by David Andrew Wiebe | Feb 2, 2023 | Inspiration
In a world obsessed with stats and results, it’s easy to get caught up in the wrong thing.
Though it’s worthwhile to evaluate results periodically, a fixation on outcomes can be unhealthy, and even detrimental to your progress as a creative or creator. Because process is the part you can control, outcomes are not.
Therefore, filters are crucial to your survival. Without them, you will take on too much, burn out, and get caught up in an unhealthy game of comparison that steals your happiness.
We need to be able to put our blinders on, even if it’s only for a short duration, to focus long enough on the process that we see desired results flow in.
Every “Overnight Success” Was 10 Years in the Making
I find it easy to fixate on the results, even unprompted. Even when there’s virtually no reason to.
I needlessly check in on my Medium stats, even on days where I know I’m not going to get any love… all I can expect are a couple of claps.
It’s not always like that. I have stories that have done well. Stories that continue to captivate and engage.
But this is perhaps one of the dark sides of publishing daily… That every day you publish, you almost expect your next big break to happen… When it has literally never worked that way.
The Beatles weren’t an overnight success. It took them 10 years. Some things take even longer than that.
The Six-Month Window
Lately I’ve run into many proponents of the “stick to it for six months” crowd. Their opinion appears to be that success only takes six months.
Which has me looking at myself and wondering if I have done something wrong.
There are some things I have been doing for 10 or 20+ years that I can honestly say I haven’t really seen the ship come in on.
Of course, you will see some results in six months. But will they be the results you’ve been hoping for?
So far as Medium is concerned, I have been publishing for over 230 consecutive days. That’s over six months already. I have not achieved “success.”
I guess that means I should stop writing and try something else right? RIGHT?!
A Breakthrough for Everyone
The the “six months” idea isn’t going to resonate with anyone who’s given it their best and haven’t yielded the expected results.
There’s a breakthrough available to everyone. But it might not come in the expected form. And that’s where some sensitivity is required.
The universe will sometimes make that subtle, quiet call towards an endeavor where you would do well. But you’re not going to notice if you stubbornly insist on your own way. Because it will probably mean adjusting.
Put Your Blinders on
So, is it worth worrying about the results?
Should you be checking in with your stats all the time?
Should you put a hard, six-month deadline on success?
Maybe it works for some, but I can’t recall anything I’ve done that gave me a huge ROI in six months.
Instead, put your blinders on and do the work.
You’ll want to make sure you have rails for the project, of course. You could end up resenting anything you keep grinding out, without any sense of when to stop, evaluate, and course correct.
But within those rails, only come up for air, as necessary.
The temporary discouragement you allow yourself to feel could hold you back from your eventual success. It’s a distraction.
It could have you doubting yourself and your project constantly, and that can’t possibly add value to you or your project.
Comparison is unhelpful, since it puts the spotlight on someone you don’t know, whose results you haven’t verified, and who may have put more work and effort into their project than you’ll ever know.
And most importantly, it steals your happiness, which is worth protecting.
The only score to beat is your own, and even there, you must practice accurate thinking.
Accurate thinking is not based on emotions or feelings. It’s based on quantifiable data.
Go hard within established rails. Then look up and see whether you’re further ahead than where you started. If yes, go to next square. If not, consider whether you want to continue. Yes, then keep going. No, then start playing a new game!
A Beginner’s Mentality
I seek to disappear any notion that I’m seasoned or experienced. At the very least, I don’t see it as an unfair advantage, because if it were, I would have figured out this “six-month” thing by now. Maybe I’d be able to do it in three months!
A beginner’s mentality is fresh. It’s open to learning. It remains curios. It doesn’t lose focus or interest.
Every day, we can start with a beginner’s mentality, or focus on a thousand yesterdays where we didn’t see the ship come in. We can maintain excitement for what we’re doing or make a meaning of our failures.
Although it’s good to acknowledge the ships that didn’t come to pick you up, focusing on them long-term is sure to be detrimental. You’ll just keep waiting at the docks and prove yourself right, even as ships come and go!
On the journey to success, you don’t want to keep proving that things don’t work for you. You want to begin finding proof that you’re going to make it. And you want to do this daily.
In saying all this, I’m mostly preaching to myself.
I’m looking to get those blinders in place instead of evaluating my progress day to day, or moment by moment. There isn’t much positive that can come from being a dopamine junkie.
I could do a better job of setting rails, and to that extent, I am letting my self-esteem lead the way. And I find this helpful.
Do you feel you get caught up in the wrong things?
What are some things you could take your eyes off of to be more effective?
Let me know.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Dec 3, 2022 | Inspiration
What if everything you tried didn’t work?
What if your best ideas, best plans, best strategies, best efforts didn’t pan out?
What then? Would you give up?
What if you knew it was time to get your act together? What if you knew you didn’t have much time left? What if you knew it was now or never?
What changes would you make? How would you adjust?
Would you move to a different city? Make new friends? Start a business? Try a new workout routine? Embrace minimalism?
If you knew that you would simply be trying old things in a new way, would you feel discouraged about the fact that breakthroughs may not be forthcoming? Or, contrary to all evidence, would you continue to believe in breakthrough results?
It’s a big decision. Would you think long and hard on it before getting into action? Or, sensing the limitations of time, would you spring into action, doing something daily to create the life you’ve always wanted to create with the time you have left? Even if you have no idea whether those actions are going to lead anywhere?
Perhaps there’s a different option.
Maybe you could live your life in three-, six-, or 12-month capsules. Give something your full attention for a while, before moving on and trying something else. After all, what’s a quarter, half a year, or another 365 days in the grand scheme of things? Maybe you could indulge the multi-passionate within you. It could be a fun life.
Perhaps we could let go of the significance and drama of the situation altogether. Maybe we could adopt a laidback, easy-going attitude instead.
What if you created life as an experiment? What if you let your curiosity drive you? What if you held onto that curiosity for the rest of your life?
There are many ways of approaching the situation. The only thing needed to find solutions is to see the problem from different angles.
What’s even more fascinating, though, is that the “situation” itself is a creation. It’s not real. It doesn’t exist. We know this because the situation doesn’t have an opinion on the matter – only you do. Since you’re the only one with an opinion on the matter, it’s all context, and contexts are created.
What context do you want to create? This is the ultimate question.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Nov 25, 2022 | Inspiration
If you’re trying to find success away from your identity, stop.
So many of us are trying to do things we were never set up to do in the first place, because we think it’s what people want. We think it’s where we’re going to find success.
But what it amounts to is forcing a square peg in a round hole.
You can’t play peek a boo with yourself and expect to be rewarded for it. Breakthrough only happens where self-expression and activity are fully aligned. Your identity holds the keys to your breakthrough.
If you’re an aspiring guitarist who doesn’t like social media, then social media is not the path to the outcomes you desire.
Look at what you’re already doing. What do you enjoy? Where do you like to spend your time?
If you like video games, guess what? There’s a niche for video game style music. You could market yourself as a video game guitarist and play Comic-Cons all over the world. You wouldn’t need to build a fan base because the fan base is already there. Strategy? Your only strategy would be to love the living hell out of what you do and to be a good hang.
Where self-expression and activity aren’t fully aligned, there’s always forcing, and in a game of chicken, the Universe always wins.
How will you know when self-expression and identity are fully aligned? When you’re excited and scared at the same time. Anything less is not an endeavor worthy of your attention. Anything less is at a lower vibration compared to the person you’ve expanded to become. You’ve got to go a step beyond. If it isn’t expansion, it’s a cop-out, an imposter masquerading as opportunity, a counterfeit.
Don’t try to cater to the masses. Instead, go inside and discover what’s there. Notice what you love doing and match up your activity with that.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Nov 22, 2022 | Inspiration
Transformation occurs in the moment.
There is no waiting for transformation.
There is no working towards transformation.
Small progress is not snowballing and gaining momentum towards big progress.
Incremental change isn’t leading up to a breakthrough.
Transformation is now. And if it isn’t, it’s not transformation. You should be skeptical of anything that isn’t happening now because tomorrow is but a concept.
Today is all you have, and tomorrow will just be another today. It will only be another now when you get there. The time “in between,” so far as we’re concerned, doesn’t exist.
Here and now is where transformation happens. Here and now is where transformation is needed. You don’t need it tomorrow. You need it today, and it’s available today.
You either say what needs to be said, or you don’t.
You either give up alcohol, or you don’t.
You either begin doing what it takes to lose weight, or you don’t.
There is no middle ground.
The change you’ve been waiting for will not suddenly tackle you to the ground and announce itself.
Why? Because you’re responsible for that change. You already have everything you need to make that change. The power has always been within you.
Don’t hide. Don’t play small.
You’re here for a reason, and your vision matters. You can make a difference as much as anyone else can. No one is any better than you. And, importantly, you can start now.
Who cares about what you did or didn’t do? You did what you did, and you didn’t do what you didn’t do. That has nothing to do with what’s occurring in this moment.
Don’t talk about creating the life you want. Create the life you want. It’s available now.
Don’t look for transformation, don’t talk about transformation, don’t work towards transformation.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Jan 11, 2022 | Personal Development
On any given day, there’s a choice.
A choice between giving into our feelings, physical state, overwhelm…
Or being our commitment, regardless of what comes up.
The former is easy. The latter takes something.
The former is common and ordinary. The latter is uncommon and extraordinary.
When the unwanted and unexpected does arise, the temptation is to want to escape. But escaping isn’t going to solve anything. The breakdown will still be there when you get back. No matter how well you ignore it or avoid it, the breakdown will keep gnawing at you.
Most breakdowns go unacknowledged and undeclared. And there’s no power in that.
When you have a breakdown, declare a breakdown. That will get you back into power, and you can continue to be your commitment.