The Journey To My Moon

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. ” – John F. Kennedy, September 12th, 1962

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately; I even used a portion of it in a comment response to Charles on my other blog a couple of weeks ago. It’s an interesting quote in more ways than one; I’d like to talk about it for a little bit.

Last week I put out my 2011 goals for his blog and this part of my career. On my business blog I put up some goals as well. On my finance blog, instead of putting up personal goals, I put up a list of financial goals that we as a people should be looking to attain for our own comfort and well being.

Kennedy’s long term goal was for the United States to get to the moon before 1970. If he hadn’t stated that, and if it hadn’t been put out there for all to see, I doubt it would have ever happened. I mean, there was so much other stuff going on in the world; wars, disease, famine… sound familiar? There have always been major distractions that had the potential of taking everyone away from this goal, yet the goal continued, and we got to the moon.

Last week I had a post on influence where I was responding to Chris Brogan. I’m not sure if you went to read his post, but something else he said there was this: “I never set out to be influential…” I found that interesting because I wondered just how many of us ever set out in our lives to be influential. I’m obviously shooting for that now, and I’ve stated it on more than one occasion, but what about early dreams?

I always wanted to be something. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a cowboy, which is odd because I don’t like cowboy movies. When I was a young teen I wanted to be an Air Force pilot. When I went to college I wanted to learn how to be a sports announcer. When I left college I wanted to be a songwriter.

Then for a decade and a half… nothing. My career path seemed to have been laid out and I decided to just try to be the best I could be doing what I was doing. I didn’t care to try anything else, and I didn’t want to do anything else. No dreams, no visions, no goals; just work on career.

That’s not such a bad life but in a weird way it’s just automatic. It doesn’t require thought. It’s not hard at all. Yeah, there are ups and downs along the way, but you realize that nothing really matters in the end; you just do your thing and move on. There’s little passion, there’s little motivation other than just ‘being’.

In 2001 I started dreaming; I went into business for myself. I started setting goals; some I hit, some I didn’t. I can tell you that my dreams and goals in 2001 are vastly different than they are now, and yet some of them are the same. Growth is a process, no matter whether it’s in a career or whether it’s blogging or writing or anything else.

I have a friend who says she wants to see changes now; well, things just don’t work that way. To me, they don’t work any way if you don’t know what it is you want to be when you grow up. And if you don’t make plans for how to get there when you grow up, then you’re going to just age, still not grow up, and wonder what happened.

What do you want to do and be when you grow up? If you’re already grown up, what are you and what do you do? I know what I want. I want Orson Welles to walk into my office right now, pull out the standard Rich and Famous Contract, and sign that baby (how many of you remember that reference?). But it’s not going to happen that way. I’m going to have to get it done on my own. This blog is a start; who wants to come along with me on the journey to MY moon? It’ll be okay; there’s room for everyone.

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How To Evaluate When It’s Time To End Something

I used to write two newsletters for my business, one on employee topics, the other on health care finance topics. I started writing both of them in February of 2003, and in some fashion I’ve kept up with them over all this time.

Stress Relief by Cassidy Curtis

A few weeks ago, I finally decided it was time to end the health care newsletter. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, yet when all was said and done I knew it was the right time to end it. There are many people who post these things saying that one should never quit and give anything up, because success is just around the corner. How one decided to measure success is up to them, but I tend to believe that there are times when you’re beating your head against a wall in some fashion, and at that point it’s time to give up the ghost, take your ball and go home.

Still, even though I say it’s up to each individual, there should be a series of steps one takes before deciding to give it all up. That includes anything you do in life, including divorce, changing jobs, having children, getting married, or rooting against any sports team I support. With that in mind, here are those steps, with my mentioning how I came to my decision.

1. Determine how much passion you still have for it. If you’re just going through the motions with something you either need to figure out how to refresh it or get away from it because it can be quite a brain drain. I pretty much lost the passion on writing about health care finance issues and topics on a regular basis. Those articles took awhile to research and write, and I kept trying to figure out what I could write about that was new and fresh, and kept failing.

2. Determine the time you spend thinking about it as opposed to working on it. When couples are getting ready to separate, they start spending less time with each other, or dreading much of the time they’re together, even if they’re able to enjoy moments together. In my case I started out writing that newsletter every six weeks, and it started pushing itself to every 4 or 5 months. That just wasn’t going to get it done.

3. Determine if you’re getting out of it what you want to get out of it. Some jobs are just stepping stones to something bigger and better, and at a certain point you might recognize that you can’t progress where you are and want something better. In my case, I reached the high number of 60 subscribers for that newsletter and then it pretty much stagnated, ranging only between 50 to 55 subscribers after awhile.

4. Determine if your efforts can support whatever actions you can put into it. Many people have children they then have problems supporting. Other couples will talk about it up front and may decide to push things back until their situation is better. In my case I had to weigh if I was generating any income out of it at all, or even any interest in what I was writing. On the first part nothing whatsoever; on the second, I actually got it into many health care magazines and newsletters around the country, some national, and I thought that might help me in some fashion, even if it generated a few calls. It didn’t, and other than a few links here and there, I didn’t feel I ever got any real benefit out of it.

5. Determine if there’s any other way you could handle things to keep it going. Years ago there was a guy on Dr. Phil who had to be convinced that a product he was still trying to market 7 years after he’d created it just wasn’t marketable, and was probably obsolete. He hadn’t even made 100 sales of his product, yet has cleared out his life savings first mass producing the things, then trying all kinds of marketing for the item. He couldn’t think of anything he hasn’t tried, and Dr. Phil convinced him it was time to move on. In my case this particular newsletter was kind of unique, in that no one else was writing anything like it, though some were writing things close to it. I didn’t have another way to market it, I wasn’t making any money off it, and it was taking my thinking and production time away from those things that were actually bringing in money.

All 5 of these factors led me to give it up. I don’t see it as a failure, though, because I have enough content there to put together a book if I so choose to do some years down the line, and those particular concepts are timeless. And I only heard from two people when I ended it, which pretty much told me almost no one was going to miss it. Now we’re all at peace, and I can be more useful in other areas, such as writing this blog.

Don’t ever take giving something up lightly, especially if you’ve put your soul into it. Realize, though, that sometimes the best way to move forward is to drop the baggage holding you back.

fitnessem Boddi Ball - Scented Stress Balls

Boddi Ball – Scented Stress Balls

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