The coffee in my cup tastes spectacular this morning. I am reclined in a very comfortable seat while my fingers try to keep pace with my flowing thoughts. Today is Sunday, and it is wide open for me, unlike in recent memory. I have no plans. Stay home, take a ride, visit friends, or enjoy a draft at the bar. This day is all mine. What shall I do with myself?
There has been a project I have been working on for almost fourteen years now. To say it has been a labor of love would not do it justice. This one is so much more. It started by my youngest son’s hospital bed and mercifully concluded at 7:38 yesterday morning. It has been hanging over my head each day for what felt like forever. Every second of my free time has been consumed for the last two years to finish this one up and finally place it behind me. This obsession has ruled my free time for twelve to sixteen hours a day.
It evolved from initially being random notes and thoughts typed on my laptop, to a book, to a very long book, and then to its last and final form of three books comprising a trilogy. In aggregate, I have typed over one million words to create this series. As it looks, only half will finally make it to print. For years I have written thoughts, phrases, flashbacks, and random song lyrics on napkins, corners of a piece of paper, flaps of cardboard from a box, and even on the palms of my hands. There are plastic containers of notes, pictures, and physical items, all carefully stored to find new air when the time is right.
I set a goal halfway through 2021 to finally breathe life into my vision by making this new year the one. Reconciling, I was convinced internally that all three versions completing the series would see the light of day within eight months of one another. There has been no turning back already, having appearances lined up for a book tour starting in April.
The sense of pride that becomes the byproduct of completing something like this is indescribable. The example here certainly is more of an outlier for most of us, but the concept of sticking with your objectives and dreams applies to everyone. Sure, we all start and stop various projects all the time; that is a part of the process. It is a healthy one. To do something well requires commitment, dedication, and attention to detail. Is there any point in shorting yourself for the sake of reaching a false timeline to check off the box of completion?
None of this is about the accomplishment itself. The reward is knowing you sacrificed yourself without settling for anything less than what was envisioned from the start. When you reach a personal milestone, the sense of pride of ownership is almost too good to deny oneself. The euphoric feeling acts as the final validation that all is right with the world because you added something spectacular to it.
A day like today is unique because, for the first time in months, I have been able to accept while nodding my head in confidence that I, too, never wavered, cut corners, or failed to stay true to my mission all along. Therefore, it took me fourteen years to arrive at this very moment in time.
The three books are the result; they only act as a rubber stamp to sign off from completion. Whether I sell one or one million copies is irrelevant, my pay came forth this weekend in so many richer ways than money can deliver.
The drive within each of us carries with it a particular flame. One which begins as a spark and slowly dances more powerfully as we trudge along toward the finish line of our goals. Never do the disservice of convincing yourself that potential can not be reached on an endeavor. It may take more effort and more energy than expected initially; this only fuels our triumphant spirit that much more when the end is finally within sight. Keep reaching, keep laboring, keep striving and keep reveling. Trust me on this one from a guy who hasn’t felt this light in over a decade. It is worth it.
There is something great waiting for you in the future in the form of validation. You are already working on achieving it. Consider this blog a reminder. Perhaps you’re next in line for these same rewards. As for me, I will head to that bar and look at the guy in the mirror and raise a glass in his honor. Because after one hundred and sixty-seven months… I can.
Push yourself; you are next.