I recently picked up a personal journal I’ve been keeping (and I use the term keeping very loosely) since January 1st, 1990. I noticed that in the beginning, upon each new entry, I’d chastise myself for not getting back to make another entry sooner. I believe I’d initially planned on making an entry per day—yeah, right! I also noticed that I’d not only missed my daily entries, eventually weeks, months, and this time, over two years had passed between entries. Hopefully, some progeny reading this someday far in the future will scan past it as only a brief interruption in the entire multiple volumes of my journal. (What did I say earlier? Yeah, right!)
That first entry I made contained a list of my goals for 1990. In retrospect, although I fell short in some areas, I’ve actually done pretty well on the list. However it took me a bit longer than a year, in fact, sort of working on my second decade, to accomplish some goals. For example: “publish a magazine article,” didn’t happen until 2005 and: “publish a book,” didn’t happen until 2007, but the fact that I did make it happen is a hopeful testament to not giving up even if your goals take longer than you’d hoped or anticipated. “Scuba diving,” I finally accomplished in 2006, but “Skydiving” is still languishing on the original 1990 list, but as far as my wife’s concerned, that particular goal can remain unattained.
Another thing I’ve learned is, while it’s important to keep the big picture—our ultimate goals—in mind, we can’t neglect the details. For instance, I’m obviously interested in attracting more participants to my website (www.stevepomper.com), but I think I’ve allowed myself to become distracted with: how do I grow my list? There are successful folks with lists of several hundred, a few thousand, or even half a million. However, whenever I’ve delved deeper into those folk’s histories, I almost always find they’ve been around “forever,” and it’s taken them a damn long time to build those bases—typically one person at a time.
My one primary goal for 2009 is to remember the basics and work to attract folks—one person at a time. To have patience to know that although a focus on the basics may be my goal for this year, it may take three, five, seven, or ten years before I feel I’ve accomplished any degree of what I’ll consider a success in this particular endeavor. Arbitrary, sure, but I figure I’ll know it when I see it, or I’ll have learned another lesson along the way and I won’t care.
So, let’s have a great year and make it a successful one. After all, it’s all up to us.