to imagine.

And I can’t agree more that most of the time we need a little nudge to get it all going. Or a massive push.

What I want to say is, if you are a hustler, do go ahead and hustle. The world needs all kinds of people. (But please, if possible, do not walk over kind hearts and the environment while on your endeavour).

But if you are not a hustler, just don’t do it. No need to feel like less of a person if you are not reading 5 books per day or not cold-calling 1000 companies per week. If you are not followed by the thousands or read by millions.

If you want an example of how doing what everyone else is doing is not always the best idea, just remember the events of a month ago.

Everyone rushed and bought toilet paper because everyone else was buying toilet paper. People fought over toilet paper and hoarded rooms with it without even knowing why. Just because everyone else was doing it.

Then we paused, we looked around, we realised toilet paper will not save us and comfort us. We condemned humanity’s stupidity, and we stopped buying toilet paper.

So yeah, hoarding toilet paper and expecting to be safe and hoarding money and expecting to be happy are kind of similar.

Success is only real success to us when it is also fulfilling.

And being fulfilled starts with accepting who we are right here, right now. With or without all the achievement badges. With being fine to be nobody, just yourself. Because this is when you can start to become somebody. Somebody you’d be happy with.

Yes, the most pressing question right now is “When are we going back to normal?”
It has gone a bit out of fashion and it’s time to bring it back.

*This is not a call for you to lose your identity and conform. It is a call to accept yourself just as you are right now, and THEN go be extraordinary, if that’s what you are after.

Holding On

Your friends have finally managed to convince you.
“It will be such good fun, not scary AT ALL!” they are excited to drag you in quicker. You said you were all alright standing by the side and watching. But no, they insisted you not be a coward and come take a ride.

So you did. You said fuck it and went.
Your confidence was shooting through the roof while your friends were cheering you for your bravery. Suddenly you got the feeling this whole thing would be a piece of cake, you were so stupid to be afraid.

But then a few minutes later you lost it.
The shorter the queue became, the more your confidence shrank.
It was replaced by anxiety, sweaty palms and beating heart. You were telling yourself there was no need for all of this. “Calm down, calm down…”

“Sit down!” the man on the side shouts and quickly fastens all the seatbelts. Now you have no time for worry. Everything happens so quickly.

Before you know it, you start moving. “Oh, it’s not that bad,” you tell yourself and actually trust those words.

And THEN it begins. And what do you do?

Your reaction is automatic. Does it even take a millisecond? You are now holding on tightly and squeezing your eyes shut as hard as you can. You maybe even scream.

Welcome to the rollercoaster.

How do we deal with ups and downs even when they are timed far apart? Sometimes it proves too demanding even when they are anticipated.

Then what about ups and downs so frequently alternating they threaten to drive you crazy? To drive you way beyond crazy and back, and way beyond crazy and back again…

Times are very weird for many of us who haven’t experienced very weird times before. And maybe also for the ones who have.

Uncertainty is looming and answers are scarce.
Scenarios, conspiracies and fears are countless but the reality is just one.

And we all experience it right now. It is so odd how separated yet how together we are. It’s difficult to imagine how the distancing brings us closer but in a way, it does – we realize we are all in this together.

We see we are not the only one going through all of this.
When we pass people by on the street, look at them creating funny memes on social media, it seems they have their shit perfectly together. But if we look a bit closer, we can tell they’ve got this same limbo boiling inside.

For many of us, the story unfolded along the same lines.
We felt uneasy when we first heard of it and tried to brush it off.
Then as it became a bit bigger, came a bit closer, we possibly tried to deny it and laugh it off. But then it kept coming closer, the queue kept getting shorter…

And in a way, we reacted automatically. We’ve adjusted to the new reality as quickly and as best as we can.

We know for how long we have to wash our hands, how far apart we have to stand, what we are allowed to go out for.

However, there’s no right degree of worry, no estimated standard count of mood swings, no invalid feelings.

We have all boarded this insane rollercoaster and none has any idea when and how we get to get off of it.

For the time being, we can only hold on tight. Eyes shut and screaming optional.

What Does Jupiter Think?

It’s unbearable. You want to yell, break things and cry. You want to howl out of hopelessness.

This is what happens sometimes after a really bad day. After everything piles up and a seemingly harmless thing like mistaking the password for unlocking your phone ignites the greatest wildfire. You know you are not furious because of this or because the store has run out of mini bananas.

It’s the worries you’re letting run in the background. The pains that you know are somewhere there but you’re trying to ignore and numb out cause poking at them will open Pandora’s box. But at times they crawl out and here you are. Asking yourself THE questions.

“Am I good enough?”

“Why was I so dumb to believe he was gonna call me back?”

“I need to know why, why hell on Earth, am I such a failure?”

Being angry and desperate with or without the questions sucks, we are all aware of that. We are all here existing into a world that looks like it expects certain somethings from us. Like with some things or without some other things, we don’t simply fit in. Like we’d be unfit for life.

Where does the truth lie though?

Life is simply life, and attaching any other adjectives and meanings to it already twists it a certain way. Already puts certain expectations. We crave to make sense out of things. Out of everything.

Otherwise “the game” seems pointless. The battle. The struggle. The journey.

However, it still hasn’t been scientifically proven life needs to make sense. There was this nothing, then this something that exploded into many somethings, then there were weird creatures and now there’s us.

If the history of the universe and the earth was a fiction book, it would be damn interesting. Who could have foreseen all the plot twists?

I know some people might get sad at the thought of being just someone in a world of 7 billion and counting. I know it might sound daunting to hear that when we zoom out, the earth is that little, infinitesimal (no)thing, a speck of dust in the universe.

At first glance, the realization of being that insignificant may be depressing. Yet if we’d take a closer look, it is completely liberating. Coming to understand that nothing is supposed to be anything and that anything can be everything removes (m)any limits, doesn’t it?

Aren’t we the definition of life? We come here, experience it and define it through our experiences. We sometimes find it difficult to match up each other’s definitions, but it is generally useful we’ve agreed on certain things. It would be rather tricky if my blue was your red and vice versa, but it is also not that helpful for all of us to agree to life being a struggle by default.

So there it goes, we decide what matters and what not. Humanity as a whole has defaulted to many things mattering, but if some of them don’t ring true to you, don’t be afraid.

It’s a fact that whatever we think (or don’t think), life will be the way it is. Worry won’t bring is anywhere. Overthinking and stressing can only bring us more overthinking and stressing.

Yet there are ways of bringing our mind back to the present, of connecting back to the universe, or however you name it.

As soon as I notice myself slipping into a mid-day (or mid-night) crisis, I just stop. I just stop and ask myself “And what does Jupiter think about this?”

Then I imagine this giant, this 365 million miles away grandeur, sitting back and smiling at my minute issues.

It’s not that I try to belittle my problems. I just try to fit them in the bigger picture.

And guess what, in the bigger picture, my issues are completely invisible. I wouldn’t want to use strong language and say they don’t matter, but yes, they actually don’t.

It’s like that popular quote/question “Would this even matter in 5 years?”, but a bit bigger.

Sometimes I get lost in worries that I’ve texted my friends 15 min late. Then I start making up stories of what they’d think, and I get far at that. At one point I start getting angry at myself and this is when Jupiter comes into play. I ask him what he thinks of my worries and we both start laughing.

I agree the above-mentioned is an “easy” example. Something just an overthinker might worry about. But I also get these big crises when it seems the world is falling apart.

I start with you are not good enough, you’ll never get what you want, look at you, you are a disgrace. Then it’s not so easy to turn to Jupiter, to get out of your own burning head.

But when you actually do, he points to Sirius and Pollux, those far greater and bigger celestial bodies and says look, even I’m nothing. Why worry about anything?

Then we both laugh and I move on with life. (I’ve got no idea what Jupiter does in his spare time when he’s not my counsellor).

So yeah, life is life and you get the full package. You get the joys and the pains, the laughter and the tears. That’s what makes up life, so getting caught into clinging to one thing or trying hard to get rid of another is just a misuse of energy.

And we can use that energy far better – to be creative, to change the world, to eat, or to just chill. To sit back, relax and enjoy our journey through the universe.

Procrastinator’s (Precious) Pitfall

We all know what procrastinating means. Some of us do it daily, others less often but we do fall victim to scheduling our biggest goals for the never-coming tomorrow.

And we do know it doesn’t help. It doesn’t make us feel better. On the contrary, it only makes us feel worse.

Instead of doing that thing and getting it over with, we feel the constant pressure of deadlines. Or if the deadline is self-imposed or missing altogether, we just know, in anything we do, we should be doing that other thing we are not. That other thing we postpone but never remove from the to-do list. Ending up feeling like a failure pretty much all the time.

There are already so many sources out there on how to combat procrastination. Apps, the Pomodoro technique, mental games of rewards and punishments. So here I will not speak about that. I won’t focus on giving tips on how to stop putting things off.

I want to focus on one aspect I don’t see covered as much. I call it the Procrastinator’s Pitfall. It is especially pronounced in creative people, even though each postponer suffers from it.

It is the pitfall of starting something, leaving it for (quite) some time and then coming back to it, only to realize you are not the same person who started it.

Obviously, this is not the biggest issue you face if you are preparing a company’s annual report or a university presentation on perfect competition.

But if you are writing an article, a book, preparing a life plan, painting a picture, or doing anything else that requires the output first pass through your personal viewpoint, then you are a bit fucked.

How many times have I started writing something, then started another, then another, never finishing any of these? Then I try to come back finish the first piece but guess what – I can no longer remember/relate to the point I was trying to convey back then. So I think I’ve hit writer’s block. And I keep procrastinating. And I start more things I never finish. And I keep feeling like a total failure.

Now you might ask why would I want to produce anything that I can’t relate to. Of course, I don’t want to. But back then, when I had this fresh idea, I was relating to it. I had it all mapped out in my brain but then I lose the map. Sometimes I simply cannot remember where I was going with it. What a comparison/point I was trying to make.

And that feels so bad. Having something (possibly great) on your mind and then losing it simply because you were too lazy, too far from a comfort zone, too much of a procrastinator.

This is why I strive to finish anything I start in one sitting. I can always edit later. I can always throw that paper in the bin. But I will have the amazing feeling of achievement. Of having finally finished something.

It is true that the one-sitting approach can’t always work. Book writers, you’ve been dealt the poor cards. As much as you try, fighting physiological needs like sleep, eating and toilet would only work for a few hours.

But this is why you have a word count. A daily goal works just perfectly. You achieve it and then are free to do whatever. In your newly-achieved exhilarated state of non-procrastinator.

And guess what? You are then far more likely to come back write tomorrow. Because now you are confident you can. You saw yourself do it yesterday, so what would stop you today? Whereas never achieving your goal and feeling like a failure is not really conducive to future accomplishments.

Surely, in the case of writing a book or dealing with another lengthy creative process, you can get stuck for real. You may have no clue where you want to take the story next. And that’s okay, then it is indeed recommended you drop that thing and do something else.

So that you can actually come back not the same person who started it. So that you have a new perspective and tons of fresh ideas.

Sometimes a book is just waiting for you to grow and become the person who can write it. And it is willing to wait.

That’s where another important point comes. If you can’t finish in one sitting and you feel completely stuck and know you won’t do that thing, please remove it from your to-do list. At least for today.

As soon as you feel yourself postponing something that should have been done today and you know you are not doing it anyways, better not to force yourself do it late-night and at the expense of sleep and lots of frustration, ending up not finishing again.

This is by no means to tell you to drop streaks and hope for a better day. No, just have a productivity deadline.

You know at what time you want to be in bed. You know all the other things you would like to do today. This is why you always get the advice to do the hardest thing first. As because of it you are likely also not to do the easy ones. Wasting time “doing it” but actually distracting yourself with stupid stuff.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try today and if it works – great. If not, simply say you need a break and come back tomorrow. Tell yourself you need to be a different person to finish this.

And believe me, you can change so much in a single day. You can be bombarded by realizations, inspiring situations, anything you never thought would move your art forward.

So yeah – the idea here is not to beat yourself up. To try to avoid the loss of confidence due to feeling like a failure. If you really, really want it, you will do it. You must do it. And most of the time, you must force yourself do it.

Believe that life’s got your back and it won’t let that dream goal escape. It will give you the needed guidelines, but from then on – it is up to you.

If books would auto-write themselves… the world wouldn’t be such a beautiful place would it?