When editing the movie of your life, it's much more costly to 'fix it in post'... Take the time to go through the tedium of getting the right shot up front.
So many of us tend to seek help after the fact. We dispatch emergency teams within moments to put out fires, although it takes months to build fire roads and install sprinkler systems. We marvel that the wedding party seemed to last 5 minutes, yet the planning was the most stressful 6 months imaginable. It took years to build the twin towers and we all watched in horror as they fell to ground zero in seconds.
And so it is with life…
There is an inherent tediousness in acquiring experience, seniority, mastery, graduate degrees, internships and apprenticeships. It takes so much of our time, investment, college funds, student loans, sleepless Red Bull nights, manic episodes and tears of frustration. The failed tests, haunting grades, fluctuating GPA's, dropped classes, psychotic room mates, lecherous professors, unstable supervisors and evil-eyed co-workers.
Paying Our Dues.
I was meeting with one of my more eclectic clients over breakfast as he expressed his ambitious plans for the coming year. I couldn't help but feel we were caught in one of those surreal movie moments where he's pitching me the story of his vision for his next movie, "My Aspiring Life" and all I kept wondering was who was going to play the part of the screenwriter who has no script, nor crew or locations, no supporting cast, not even a budding extra jumping up and down in the crowd shot looking to earn his SAG card!
All he came with was a hugely exuberant pitch, a massive budget and grand ideas for distribution. So, naturally my Voice of Reason kicked in… But, how are you going to manage achieving these lofty goals for your company with no game plan or structure in place for you to succeed this year?
"Oh don't worry about that" he said, "I'm so excited about my ideas and I know I can get my investors to sign off this time. They really believe in me and trust my wisdom." Well, let's say they certainly invested in him that year, to the tune of $200,000 gone awry within 4 months of his spirited pitch. And his script was never turned in, nor a casting session ever held. Quite tragic.
For my illustrious client and for many of you reading this, you might relate to these kinds of impulsive schemes to just get things going and worry about the particulars later.
We have an abhorrence to the tedium of planning, preparing and plotting in advance of our exciting big plans. Who wants to sit for hours creating budgets and flow-charts or practicing backhand strokes with a ball-hopper when there's endorphins and the promise of profits, trophies and acclaim beckoning.
Indeed, banal attempts to fix those reality-crushing complications as they unfold are fraught with tail-chasing circuitry and adrenal-draining deflation.
We just may simply lack the discipline and patience that is often necessary to achieve mastery and success. I have noticed like with virtually every one of my clients and students over the years that none of us enjoy being a novice. We want to be masterful. We want to be the expert witness, not serve mandatory jury duty. We want to be an old soul, not a newbie who's never been around the block. We want tenure, not hazing; respect, not empathy; honor, not momentary attention.
Are we there yet?
Unfortunately, there's just no substitute for hard work, due diligence and a little 'elbow grease' as my dad would say. We learn in time that a penny saved is a dollar earned. It won't get you rich quick but it will build a nice modest nest egg.
So take the time to get all your ducks in a row and earn your restful sleep, knowing that the taxes are accounted for, the budget has been met, the kids' lunch box is filled and the cable bill has been paid.
The Money Shot by Jamie Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.