These two words have so much baggage with them. They are interesting to me because on the one hand people love a challenge. They love the idea of taking risk and that rush of not knowing what is going to happen. On the other hand, the idea of committing to that challenge, especially for the long term, is daunting. As a Youth Pastor, I sometimes see how this current generation views the idea of challenges and commitment. The idea of “Yes, I would love to do that ONE awesome project” quickly can turn into “Oops, I realized I told my girlfriend I would go to the mall with her. Now I can’t commit to that project.” Not every teenager is this way, but with the outside world literally at our fingertips, it is easy to change our attitudes. This idea of commitment is nothing new really – it has been happening for a while. We just see more of it today because “seeing it” is so readily accessible.
You may have noticed in the sidebar an image of my 500 words. I have been following the writing Jeff Goin since 2015 when he released the bestseller The Art of Work. After diving heavy into his blog and resources I kept seeing this 500-word challenge. At first glimpse I thought, “well that’s nice but that is not something I want to commit to.” At the time, I had been working as a performing musician, a music teacher, and had been a year into developing a resource website called, Last Row Music. Even though I had always liked the idea of writing/blogging and had been doing so since 2008, my posts were not long and were merely just little information shorts, designed to either highlight a fellow musician or write about some recent news. In the past year, I had thoughts about writing a book about music, but unfortunately, the idea of the challenge outweighed the reality of the commitment.
I love to read but hardly can finish a book. I read the news via Feedly and save online articles via Instapaper, but it takes me FOREVER to get around to actually reading them. Yesterday, December 15, 2016, I read this article from Belle Beth Cooper about the little daily habits she took to lead to accomplishing great goals and change. As I read her article, I realized this is how I have to think about these challenges, and that after awhile when you look back, those small daily steps actually become giant leaps of progress.
So I decided right then and there, it’s time to take the daily habitual steps. In tomorrow’s post, I will reveal those daily habits.
But I have to tell you the story goes on.
I signed up for Jeff’s 500 word challenge. Then I got the email asking for confirmation, and I couldn’t do it! Maybe it was the time of day. Maybe it was the fact that by the second and third week of this 31-day challenge, it will be during one of the busiest times of the year for musicians AND ministers of which I am both. So I deleted his email, but thought more about it.
As I slept on it, and woke up this morning I realized I need to do this NOW. Forget the time of year it is. Forget the thought that 500 words may sound like a lot. I need to just START this now.
So here we are. This is my first post in a challenge to write 500 words for 31 consecutive days. I don’t know where this will lead.
It will be a great challenge.
And I am committed to it.