Between Now and the End of the Year

It gets hot in Pennsylvania in the summers. It also rains a lot, all year ’round. (Well maybe except this year…)

Summers when I was in high school, I framed houses with a crew of wild bucks [read insane post-adolescent males] who would roll into a new job site with nothing but a foundation in a hole and a pack of lumber out in the woods somewhere. The crew boss would fire up the generator to power the skill saws and within a week there’d be a completely framed up house, ready for plumbers, electricians, drywall and paint.

Then on to the next hole in the ground.

Now, the low man on the totem pole, usual the newest guy, got there first because his job was to take a couple of buckets of black tar and a long-handled brush, and jump down into the narrow ditch between nothing but dirt and that nine foot foundation wall and waterproof that sucker. So those long Pennsylvania rains wouldn’t soak through.

I was privileged to play that role on a number of occasions, and I still remember an old pair of work boots I had, originally tan and later thoroughly cris-crossed with black tar drippings from those assignments.

During those long, hot lonesome afternoons in the ditch, I don’t recall exactly what I was thinking about, but I can tell you it had something to do with imagining better things to do with my time, and almost certainly had to do with writing and inventing creative ways to make money, remarkably similar to what I’m doing right now as I write this to you.

The point of all this is, and you’ve no doubt heard it before, you become what you think about most of the time.

And as we end the last week of the last quarter before the end of the year… (whew, how’s that for dragging out a point?) you need to ask yourself, what haven’t I crossed off my list that I was gonna’ do in 2012?

More to the point, how ya’ gonna’ do it?

I have a sign up over my desk that reads, “Fortune favors the bold.” Do you believe that?

What I believe works about that is when you write things down, they have an amazing propensity to happen.

This actually happened to me last Friday: I had written in my goals for the day to do something nice of one particular client of mine. It was written the night before as an exhausted afterthought, and I hadn’t gotten real clear with myself on exactly how or even what I was going to do.

Turns out – seemingly completely out of the blue – he emails me and asks for a special favor, which I fortunately was able to pull off for him. A clear win-win, but you see the point about writing down what you want?

Interesting Exercise: (From one of the speakers at last week’s TEDx in Boulder): Complete the sentence “I want…” 100 times.

Kind of forces you to quit yourself about the things you’re supposed to want, and get down the real core, the things that matter.

Reminder: Those are the only things you’ve got time for between now and 2013.

Go get ’em!