If the Journey is Difficult, Enjoy Walking

There seems to be a cluster of ideas that if someone wants to get good at something, they have to enjoy doing that.

Causally speaking, I’m not sure if that’s true. Some of the best kids in my english classes didn’t particularly like writing, and some of the ones who did weren’t particularly good writers. So I’m not sure that liking something directly causes you to be good at it. I’m pretty sure that that’s false.

However, intentional practice probably makes you good at something, as does experience.

I’m currently trying to do marketing for the One Week Book, and to some extent, it’s thankless and depressing. It takes forever to get positive feedback, and it’s easy to read into non-response as failure. Not fun for my motivation.

I attend to some other things. I send some emails, organize some stuff in my personal life, order gifts for people. I’m better now. Probably not at peak motivation, but I’m actually doing things for the book again.

Every time I did something, I felt a little better. Everything I did made doing more things slightly easier. I’m pretty sure I enjoy sending emails and moving information around.

I’m going to have a post or two out tonight, and I’m liking writing them.

I’ve thought about before the idea that doing anything is easy, so long as you execute the sequence of motor actions necessary to cause them to happen. You can look at your feet and take things one step at a time. As long as they actually take you somewhere, you really really just need to do things one step at a time.

Unfortunately, when you feel bad about something, aversions pile up. You stop wanting to go places. You stop wanting to walk. You avoid thinking about steps. You shut down, and don’t get anything done.

When I started sending emails around, I noticed that I was feeling happy about sending my emails even before I got responses back. I liked each step I took, even though I wasn’t there yet.

If the journey is difficult, enjoy walking. So long as each step is fun, working towards your goals will stay fun.

I’m going to see if I can apply the same thing to marketing. I’ll try and enjoy writing each post, and see if it gets me anywhere.

Note: This thinking is potentially dangerous if you decide to enjoy effort entirely divorced from results. Your steps need to actually get you somewhere.

 

Advertisements

About atucker

Provisional pronouncements and (hopefully) honest mistakes. I'd like to be differently wrong about things, and helpful to the world.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to If the Journey is Difficult, Enjoy Walking

  1. Brendon says:

    >>There seems to be a cluster of ideas that if someone wants to get good at something, they have to enjoy doing that.

    I actually agree with this sentiment to an extent…

    It ties in to my belief that discipline is overrated. Forcing yourself to do something is rarely sustainable.

    If part of you wants to do something, an another part of you doesn’t, I think it is important to get them on the same page. (Which you seem to be in the process of doing here!) A lot of people want to power through without resolving that inner conflict, which usually ends in exhaustion.

    Cheers, good luck with the Dip.

    • aarondtucker says:

      >> If part of you wants to do something, an another part of you doesn’t, I think it is important to get them on the same page. (Which you seem to be in the process of doing here!) A lot of people want to power through without resolving that inner conflict, which usually ends in exhaustion.

      Agreed.

      Have you heard of Internal Family Systems Therapy before?

      It seems remarkably similar to things you’ve said before about daemons and self and whatnot.

  2. Regarding the whole OneWeekBook thing. It’s gonna be hard. Sebastian isn’t established and we aren’t marketing experts. I think the real idea is that the team is very success focused, hardworking, and adaptive. So the real won’t success won’t come now, or even on his 2nd book. But it’ll start showing soon enough. I don’t know how you personally feel regarding motivational levels, but you’re really a hell of a project manager at 18. So if success helps you get motivated, there you go.

  3. curtis says:

    So much for posting a new post every day 🙂

  4. Renee Miller says:

    I’m late in checking out your blog, Aaron. I apologize. Some great posts here, keep posting. 😉

    On the marketing and motivation issue, I definitely get what you’re talking about. I’ve built this thing they call an “author platform” for about three years and I’m currently working on marketing not only myself, but a website that’s taken the same amount of time to build. I’m still a nobody working toward becoming at least “somebody familiar”.

    One of the key ingredients to successful marketing (in terms of books, anyway) really is just continuing to plug away and keeping that book and that author in people’s minds. Interviews, articles, blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, even giveaways and such on places like Goodreads, or to popular book blogs are excellent ways to do that. All it takes is an email asking them to read your book. People are lazy and if they can avoid being “proactive” they will, even if they support the person/issue/item. It’s on the marketer to make them want to repost, reply, etc. That’s really hard.

    On the writing? I think the true writers write because they have to, not because they want to or like to. There are days I hate writing with more passion than I’d have believed possible. Does it stop me from tapping the keys? Never. I have to do it. If I don’t, it’s like forgetting to breathe or forgetting to eat. Do you have to like it to be good? Yes, you’ve gotta like it at least some of the time or you’ll have to be medicated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s