There’s a real stigma between having a successful life, achievement, and being happy.
We strive for greatness because we want glory among our tribe. We want our peers to know how good we are.
Art isn’t immune to criticism.
The weak think the strong don’t care what people think of them.
Leaders need their followers for self-esteem. Followers need leaders for a purpose in life; there are more jobs than CEO’s.
Without judgement art has no value. You don’t know where you stand without releasing your art to judgement – the public.
You may have a masterpiece; you may not. Is your art as good as you think it is? Or, is the elephant-sized thought in your mind right?
Your art is trash, you’re a fraud, go fuck yourself.
The public is your art critic.
The people judge your art on how it makes them feel. Humans are emotional – not logical, as we’d like to believe.
We use emotions when we don’t have logic.
The worst feeling is the unknown.
People rather make an answer than seek truth because, the truth hurts or takes too long to form.
Even the master art critic who claims to be unbiased will attack a painting because a painful memory in childhood that began as a seed, has grown into a towering vine blocking the sun from his day.
If you’re emotional, you’re biased.
A painter finishes what he believes is his best work – the masterpiece. The portrait illustrates a child, a young boy, indistinguishable to the viewer who sees unkempt, messy hair resembling a mop that hasn’t drunk water in years.
The boy holds a red balloon, wearing a red shirt, no pants, naked facing the ocean.
The sky is black with rage.
The boy wants to play, but realizing his nakedness, resorts to the role of observer.
The boy’s fear of judgement paralyzes him from playing, from doing anything. The boy stares at the ocean. Dark, looming clouds hang overhead like hands reaching out to punish him if he dare take another step forward.
The artist’s fear of judgement. The fear of trying.
The boy wants to play at the beach, but his fear locks him in position.
The little boy is our ego.
As an adult you need to maintain a professional appearance, traveling from conference to conference in your blue tie standing before crowds who don’t care what you have to say, walking around like you don’t fuck, don’t make mistakes.
Mistakes make the best art.
Mistakes remind the viewer, life isn’t perfect.
The lack of perfection makes life complete.
You can fail as often as you like. If you keep going, you will reach your destination regardless of how many failures slowed your path along the way.
You set a goal.
One, shaky foot forward at a time. You’re fear fights for position – you move. Your path feels right. You can’t explain it but you know this is your truth. With each step, fear cowers away to the back of your mind.
Worn out sneakers, you never look up; the journey to a higher purpose is invigorating – until you walk face first into a wall built from the hands of an enemy you didn’t know existed.
Instead of meeting your goal, you’ve met a wall.
The bricks are metallic to the touch. Shit. Titanium.
Now, you sit before the looming, impossible wall without rope or a means to proceed.
The wall must fall for you to continue.
You consider retreat, but, you hunger for the taste of victory more than you fear the wall, more than you fear failure.
Someway, even if I don’t know it now, every brick will crumble to the ground.
The farther you go the more you learn.
You learn your path proceeds forever – if you have the will to walk, you will.
The adventurer on his path needs feedback to continue. He needs confirmation that he can bring the wall down standing before him, as he has done thousands of times before.
As adventures, we forget every wall we’ve brought down before us. Because, after we’re done smashing a wall down, we walk forward.
We don’t dwell on our past accomplishments like a washed-up NFL player managing a Denny’s telling female customers about the man he used to be.
The adventurer forgets his previous accomplishments when facing a new challenge.
He forgets everything he’s facing, is the same as what’s behind him. Nothing changes. As you improve, problems grow more difficult. The walls are always there – they’ll never leave.
All walls are the same.
The process is good. walls are good. The journey is your lover – spinning you around in an emotional circus-ride barely holding together but in the end, released you back into the world alive.
Most get scared.
Most people, the Normies, not The Andreians, look at their paths, see the distance required to achieve, then walk back inside and drink some cocoa while mommy brushes their hair.
No one said the journey is easy.
Without a fragment of uncertainty, the journey to a self-assigned destination is the most fulfilling adventure of all.
A purpose will make you uncomfortable. Get used to it. The swamp is your home now. Don’t like it, leave. This swamp is for predators. Sheep won’t make it through the night.
Our paths never end.
Work never ends.
We need feedback. We need reminders of how far we’ve traveled. We need milestone markers to remind us the way is forward, and, to look back and see how far we’ve traveled.
Far back on your path, gazing through binoculars, you see mile-marker 17. Years ago, the wall that once stood as high as the one looming over you now, appears as a pebble.
You can’t see progress in the moment.
You see your progress when reflecting on the past.
Most people never make art because they quit at the first wall.
“Challenge? No, I want cocoa instead. Two marshmallows for me mommy!”
Artists and Adventures need a progress report; a way to gauge where the artist has been, without basing his performance on the opinion of faceless internet users.
How to Make your Achievements Matter
Make your achievements matter by logging them.
Reflect on your past victories – don’t dwell on them.
Our old work isn’t bad. Our old work is different. Our old work gave us the tools to make our new work.
Reviewing your past achievements reminds you of the progress you’ve made and that, it’s okay if you fail. You’ve failed thousands of times up to this point, and you’re still walking.
Logging your achievements is comparable to counting the mile-markers on a road trip whose destination isn’t clear yet.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand where you’re going. Keep walking. If you’re 1% better than you were yesterday, you’ll soon become 3x the artist you were last year.
Adventurers on the path don’t think they’re improving because the path is treacherous. The path you walk will beat you to dust, leaving refined talent stripped from ego.
Some adventurers don’t leave markers on their path. These adventurers can’t see how far they’ve traveled – everything they see is the same, a desert with no way forward and every way lost.
The brave Adventurers walk forward into the darkness to face unimaginable obstacles never seen before.
Adventurers don’t fear walls. Adventurers forget that this wall, is no different than that wall, or the wall over there, or the thousands behind us. We’re troubled because we haven’t reflected on how impervious we are in the face of the wall.
You’ve faces thousands of walls. This one is no different; reflection reminds us. Reflecting on your achievements reminds you, you’ve seen thousands of roadblocks and solved them all. This wall is no different.
If you love what you do, and you’re dedicated to your path, all obstacles are the same. All obstacles melt down into the same solution: problem solving using your experience to promote growth.
The author who fears publishing his third book even though he’s already written two best-sellers. you’ve been here before. Solve the problem, continue forward.
Your training is your shield and your sword. Practice sharpens you sword, ready to cut down whatever stands in your way.
Practicing half-assed, creating art while posting tweets, watching TV, trains you to make bad art.
Work Is Sacred.
Give work your full attention.
Each session, your blade becomes more refined. You don’t notice unless you look close.
Log your achievements. Each improvement, each milestone and each mistake made you into the person you are today. Future mistakes, looking down the barrel of 12-gauge failure makes you a god.
Endurance for failure separates the average from the legendary.
Before Connor Mcgregor was king of MMA, he was a plumber. He still is a plumber, who turned into a fighter because he refused to quit.
Your skill yesterday forges your skill today.
How to Log Your Accomplishments
Make your accomplishments permanent and available.
Logging your accomplishments using paper and pen is okay, but paper is fragile, and difficult to access in the internet age.
Each month create a list to hold your accomplishments for the month.
Vincent’s December accomplishments.
When you achieve, write your accomplishment in your note. It doesn’t matter if the achievement is on or off your path.
Public accomplishments, like releasing a book, are important and seen by many. But, it’s personal accomplishments that shoot us out of a cannon, farther than walking down the path, shortcuts to greatness.
Personal accomplishments change our soul.
Personal accomplishments are big and small.
- Finishing a book.
- Working out to your set schedule for one month.
- Waking up on time for two weeks.
The gold. Cutting your friend Ben out of your life who’s negativity contorts your self-esteem into a missile aimed at your face.
Telling Momma no for the first time, after she hands you a college application to her alumni, and you decide to go to Arizona state with the rest of the fellas to catch an STD or two.
Explaining personal accomplishments to others is a crime.
The victor of a personal accomplishment is you.
Your friends don’t care you told Momma no. It doesn’t matter; you grew. You forced the hand that feeds you away from your face with enough of a bit she knows her place.
Don’t share personal accomplishments.
The others won’t understand.
Reflect on your accomplishments, record them.
Personal accomplishments are crucial because they never abandon you. You carry your personal accomplishments like tools to every wall.
When you told Momma no to school, you toppled a wall to prepare for the next. When your girlfriend forbids you from going to Las Vegas with the guys, you don’t make a fuss; you don’t call your boys to apologize, you leave to Las Vegas. You’re a master of standing up for yourself. You know, you’ll find a new girlfriend there.
Your friends Don’t care about your problems.
They can’t; your friends haven’t experienced your problems. Where you may have mommy issues, your friend may have daddy issues. Your problems fall on deaf ears closed to the possibility of trauma never experienced by the receiver.
We walk together on separate paths.
How to Log your Achievements using Evernote
Evernote is the best way to log your achievements because evernote is everywhere – and it’s free. You can see your goals on your phone, your computer, or your tablet. You can even print out your evernote goals and hang them on the mirror. Then, every day when you look at yourself in the mirror, you’ll see your goals next to your face.
Evernote is easy to use. There won’t be a tutorial here, but you can find many on YouTube
Create a notebook called Progress Reports.
Create your first note. Call it [current month] | [ current year].
December | 2017
List your accomplishments in the note.
It’s helpful to organize your accomplishments by category: books read, audiobooks devoured, money made.
Don’t forget your personal accomplishments too; telling mom no.
List physical improvements: increasing how much you squat, dumping some iron, gaining or losing some pounds.
Record your achievement the day it happens.
You can’t afford to wait. The post-victory window is key. Bottle up the sensation of winning and log it. Become addicted to winning, seeing more entries in your note.
At the end of each month review your accomplishments.
How do your accomplishments make you feel?
Is this enough? Could you have done more?
What is missing? What do I need?
An end of month review is mandatory.
Reviewing your accomplishments more than once a month is relaxing on past-wins instead of building a new future. If you’re feeling depressed, review your past wins. Remind yourself you’re a winner.
Every January, review the year in its entirety. Review every note. You’re looking at the total of your greatness.
This is your life’s work.
Normal people hide from their destiny. Normal people fear trying more than failure.
95% of those who read this will not execute the plan. It’s too hard for normal people. Only the mad, the slightly insane get what they want. Normal gets normal – crazy gets crazy.
The first year is brutal. Switching from a consumer mindset, to now you have to achieve something. Empty pages, lonely without much to show for except white-space.
But you’re different. You, can do this.
Truth is our salvation to a better life.
Normal people don’t work hard, because they cannot see the fruits of their labor. In the past, a Homesteader built a house and lived in it. His accomplishment, the four walls and the roof above him, keep him safe from the evil outside – a constant reminder of the fruits of his labor.
We are blind.
Your accomplishments are your eyes.
A 1% change per day is too small to see. Recording your achievements and reviewing them every month shows you the juicy fruit.
Life has meaning when life has consequences. Blank pages hurt more than your parents telling you they aren’t mad, they’re just disappointed.
- Logging your achievements reminds you of where you’ve been.
- Logging your achievements tells you where to go.
- Logging your achievements inspires confidence for future problems.
I’ve done this before, but now, I have better tools.
Wander in a wheat field until you, and the field dies. Or walk.
Walk forward, one step at a time on a path towards a destiny you determine.
Your destination may be different than your chosen one, but where you end up is where you belong.