I went out this afternoon to get a cup of coffee, and ended up driving to Canmore. I’d been feeling the pull of the mountains lately, so the turn of events wasn’t all that surprising.
I’ve been asking how a great deal. I recognize this as a sign that something is wrong. I think, specifically, it highlights a lack of direction. On and off, I think about moving to Canmore. Being there got my how questions all fired up. Driving around you see some pretty remarkable houses. With my focus being to secure housing, I’m heightened to the disparity between my situation and my end. How How How.
Making the turns on the highway I was overcome with worry. I could see in my minds eye the car careening off the highway. It was an intense vision. At some point I asked myself, why would I let that happen? There wasn’t a response. In the past, I’ve allowed myself to slip off the path; I saw little reason to hold fast in a direction. The habit of allowing myself to deviate has lead to a lack of trust in my own abilities. One more trigger for the how monster. The drive, however, helped bring to light larger issues through smaller scale everyday life situations. If I can avoid allowing the car to drive off the highway, I can also prevent myself from going off the path.
Canmore is styled much like any other mountain town: stone and wood as far as the eye can see. I parked the car outside of downtown and went for a walk. I lost track of where I had parked the car, but remembered I parked near a float studio. As long as I could remember the float studio everything would be okay. Along my walk I saw a neat building. I took a look at it, and I deviated off the main drag. I kept walking. I saw even more neat houses. Then, I got seriously lost. At this point, I began to need to use the facilities. Wandering around suburbia in a mountain town, I saw that things are pretty much the same everywhere: the major changes being cosmetic to fit the surrounding environment. Continuing my wander, I ended up back where I had fell off, and eventually got myself to a cafe. Order having been restored, I headed back to the car and took off.
The drive home was nice. My head was clearer. While on the road, I the chance to order my thoughts around the problem at hand.
I recognized that all of the accomplishments I am proud of never started with asking how. I wanted to be an actor: I took some courses, made some attempts, and kept going. I wanted to work in wine: I took some courses, asked around for some work, and kept going. I wanted to go to university: I enrolled, took some courses, and just kept going. I wanted to be a bartender: I got a job as a bartender’s assistant, applied for a job, etc. I wanted to learn to take photos: I drafted a plan, executed it, and took some photos.
Never once did I ask: How do I become an actor, how do I work in wine, how do I go to university, how do I become a bartender, how do I take photos. I wanted it, and I went for it.
I recognized that most of the things that I am proud of are small potatoes. As a result, I wanted small things. Now, I want big things. Big things are more difficult to achieve. I am guessing, though, that they take the same level of want.
I understand that moving forward success wont be a function of incremental hours. Working 3 jobs, 90 hours a week, won’t bring the scale I require. I also understand that I am moving into knowledge based work. This is a new environment for me, and it will take some time to navigate around. Success will neither be quick nor the way I know it.
I believe most of my previous experiences will come in handy, but the application of those lessons will need to be altered. An example:
I read that if you want to get good at copywriting, you should hand write previously successful sales letters. That seems like a big waste of time. Translating that suggestion through my experiences though, I understand it similar to learning your pitch. The time spent in practice on the pitch, honing it, translates directly to success in field. If I spent the time hand writing previously successful sales letters, I would better understand their nature. In the same way that I can apply my pitch to various products, with enough practice I should be able to do the same with sales letters.
A key difference between my pitch and sales letters? A pitch requires me to execute it each and every time, a sales letter I only need to execute once and duplicate. This is an example of success not being a function of incremental hours.
I’m going to hand write some previously successful sales letters.