If You Can’t Do It Fast, Do Something Else

This is not a universal rule by any means, but it is one that can help tremendously when we feel overwhelmed by the daunting nature of our goal. Sometimes, we just need some momentum, and it usually doesn’t matter where we find it.

You don’t need to get the inspiration to sit down and work on your book from sitting down and working on your book. While this is the kind of paradox that works — you will likely feel inspired once you get going — it is often impossible for us to muster the courage to dive in. A paradox has no beginning and no end. It is just one blurry, murky truism, and so we can’t pick it up carefully on either side. We either jump or we don’t, and when liftoff is the problem, sometimes, “Just Do It” simply won’t do the job.

If “writing a book” is the very thing that makes writing your book seem impossible, you should probably do something else — if only until “writing a book” changes its color to something more enticing. Inspiration is inspiration, and if it gets you to crank out a few sentences late at night, a round of tennis will count just as much as cleaning the kitchen, sorting your bills, or calling a friend.

Big goals are always a marathon, not a sprint, but for humans, quick wins are the power-ups that keep refueling our tanks. Don’t be afraid to use a clean slate to release some dopamine into your system, for once it’s there, it may just give you the speed you need to knock over a big domino.

If you can’t do it fast, go do something else. Just don’t forget to come back later and return to the slow grind of monumental progress.