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coelho_quoteIf we did exactly what we should – what that little voice inside our head is always whispering, what would our lives look like? If we followed that inner navigation – and acted every time we heard it – would we be happy? Fulfilled? At peace? For the next hundred days, I’m going to try it and find out.

Here’s some backstory:

About a year ago I started a course called Create Your Life with Oli Hille. Basically, I’d been feeling unfocused and bored and restless and this seemed to be a good thing. It was goal focused, and Oli’s a good guy and I thought that having some structure and accountability would be just the thing I needed.

So I wrote out my 3 goals for the next 6 months in great detail and, with great enthusiasm, embarked this new journey. In fact, in the spirit of complete honesty, here are my exact notes from 040413, copied from my Evernote account:

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Goal #1:
Finish COGH and Get it out There!:
-Work on Remaining Manuscript Sections/Final edits (#35-#40/epilogue) at least 20-30 minutes daily until complete
-Put in In Design format/ distill Secure pdf/Get copyright/IP protection as needed
-get Dimitry to illustrate logo (save other illustration for later)
-Have Dan P and Chris M read for proof; fix any issues
-Distribute to Tom Spackman, Peter Kelley, Tim Brunelle (?), and Phil Sutfin for feedback and contacts
-Research additional Agents, write query letters (will The Pitch section suffice?)
-Learn about E-publishing options – (already started book – finish it!)
-Get it Published
-If this happens sooner, go back to CFD Book 1 prepped manuscript, review w/Dan on continuity, make few changes and get that published as well – it’s just sitting there and it’s good! Then, back to CFD 2 and the kids books with Olivia

Goal #2:
Build Personal Brand as a Solo Creative:
-Overall: assemble whatever is necessary to BE READY TO RESPOND to these opportunities and queries at a moment’s notice! Do all of the things you NEED to do to have a tight professional and creative digital brand foundation so that you’re ready to explore – remember Portsmouth notes.
-Choose portfolio pieces (copywriting)
-write out short case studies in challenge/achievement format (copy and brand strategy)
-write out CV ‘draft’ to put on Linked In – make professional but not stodgy
-look at Behance as option (not good for radio and other media?)
-Finish Reading ‘Born to Blog’ Book
-Relaunch/Redesign personal blog (move from Lawrencemannino.com to Larrymannino.com) to accommodate above AND incorporate creative
Related: learn more about WordPress/get up to speed on html/shortcodes so that I don’t have to rely on anyone else
-Get new, non-LGM cards made to support this
-IMPORTANT NOTE TO SELF: MAKE YOUR PEACE WITH PUTTING IT ALL OUT THERE!  Stop splitting the ‘professional marketer’ (God, I hate the term marketer!) from the passionate socially aware creative, – yes this is dangerous in the short-term, but you (me…hmmm) really want to work with guys like Hahn and Bird and Burton, so take the hit and do better work and you’ll get noticed by the right kinds of people – remember; attract what you want into your life and stop holding on by your fingertips!) Look at your notes from the past 5 years – this is past due!

Goal #3:
Get down to 200 lbs by October 1st
-Currently 222, so ballpark about 4# per month (doable)
-Follow the Fuhrman approach – it works – don’t get lazy and you’ll be fine and this will all fall into place
– Get blood pressure below 120/80, drink less wine with dinner – maybe just one day a week, rather then the current 2-3
-Get into bed no later that 11:45 each night (maybe try and go earlier?)
-Sleep without sleep aids
-Wake up feeling like I did when I was a kid – vigorous, peaceful, energetic and eager – this relates to above
-IMPORTANT NOTE TO SELF: Reach a state where I’m the Happy, energized, engaged ‘vacation Daddy’ all the time, be a better example of how to live your life and go after your dreams and use your Talents,  instead of being the work-stressed zombie – THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, and relates to ALL 3 GOALS!

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6 months later, I realized with great frustration and guilt that I’d failed. Miserably. So I signed up again.

And, now, about one year later, I have achieved very few of those great goals that I’d set out to achieve with such hope and excitement.

Sure, I’ve pretty much taken care of Goal #1, but that would’ve happened anyway – I’m a writer, which is sort of like breathing for me. And I drink far less wine now, but everything else? EPIC FAIL.

So now, once again, I’m reasonably restless, unfocused, and yearning for excitement, interest, enthusiasm – this little thing that I can sense is out there, but can’t quite grasp.

Having been touched by the smothering wet blanket of depression on and off over the years, I can say that, some days, it sort of feels like that, but that’s not it.

And yes, I have many great things to be grateful for – starting and ending with my wonderful family.

But still, I’m in a comfortable rut.

In some ways I’m sure that I have an enviable life – it’s just that I’m not satisfied with it.

And that’s the important part.

I need more. I need better.

I need a life that feels like mine.

So why 100 Days of Should?

The question I’m digging at is more of a proof of a theory I’ve always subscribed to: that we all have an inner navigation system – something that, if  listened to and acted upon – would guide us in the exact direction, the exact path we need to be on.

“I Should do that” – that’s what the voice inside says

And yet, inevitably, we don’t. All of us.

We qualify and quantify and justify and put off until another day and simply don’t – mostly out of fear, I think. And in my case, perhaps a bit of laziness.

In some ways, this is in part the battle against Steven Pressfield’s ‘Resistance’ (if you haven’t read The War of Art, go do it. Now.)

But for me, the above goals are pretty much the same things I’ve been writing to myself for probably 8 years or more! I usually write them when I’m away on vacation, energized, around people and relaxed. Removed from the day to day routine – and you can’t spell ‘routine’ without ‘rut’. [Tweet ““…you can’t spell ‘routine’ without ‘rut’.””]

That’s when I can see me, and when people know me only for what I present, and not what they think they know about me. When I’m unconstrained.

And it’s always the same. I want to be a creative and work on great projects. I want to travel, be leaner, happier, more at peace. Energized, taking chances, working with great creatives on interesting projects. Being happy and focused and well rested and actually there with my family when I get home from work at night, as opposed to sitting silently at dinner and nodding.

And lots of other things, too.

There’s nothing the matter with Oli Hille or any other self-help life coaching aids that you might want to use. But during my 100 Days of Should, I’m setting out to discover whether or not we already have those answers that will lead us toward the lives we imagine for ourselves.

I could write out a litany of goals, but that’s not the point: the point is living gradually as we do in real life, and making decisions constantly – and acting on them immediately.

I think it should be a natural process – if our inner voice, our ‘Should’, is really an infallible navigation system to fulfillment, then it should be integrated into our day to day lives organically, right?

So for the next 100 days, I’m going to listen and act on EXACTLY what my inner voice tells me I should do. And I’ll blog about it here and will always be completely – even painfully – honest and transparent.

I hope you get something out of it.

And that I do, too.