It’s a beautiful day today, no particular pressure at work and a clear chunk of time set aside for writing. But somehow, I just can’t get started. Whilst the body is willing, some days the brain just doesn’t want to play. This is the feeling I usually associate with Spring Cleaning the house: I want to do it, I can visualise the result when it’s done, but somehow, I can’t be bothered actually picking up a duster. It’s apathy and listlessness rolled into one. This means one of two things. I either need to give myself a good kick up the backside, or it’s time to give up and do something else.
Motivation is important, fear of failure can drive us forward: to strive, to try harder, to race for the finish, all these aphorisms are valuable, but sometimes, just now and then, it’s ok to give up.
You see, life isn’t a race, it’s a journey, and you can’t run fast all the time. Not just because you’ll be exhausted, but because you’ll miss the view.
The thing about learning is that is consists of long periods of building knowledge and practicing skills, followed by what may be short periods of success. If you just focus on the bits of success, you might fail to take away anything from the the rest of the experience. And if you measure your success in terms of pure productivity by volume, you might fail to take account of quality along the way.
And that’s why today, it’s ok for me to give up. No work on the book, a short blog post and time to do something else. Because, of course, of you create space and time in your life, something interesting usually comes along to fill it anyway, so it’s rarely wasted.