Someone’s Going to Do It

Ideas are a dime a dozen. I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s Poke the Box. It’s about the power of initiative. I say that initiative is worth something, but he overestimates its power. Initiative is valuable, but follow-through is invaluable.

Discipline. It’s an intimidating word to me. Discipline involves commitment, accountability, vision. Generally the term “learning the hard way” shows up somewhere in there, too. I’m learning that I’m not good at “hard.” I do seem to be good at quitting, though.

I’m trying to learn Dvorak, the alternative keyboard layout that’s supposed to be easier on the hands and more accurate than the traditional QWERTY layout we’re all accustomed to. Like learning any new language, it’s hard. When I do poorly in the exercises, I find myself having to use the restroom, make lunch, start a different project. Starting projects isn’t so hard for me, but following-through has tripped me up in the past. In the present, too.

My goal is to follow-through, to come up with ideas and work hard enough to keep them going. I watch TV, read books, see movies, play games. Each and every one of those mediums has a story behind them, a story that someone had to decide was important enough to dedicate time and effort to. Important enough to discipline themselves to create. There are plenty of people with ideas out there, even bad ones. But a bad idea in production is worth more than the best idea in your head.

I used to say, “Well, if I don’t do it, then nobody will.” But the reality is that if I don’t do it, somebody else will do something else.

Real work takes discipline. Hopefully I’ll be able to teach myself a bit of that.

What do you do to keep yourself disciplined?

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