Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Pep Talk: Let's Fly Away

I like to break the process of goal achievement into three handy sections: The Beginning, The End, and The Really, Really Slow Part.

The Really, Really Slow Part happens, as you may have guessed, in the middle. It's the part where you're actually doing things. The part after the Beginning, which is when you're so hyped up on the possibilities that you're convinced you're moving forward at warp speed. The part before the End, which is when you're just waiting to put that final button on your project so you can bust out champaign and--depending on the size of that particular milestone--weep.

The Really, Really Slow Part is, in my experience, a lot like the middle part of a commercial flight, after the thrill of take-off has ended and the pilot has given you the okay to bust out your laptop. Rumor has it, planes are really fast. I suppose this must be true, because it only takes me about four hours to fly halfway across the country. But flying doesn't feel fast the way driving does, when you get to see the scenery zip by, the dashes on the road getting sucked up under the wheels of your car, one right after another.

No, the view from the window suggests that flying is a slow and laborious process, given that you can see the same stupid corn field for fifteen minutes. Yes, yes, I get the science of it, and the fact that the plane is really far away from the earth and blah, blah, blah. But that doesn't change the way it feels to someone who is more accustomed to land travel.

And that's what it is to pursue a previously unsought dream. You may feel stuck, but if you're still working and you're still focused, there's a good chance that you're actually moving forward at warp speed. You may not be able to see it, because you've finagled yourself into a brand new position where everything looks different. But you're moving. And if you keep your focus on what you're doing for a little while . . . on the work and milestones and all that . . . when you peek back out that window later, you'll probably find yourself looking at an entirely different terrain. Mountain ranges?! Where did the corn field go?

Of course, you'll get restless over the mountain range, too; we're programmed to get a little antsy. But just know that that mountain range is temporary.

So is the time when you're embarrassed by your lack of experience. And the time when it feels like every 20 actions yield one result. And the time when you feel like a bumbling moron because not even you can commit to a firm list of priorities.

You are moving forward. You are changing for the better.

As the person standing on the ground, staring up at the underside of your plane as it whizzes by, I am telling you you're on your way.

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