How to Escape Life Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream, by Kenneth Atchity (Helios, 2004) is another book I’ve had on a shelf for a few years, always intending to read. I read another book of Atchity’s called A Writer’s Time, which gave me lots of encouraging information about scheduling time to write, and I did follow it, a long time ago.
He later wrote a revised version that I picked up in a bookstore since I had misplaced mine, and next to it was How to Escape Lifetime Security.
Since I just finished DO IT! by McWilliams, I was motivated to sort through some things that are sapping my energy just by having to maintain space for them. I know, that sounds rather nebulous, but it’s true. I have about a hundred books that I could probably part with.
So in an effort to DO IT!, I decided to start a stack of books I’d be ready to let go and found this one.
Usually you get something of value out of the first reading of a book. And often, if you read that book a month or two later, you’d get something else out of it, and maybe a year later, you might get something entirely new out of it . . . hence the reason why I have about a hundred books that I COULD part with. I know that if I reread some of them, new information would come to me.
But sometimes the things that are sitting around for “someday” become distractions, big enough to distract you from your dream or big goal or whatever you call it.
Reading Atchity’s book on the tail of McWilliam’s book and hearing the message two times that essentially you can have whatever you want, but you can’t have everything you want with the push to prioritize or prune out the excess (distractions) set me in motion.
We are all about change. Pruning is as essential to us as it is to a grape vine or an italian plum tree. Without pruning, after a while you won’t get any more grapes or plums. But once pruned, these plants produce proportionately more than they did before pruning (unless you prune too heavily to start with, so think about it).
Atchity has accomplished an incredible amount in the time given to him. And he has the same amount of time that you or I do. But I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing a great deal these days. And there are two reasons — one is I need to prune, not just books, but whatever is distracting my focus from my goals. And two — I need to try a tip from Mr. Atchity.
First — decide on how much time you want to spend working towards your big goal. That amount of time probably needs to be at least 10-14 hours per week if possible. Then, schedule a time to work on that goal.
Now here’s where the tip comes in, because if it was as simple as the previous paragraph, everyone would be accomplishing their big goals.
Once you write something down, it tends to get done, but for many people like me, a schedule is resisted. It’s part of our makeup. But what if you got a stopwatch, and each time you worked on your big goal, you let the clock run until you stopped? At the end of the week, you’d look at the time you’ve managed to set aside for your goal and feel successful!
Sounds very simple, but I think it’s works on a deeper level. Just like the computer games my kids like to play where you accrue points, people like to accrue things (like books, pokemon cards, etc), and the stop watch helps you do that with time. Otherwise, your distractions tend to mount up to prevent you from your big goal.
Just a thought. I’ll be trying it. I’ll let you know what happens. . . Lot’s of information in this book about pursuing your dreams . . . the stopwatch tip is just an appetizer . . .