For those of you who do not read regularly, I embarked on a 30 day challenge to write something every day on the blog. My inspiration were a few friends on Facebook and some recurring themes that crept into my life. I've never been one to fall into the sea of 30 day challenges (or 90 day or 7 day or 2 days?! Anything is possible!). Never a believer that abs and true mastery on anything can be done in such a small subset of time, I've never really tried it. But I may have just drank the Kool-Aid. Lord help me.
What I've learned about real accountability - which is not telling the few people in your life who would bail you out of jail and blindly swear to your innocence - is that it works. What began as a little promise I made on an airplane amidst scary turbulence and a strong desire to focus on my podcast and NOT the 30,000 feet below me has turned into an exercise that's improved my writing and changed my view on goals.
I'll be honest, the day I wrote my 30 day challenge post and identified the areas that had been holding me back from making a commitment to my writing was not a game changer. I didn't close my computer feeling ready for life or excited to pump out some world-class articles. It was a nice exercise and definitely an enlightening one, but the real moment I felt giddy was when I discussed it with some colleagues.
We were out at Pérez Art Museum Miami on their third Thursday events. It's a free night of art and culture, and even just staring at the PAMM's gorgeous Miami ocean view and standing a mere few feet away from serious artwork can subconsciously influence you in a great way. Much like just being on a college campus, it sets the tone for openness and willingness to learn. We were sipping our drinks when the subject of podcasts came up, and I shared the one that inspired me to push myself, get over my fears and actually make a commitment. Everyone had a story of something they too wanted to get better at.
What was my little 30 day challenge article turned into a supercharged conversation on what holds us back as creative people, the kind of thoughts and worries we have and the stream of great ideas we never follow up on because we're bringing other people's creative visions to life. It was such a real conversation with incredibly talented people and this was when the actual magic began.
The following week we spoke about it some more and even began to check in on ourselves. There was no way I wasn't going to post because this just got real. I couldn't hide behind, "Yea well maybe I said it but no one really reads it so meh." There were people I cared for and respected who now knew and there was no way in hell my answer was going to be, "I got busy and broke a commitment to myself."
Today, I woke up trying to search for something interesting to share. It's been one of the most fulfilling parts of the challenge: I can't sweep a bad first draft under the rug and go about my day. Because I've made a promise, I'm forced to sit there and re-visit the angle and writing ultimately pushing myself to become a more curious observer and better writer. And it only takes a little bit longer. That has been a huge takeaway. I never had a purpose to work an extra 20 minutes to fix the article because I didn't have to. I could simply choose not to fix it and find something better later on, whenever that would be. Imagine how much more I could accomplish if I thought I needed to do it.
I figured instead of writing a curated piece, I'd share my insights as a regular person who made a simple commitment and how much positive spillover it's had on my life. Those conversations that lit me with energy are priceless and allowed me to have a real connection with people who are incredibly interesting. I got second-hand creativity from simply having an authentic chat and pushing myself a little bit harder. I haven't even broken a sweat yet.
Cheers to another 21 days 🍺💪