09.19.16 What is My Goal?

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I’m just starting week 5 of Creating Your Life. I usually spend this time reviewing a goal and updating current reality in relationship to the goal.

At the moment, however, my goal is to choose a goal because I’m undecided about what I want to work on. A few things I’d like to work on include:

  • Finding contract work creating technical content.
  • Starting a consulting business in which I use what I’m learning in this course to help small businesses and not-for-profits.
  • Find a job that doesn’t pay a lot but I’m working for an organization whose mission I support. It would be a way to move into a field where I’d like to work.
  • Going through my home and decluttering.
  • Doing research on buying a trailer.
  • Getting started on a book idea.

Of the the four, the book idea is the most fun and appealing. Finding contract work is the least appealing. That’s just my intuitive hit.

The idea of going through stuff and figuring out what to do with it isn’t very appealing at the moment either.

But there’s also the issue of which projects most directly feed my values and aspirations. Because sometimes we need to do things that wouldn’t be our first choice but they support more important goals.

In this case, finding contract work is the choice that will most directly support the others. I want to have money to buy mountain property and to help pay college tuition for my son. Earning money creates the most ease to do both.

Other options will eventually lead to better paying opportunities. The big question at the moment is how long is “eventually?”

At the same time I feel resistance to the idea of looking for contract work. I wonder whether there’s more in it than just a paycheck. And a small voice tells me I may be spending a lot of time doing this and what will I get in return?

Because ultimately, these goals are about how I choose to use my time.

I think, too, there’s a part of me hoping that I’ll discover other sources of funding. For example, at one point, I thought I could sell clothes, household items, etc on ebay and earn enough to make up the difference.

But I discovered, selling things on ebay requires a lot of time and patience and I didn’t enjoy the process very much.

I don’t yet have a clear answer here. I have more research to do and more contemplation to do.

Creator Moment of Truth

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One of the more interesting ideas in the Creative Process approach is what Robert Fritz calls the Creator Moment of Truth.

 

The Creator Moment of Truth involves asking and answering these questions:

  1. What’s the difference between what I expected and what I delivered?
  2. What accounted for the difference? This is not only the specific steps but assumptions I made at the beginning of the process.
  3. Create a plan for going forward. If I made assumptions that turned out false, what will change? Were there any patterns or habits that I want to continue to correct?
  4. How can I make sure I follow through on #3?
1. Expected and Actual Outcomes

My goal was to create a blog I could use to write about my experience learning and applying a class I’m taking. The class, created by Robert, Rosalind, and Ivan Fritz, is called Creating Your Life. The idea of the class is that the process artists use to create works of art can be applied to create anything you want in life.

I gave myself 2-weeks to create the blog and write my first post.

It took me less than 2-weeks to do this.

2. Reason for the difference?

I completed the project faster than projected because I made the decision to be content with “good enough.”

I’m a perfectionist and I can be obsessive when it comes to making something look the way I imagine it could be.

For example, I’ve started quite a few blogs and where always get bogged down is in the “look and feel,” stage.

Setting up a blog in WordPress is very easy. But getting that blog to look exactly like the blog of your dreams is a whole different thing. Although WordPress offers lots of free themes (the theme controls the way the type looks, how images show up, etc) and most of those themes provide all the components you need for a presentable blog, I find there’s always a lot of adjustments I want.

Using this blog as an example, I’d prefer that the headings be smaller, lighter, and less “in your face.” That my own style preference.

In the past I would have spent hours running down rabbit holes trying to fix the look and feel of these blog theme. This time, I decided to let it go and if I want to, I can make those changes in the future.

Similarly, the header (the image and title of this blog) isn’t what I envisioned. It’s not as refined as I wanted it to be. However, it does the job for now.

3. Create a plan for going forward

There are two options I’m considering for subsequent blogs.

  1. Invest time into becoming more proficient with a graphics applications like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This would enable me to create more heading options to choose from.
  2. Hire a graphic designer to create the heading and customize the theme. I’ve done this in the past and it worked out very well. This is my prefered way to go. To do this, I need a budget so I can hire a good designer. This is an element to include in future blog development projects.
4. How will I ensure I follow through on #3?

Right now I’m not quite sure but I have some ideas to looking into:

  • Brainstorm ways to fund my blogs so that I can pay a designer.
  • Brainstorm ways to involved a designer and compensate them in ways other than cash payment.

I strongly prefer to pay people in cash. Non-cash compensation can work but only under special circumstances because both I and the designer need to feel we were fairly rewarded.

One more thing…

I realized that I feel slightly uncomfortable coming out a few days ahead of schedule. I think I’m trying to come up with more reasons for why this happened and one of the things coming up is “your created something crappy and didn’t do enough to make it better.”

This is one the songs on the “Perfectionist Top 40.”

An advantage of this process is because I’m doing a daily, or near daily, project assessment, I’m continually tracking my position relative to my goal and this includes decisions I’m making. For this reason, I know the decisions I made were sound ones at the time and this reassures me that, no, what I created was intentional.

When Tomorrow is More Enticing Than Today

A primary element of the creative process is using Structural Tension to guide and energize action. Structural tension is created and maintained by keeping the goal and current reality in mind.

The difference between the two is a kind of tension similar to the bow string being pulled back to propel the bow.

For example, this blog is a creative project. I have a vision for what I want this blog to be and when I think about my goal I get strong, “Yeah, I want that!” energy.

And there is current reality which is how the blog is right now: today.

I’ve always been one of those persons who lives in the future because the future is a brighter, shinier place than current reality. Some people live in the past and take comfort in past pleasures and accomplishments. But I think the future is much more interesting because I’m sure it’s going to be better.

So when I do the twice daily exercise of visualizing current reality in relationship to my goal, I find myself immersed in all the cool things I plan to do with this blog and have a hard time considering current reality. Current reality seems so drab and boring.

I’m wondering whether this is something other people experience.

For now, I’m making the observation and I’m curious to see whether any additional insights pop up.