Are you being creative and productive today?
If you’re not, why not? What gets you off track? Do you start out with a plan, with drive and focus, enthusiasm and energy, and then get derailed before you even really make any progress?
I hate it when that happens.
And it happens a lot.
The other thing that happens is the slog. You know what I mean? Like this:
First there’s the rush. It’s fueled by enthusiasm and emotion. You’ve worked yourself up into an energetic state about something, you’re motivated, and you take off running. Then, things don’t quite work out. It takes longer. You get tired. You question your motives. You question your plan. You feel like you are wading knee-deep in mud. You are in the slog.
I hate the slog. No one likes the slog because it’s no fun. It’s all pushing and wading and slow-going, when what you want to be doing is bouncing and twirling and seeing results.
When you hit the slog, you have exactly two ways to think about it:
- Decide that you made a terrible, horrible mistake and this is obviously the result of that terrible, horrible mistake, and it’s never going to get better.
- Remember that this is a process, that taking responsibility means doing the work, that picking one idea and sticking with it means you go through the slow, painful parts AND the fast, exciting parts, and that the results will come.
The key is to know when you hit the slog and identify that moment when you choose which way to think about it.
Most of the time, it’s like we’re just driving blind. We hit a slow spot, and instead of opening our eyes, looking around, and seeing what’s up, we just complain that we can’t feel the wind in our face anymore.
The way to deal with the slog is to recognize that it’s there.
And, yep, you’re there in it. There are two ways to get out: turn around and retreat to comfortable, familiar territory OR push through it until you get to the other side.
The slog is nature’s/God’s/the universe’s way of testing your commitment. It’s built into process. You must proceed through the part where it seems like nothing is happening despite your best efforts before you get to the part where you start seeing results.
- Gardening: you prep the soil, you plant the seed, you water. You water. You water. You wait. You water. You water. You water. You wait. You think you probably planted a bad seed. You water. You water. You wait. You wait. And then you get something green, and your doubts fade, and you realize it was a good seed after all, and from there on out you get to see visible results of your effort.
- Procreation: you… um… you know…, and then you get the pregnancy test, and you maybe feel terribly nauseous and hormonal and terrible, and you see no results. You wait. You vomit. You vomit. You wait. And then, weeks later, you feel the movement of life happening, and then, months later: voila! Baby!
You get the idea, right?
That slow part, when the results are invisible but the effort and energy and discipline needed are still monumental, that’s the slog. It’s part of the process.
If you want to be successful, you’ve got to push through it.
Then you get to results. So hang in there, spring chickens, and keep pecking away.