Eventually we die…
Morbid as it may seem, this was my lesson for August. It was also the greatest invocation towards why we need to Make IT Happen!
Through financial hardship, physical injury, and everything else I’ve been working on completing the graphic novel FIFTEEN MINUTES for the better part of this year. The book is inspired through my perspective of my uncle Kevin’s fight against cancer. On August 4th, after a 2+ year battle, he died. Just four days later, my dear friend Nick Post, the man whose likeness is applied towards the best friend of the main character in the book, died suddenly from a heart attack.
Life is a fickle, fleeting thing.
During “Part 1” of this series we talked about TIME and the fleeting nature of it. The loss of these two very important men within my life grinds home that truth. It also leaves me thinking how they within their own lives chose to “MAKE IT HAPPEN”.
Both were men of success. Both in business and their personal lives they thrived, overcame obstacles, and persevered in the face of impressive challenges. Both men worked hard, loved with sincerity, and built for themselves the life they felt was right for them.
Both men were young.
Arguably these two had decades of life left to enjoy. I cannot consider this reality without also considering my own perspective. How do I use my time? How much time do any of us really have left? There is no way to know conclusively, due to time and unforeseen occurrences, how life will pay out.
Again, this is not an attempt to be morbid; it is instead a call to banners of sorts. That we might stand and face this day at the ready, with a solid view toward our goal!
Do you have an IT?
Do you have a goal, a quest, an endeavor you would see to its completion? I cannot guess at yours, so to help you understand the concept behind “MAKE IT HAPPEN” I will share with you my IT.
My IT is to be accomplished in my career as a Professional Storyteller through illustration and writing. The stronger of those two skills for me is illustration, and so I started there.
At this current time I am comfortable professing I am a Professional. Yes, I am still working to capture enough business to allow me to work at this career path exclusively, leaving me room to still grow. This should always be the case for a successful, driven person. There is no plateau, there is only ever more area to grow and improve.
When I started out in 2001 I was nowhere close to where I am now. I had no idea how gigs worked, how to work with clients, I had not published anything yet, I was simply a college dropout who knew I could do more than I was. This lead me to “Step 1” in how we MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Step 1: Have a clear view of where you are and where you want to go.
This two part initial step is key to all that follow. In fact it is one of the harder steps, and not simply because it is first. It can seem easy to decide where you want to go, to decide what you want and desire, yet to best attain it we must also identify where we are. This is difficult for some because it takes humility to look at our situation with a critical and modest eye. To really know where we are at a moment is to also acknowledge ourselves in relation to all factors around us. It is to acknowledge our limits and that we are not the center of the universe.
One way to accomplish this is to write out two lists: The first list is all the facets of your life you would like to maintain, and the second is of the areas you would like to change.
With both lists in front of you look at the good list and think on what it would take maintain those items.
Now consider how the things you may hope to keep are impacted by removing the things you would like changed. This helps us see how aspects of life are connected. This will help us easily see what and how things can be cut out to free up time, energy, and resources to accomplish our goals. Use this to create a new list of only items worth keeping, cutting out any impacted or reliant on activities you opted to change.
Take this list and write out how these items you’re keeping support your goal.
Next identify the NEW changes you are going to need implement to accomplish your goal.
For example: Your IT/Goal may be to be “Healthier”, and you chose to keep your gym membership, and you had to cut out some dietary habits, or even some aux habits such as Saturday night out with friends as the wings and beer are not supportive of your goal. That left you with “home cooking” and “Gym membership”, and allows you to replace Saturday night out with a supportive activity like “meal prep for the week” or “Keep a journal”, something to keep your efforts directionally correct toward your goal of being “Healthier”.
You should at this point have an initial list that shows where you are, and where you want to be. This list should also be adjusted regularly. As you accomplish goals, readdress your accomplishments and fine tune your efforts to stay focused on your goal, your IT.
In 2001 I had to admit that I had drive, and I had the capacity to learn, but I did not have the skill set required to be a professional storyteller, to work in comic books specifically. I made my list. I began cutting out social activities, video games, and things that took up my time, and I fine tuned my life to allow me to become a student of the craft. Meaning after my day job was done, and my ‘responsibilities of life’ were fulfilled, it was on me to push myself to learn and acquire the skills I would need for this business.
I’ve had to adjust my lists, rewriting them multiple times over the years. Therein lies the principle, no one will do it for us. We have to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Does that mean we do it alone? Not at all!!
Thank you for reading!