The Four Stages of Doing Anything Worthwhile
I usually stop at the first one, to avoid disappointment. And too much effort.
I’ve spent a lifetime talking about the amazing stuff I plan to accomplish. Actually accomplishing any of it has been an entirely different matter. Tell me if any of these Stations of the Commitment Cross sound familiar.
STEP ONE: WANNA DO
This activity that is mis-categorized as action. It’s more of a state of yearning, characterized by anxious glances at the horizon and other imaginary places. There’s lots of pointing, but no movement. Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion comes into play here. It’s also known as the law of inertia.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest tends to accomplish fuck all.
STEP TWO: GONNA DO
When it becomes too embarrassing to keep saying I wanna do that Big Thing I Mean to Accomplish, I move on to gonna do. There could be actual planning and setting deadlines, but again, no actual progress.
STEP THREE: DOING
This is the hard part, where evidence of activity is required. Marks on paper. Files saved. Checklists checked. It’s also the first opportunity for critics to step on the project’s neck, cutting off air supply. Most dangerous critic: the person doing all the work. It’s so much easier just to retreat to wanna do and gonna do.
This step takes a while. That mountain is freakin’ tall, and that stone doesn’t roll by itself.
STEP FOUR: DONE
It’s a brief moment, actually, and probably imaginary. Is anything ever done? Like, until you’re dead?
The key thing here: Steps Three and Four may be painful, but they’re the only ones where you’re actually moving forward. And if you’re not, the view won’t change much.