(UPDATE 9/5/17: I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, and I’m half-tempted to delete this post altogether, but in the spirit of full transparency I’m leaving it. After publishing daily for 300 days in a row I quit. You can read about it here.)
I’m making a big decision tonight.
I’m going to publish a blog post every day for the next 10 years.
As I write that I immediately heard a voice say, “That’s stupid. That’s a big decision that you probably won’t keep. Plus, if you do decide to do that you should really give it more thought. You’re being rash.”
But another side of me, the crazy side that’s responsible for me going on adventures and doing things like quitting my job to become a freelance writer before I was ready or deciding to summit the top 5 highest mountains in the the Cascades, that side of me says DO IT!
That voice says, “Don’t stop to weigh all the pros and cons. This is something you’ve considered for years. Yes, you just heard Seth Godin talk about it again tonight in that interview. But you also heard him say the same thing before in an interview with Tim Ferris and you thought it was a great idea back then too. You don’t need to think about it. Just do it. You’ll either succeed or fail. But at least you’ll be in the game.”
And that right there is what put me over the edge:
Being in the game.
I grew up playing ice hockey and the worst place to be was sitting on the bench watching all the action happen.
You could yell and cheer but there was always something in you that knew you should be out there giving it your all to win.
So when I refuse to publish daily I feel like I’m on the bench.
And that critical voice, the resistance, the enemy, whatever you want to call it, is the only thing keeping me from jumping on the ice and skating my heart out.
It’s true there is no perfect time. I sometimes tell myself, “Once I make enough money I can afford to work less so I can spend more time writing and then I’ll publish daily.”
But when I think about it for more than 20 seconds I know that’s not true. There will always be some good logical reason to do it later.
But what if later never comes?
What if we get to the end of our lives and realize our “someday/maybe” list is too big for the time we have left. That’s freighting.
I do a lot of work for financial advisors and I’ve learned that one of the greatest fears retirees have is that they will outlive their money.
And I agree that would be bad. But what scares me even more than running out of money is running out of time.
Just imagine if you reached the end and realized you played it too safe. You worried what others would think instead of being true to yourself. You got distracted by meaningless pursuits. You spent years arguing on social media with strangers you disagree with instead of helping those closest to you.
So my decision to publish daily is my way of putting a stake in the ground and declaring to the world, and to myself, that I will get off the bench and start playing the game.
I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
As I was copying and pasting that quote I heard that little voice whisper in my ear again:
“It’s not too late to back out. You can still change your mind before you hit publish you know. Save yourself the embarrassment from saying you’re going to publish everyday for 10 years and then realize you couldn’t go 10 days.”
But I’m realizing something. I don’t have to listen to that voice. And neither do you.
We can choose to live free. We can choose to live a life of meaning instead of a life of regret.
So don’t give in to fear. Do that thing you’re heart is telling you to do today. Don’t consult the resistance, the enemy or the critic. Start living before you start dying.
“Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.” – Michael Jordan