Hi everyone. Need a new writing tip? How about a pep talk? I actually give one to myself every morning to prepare for my day. Sometimes I make my own, but mostly I borrow from movies that touched me in one way or another. This is how pep talks work, for me at least.
I woke up the morning I wrote this article, as I sometimes do, thinking about the last couple days without getting as much accomplished as I wanted. I’ve been going without as much sleep as I really need for the last couple days. Sometimes up coding until early in the morning, or working on some other non-writing-related project late at night, or my game. I told myself last night that I was going to get a full night’s rest, as I’m tired of using “lack of sleep” as an excuse to cut out of my writing workload early. I got 12 hours.
It wasn’t enough. Well, it was plenty of sleep, but I was still groggy and unmotivated. I really haven’t been this way for a while, but in thinking about recent events, the last few days has left me dragging a little bit. As I stood in the shower, I realized that I hadn’t given myself a pep talk in a while, and that could be a solution. I scratched out my journal entry and ate some breakfast while considering what I needed to work on, what I needed to accomplish today to get my back on my track toward the goals I have for my future. I wanted to start working on the monster book again, as it’s been sitting for far too long without being edited, and I really want to get the story pushed off to literary agents, as I’m sure it’s a winner. Anyways, I’m digressing… pep talk.
So, this is what I do. I’m not even a football fan, and I haven’t played a friendly game in years, but for some reason, anytime I need a quick boost of motivation, playing back the locker-room scene from “Any Given Sunday” always gets my blood stirred up. Most of my personal pep-talks involve discussion of a chess game, how each move is critical, but a mistake here or there isn’t necessarily the end of the game. I have a pattern for winning chess games, which works against most average players, and applying that strategy to my life boosts my mood. When it comes to the pep talk, I focus on that single idea, of every single move being important. Any average day can be turned into a chess game. The opening move is always getting out of bed. Morning rituals are the opening, and the middle-game is where the work gets done. There will be exceptions, but playing the middle game to make the most of every move will drive the ending, or as they say repeatedly in the aforementioned movie, taking every inch.
Most of my pep talks are about those individual moves or inches. For me, it’s easy to see the big picture and daydream about how things should go in the long run for any of my projects to be successful, but I have trouble with those little inches, and making the most of the actual minutes between then and now. I have to remind myself that any long journey is a result of millions of tiny steps. Each step that moves you forward brings you closer to the destination. Every chess-move is one move closer to the end-game. Every inch that you can collect brings you closer to victory. I have to remind myself to focus on those inches. Don’t seize the day, seize that minute. Every day is composed of 1440 individual minutes. The person who’s going to succeed (at anything) is the one who realizes that every single one of them is important. Don’t focus on the grand workload, the stack of paperwork, or the long rig-up job that lays ahead (for the oilfield folks). Focus on this next minute. The next sixty seconds. That’s where life is lived. Not in the past. Not in your five year goals. Life is lived in the next five minutes. Own it! Make those five minutes worth all the effort.