Imperfectly Achieving Your Goals

It is vastly important to remember what makes you human.  Your imperfections are what make you unique and allow you to connect with other people.  Have empathy for yourself as you meet obstacles and make mistakes.  Have empathy for yourself while you refine your character as you stumble along.  These are the experiences that will shape and build who you are.  When it’s time to share; these “failures”, setbacks and experiences may become the stories that will one day keep people riveted.

While you amble along, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to have all the requisite skills prior to beginning.  I play guitar and ukulele as a hobby.  Years ago, it was something that I wanted to do, but since I couldn’t play, I never bought a guitar, or even tried to play.  It took me years to initiate.  After a breakup, I finally bought one.  It was partially the breakup, but also stumbling upon some of Bob Dylan’s earlier recordings that prompted me.  I figured that if he could sing, well then hell…  I knew nothing about how to play, but I spent periods of time every day practicing moving between chords that I had found in a book (before internet).  The changes became more and more fluid and within two months I was writing songs and playing at a local open mic in Marin where I lived at the time.  I didn’t get the skill before I started playing, I had to spend hours playing to get the skill.

Building skills through practice tends to make sense, but so often, people have it backwards.  We hear people all the time say things like “I would love to paint, but I’m not artistic.”  …or “I want to write a book someday, but I don’t know where to begin.  The truth is, anyone who is an artist or a writer started in the same place.  The key is that they started.  If you’re not getting the results you want in a specific area, it is important to look back at the things you did, or the actions you took to get you to where you are.  The actions we took in the past determine where we are now.  The actions we take now, determine where we’ll be in the future.

It may also be important to broaden your definition of what a skill is.  Maintaining a strong love life is a skill.  Growing your savings/investments is a skill.  The key is that it can be learned.  It takes focused effort in that area.  Napoleon Hill said: “Do the thing and you’ll have the power…”   By actually doing the thing you wish to learn, you build skill in that area over time.  The key is to begin, and to have empathy for your clumsiness and mistakes as you grow.