Do The Work.
Happy New Year, New You and Everybody Else!
I’m going to do my best to keep my sarcasm at bay here because I really do believe that resolutions (and *intentions*) are a good thing. Clean slates are a good thing. Really, any idea or change that keeps us inspired and disciplined is more than good by me.
But we have to be careful with two things when it comes to our well-meaning resolve:
Understressing the work (practice), and
Overstressing the results (outcome)
Last year I promised myself I’d launch Bendy. We did — sort of — we ran a private beta this summer and discovered that there were a LOT of bugs, and I wasn’t comfortable releasing it more publicly until we could rebuild. I thought we’d still get it done by the end of 2016, but, you know, we didn’t.
So I had to take the initial resolution, and shift gears. In startup land, we call it a pivot. In the yoga community, we might say I became more flexible.
This is not easy to do. I didn’t immediately stand up after pouring over surveys and stats to say “Cool. No big. Let’s try something different.”
I was pissed and upset and embarrassed. I’d promised my peers and myself a finished product. And I didn’t deliver.
But I was under-emphasize the work, the practice, the value of failure.
You know what I did get out of that trial? A LOT of important information. A new partner. A new designer. A new resolve to get things done, albeit a bit differently. A new appreciation for patience, and the ability to breathe through discomfort — something I’d spent quite a bit of time discussing on the mat, and much less time putting into practice when I stepped off of it.
Failure are simply opportunities to problem solve.
After the failed first launch, I realized we didn’t have enough money to put out a second public release. So (I cried and freaked out and stared up at the ceiling for awhile and doodled and noodled and noodled some more, and then) I problem solved.
Or, better stated, I tried something else. While we were redesigning and redeveloping Bendy, I started a new company with my best friend (which solved another problem I’d just begun to realize I was having and will write more about soon: loneliness).
Moozies, friends, are coozies uniquely designed for ice cream pints and in my unbiased opinion they are the most practical thing to come out of a friendly Netflix & Chill evening since the remote itself.
But I’m not here to sell you on them — believe it or not, they’re selling on their own. My point is that there is strength in struggle. In falling, dusting off your ass, and trying [maybe something different] again.
If Bendy had rocket-shipped straight into success, I may not be teaching as much as I do now, and I may not be writing again. Putting pen to paper (and more often, fingers to keyboard) is one of the only ways I’ve found I can calm the nerves and manage my anxiety — about my crazy “career” moves, the fragility of life, who’s going to get Chopped for missing an ingredient — among other things.
If I weren’t already comfortable with embarrassing myself, I may not have started posting playlists for my classes, because I am no authority on music or its mixing. But people seem to appreciate it. I have a newsletter now. It’s not a lot — but it’s a start.
So, here’s the thing about your annual resolutions, practice intentions, #relationshipgoals or whatever — they need to be flexible. Because the only constant in life is change, a lot of which is out of our hands.
Instead of launching one company this year, I launched two. I didn’t fall victim to circumstance. I used it to my advantage. 2016 didn’t pan out perfectly, by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m really still 2 (maybe 1 & 1/2) for 3. But I’m okay with that.
This year, I’m getting more organized. Prioritizing what’s real and authentic to me, what’s real and possible for my companies. Ditching what isn’t.
Whatever you’re sinking your teeth into this year, stay cool about it. Anything of value is going to require some work, some struggle, some rearranging.
Breathe through it. Do the work. You’ll get there.