Often, we try to do too much. We have jobs and dreams and all the different people in our lives, we have places we want to visit and things we want to do and marvelous experiences we want to have, and we don’t want to give up any of it. So we don’t; we try to do it all.
You can’t. If you try to do it all, chances are you will fail at some of it, and quite often, all of it.
The key is choice. You need to choose what you want to focus on and ruthlessly cut away the rest. If something isn’t important, don’t do it. If you think something is important but you’re not sure, think hard about whether it is or not. If something is necessary but doesn’t further your goals, either cut it anyway or figure out how to get it over with quickly, so you can get back to what is important.
I wasted a long time learning this lesson. I actually finished the first draft of my novel in late 2011, and I’m only now finishing the second draft (hopefully). Why? Because I tried to do too much. I tried to write and blog and work and have fun and do a bunch of other projects I won’t mention because they all ended in inglorious failure. I tried to do too much, and I ended up failing in the thing I cared about the most – my dream of becoming an author.
You don’t have to give up everything. I’m once again blogging for Random Curiosity this season, because I enjoy it and it’s important to me. But you do have to give up something. Focus only on the important things that will further your dream. As for the rest, screw it.
Life is too short to be spent failing. So do only a few things, but do them well.
Corollary: You can do it all if you’re not trying to do too much. Just make sure it’s because you’re pursuing your dreams and have cut away the rest, not because you don’t have any dreams at all.