Part 4: Personal Renaissance–Undo the Undone: Keeping the Passion Fire Lit
In this installment, we confront the inevitable. We prepare for what to do when the excitement of starting your Personal Renaissance begins to subside. Believe it or not, it happened to me, and it will happen to you: the passion flame that blazed so bright that first month dims or even burns out completely. But I got through it stronger than ever, and I know you will too!
Before we begin, if you’re new to this real-time endeavor, which we’ve been pursing together for the last 3 months, or if you want to review, you’ll find the first 3 installments online:
“Personal Renaissance – Undo the Undone”
Here’s a recap of your action items from Part 3:
2) Fill in the boxes in your My Renaissance sheet with initiatives in order of importance under each of your 3 columns: i) spiritual/mental/physical integrity & growth, ii) your professional highest calling, and iii) undo your undone. Print out the “Sample My Renaissance sheet” to help you.
3) Go! Start! Implement! Execute! No waiting once you have your entries. No more planning!
4) Periodically use the back of your My Renaissance sheet for introspection – how are you doing this month?
Again, before we move on, TYT (Take Your Time) to review Part 3 or any previous part(s) you feel you need to reconnect to. It’s probably been a while since you’ve read it, so please do so at your convenience, but do it before you take any action on Part 4.
Now, let’s start with a question. If you’re like me, you were all fired up at the prospect of beginning your Personal Renaissance. When you read Part 1, the timing felt perfect to reconnect with all that was, is and will be great about you, and exceed your known definition of greatness in the process.
The idea resonated deeply with you!
In Part 2, you took your time and enjoyed the process of identifying the areas of your life that would make up your Personal Renaissance and the Undoing of your Undone. And it felt welcome, easy, exciting.
In Part 3, you couldn’t wait to start to fill in your first boxes on your Personal Renaissance sheet and get going.
Do you still feel the same way now? If so, you’re doing much better than I was!
If not, you’re in good company. It’s part of our nature to be stimulated (often overstimulated) by the pursuit—the chase, the idea, the concept, the promise—and then become discouraged or even bored when we feel we aren’t seeing results as quickly as we want.
Our culture reinforces it, with instant access to gratification and handy distractions like Google, social media, 603 TV channels, and the next, new “big thing” that our friends tell us about.
Sadly, and to the detriment of our highest calling, we seldom allow ourselves to complete something important we started. It’s true with something as small as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or as big as a process as a Personal Renaissance.
I believe this tendency has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and beyond. I can even see it in the numbers on our Personal Renaissance Facebook group page. What started out as about 160 of us actively involved has dropped to about half that.
Believe me, I understand. In the beginning of something new, there’s a rush. Adrenaline. Infatuation. Whatever you want to call it, we experience some sensation as the endorphins flood the body and the mind feels expanded by new possibilities. And that’s exactly what we need to get the flywheel spinning, the momentum underway. It’s a wholly natural process that dates back to the days when humans had to hunt to survive.
Yet there’s another, equally powerful part of our nature that we can tap into after the initial thrill is gone but before we’ve “caught” whatever we’re chasing. Back when we were running after our dinner, we were also taking the time to make our own tools, to carve our spears and arrows. (Hmmm, TYT.) Day after day, we weaved baskets and ground grains. We took days to walk or ride distances we now cover in hours.
So it’s all in us, it’s all there! The tendency to get distracted by the next appetizing thing and also the ability to stick it out, to be patient, to do something that seems slightly less exciting because we know it gets us closer to what we want most.
If you’ve read my books, you know about the “lunch-pail approach” (Part 3, pages 109-150 of my book Make it BIG!). That’s exactly what I mean here: showing up every day, no matter what, ready to do what needs to be done. I call it the lunch-pail approach because it’s what I see on construction sites: guys arriving at the job, lunch pail in hand, prepared to put in a full 8+ hours of backbreaking labor. That kind of work ethic is at the heart of every true business success. Truly, it’s at the heart of any hard-earned success.
January 20 marked the 44th anniversary of the passing of Luigi Del Bianco, Mount Rushmore’s (and Gutzon Borglum’s) chief stone carver. He devoted years of his life just on the details of Lincoln’s face. Imagine it: day after day chipping away at a mountain to reveal an eye—heck, an eyelash— getting the details just perfect. You think he was fired up every day of the 14 years it took to carve the monument? Doubt it. But after it was done, he said, “I would do it again, even knowing all the hardships involved … I would work at Mount Rushmore even without pay, if necessary. It was a great privilege granted me."
And this? This commitment you’ve made to your Personal Renaissance just until July 2013? This is your Mount Rushmore.
Imagine standing back after you’ve completed your Personal Renaissance only a few short months from now and looking at the sculpture you have carved - “you!”
So, when you feel as if you’re losing momentum, and you’re starting to think you’ll bail out, don’t! Here are 4 simple tips for keeping your passion fire blazing. Refer to them often:
1) Accept. These lulls in enthusiasm are part of human nature. When the urge to quit pulls at you, remember you’re not alone, that this is predictable, and that you can get past it. While it’s perfectly normal for the blush to wear off the rose, you also have an innate ability to persevere. Even if you haven’t demonstrated much self-discipline recently, you absolutely have it in you. Use it! Stay with it.
2) Appreciate. Look at last month’s worksheet. What did you do well? What would you have missed out on if you hadn’t ever started your Personal Renaissance? What would you have not accomplished if you quit a month early? Revisit your early successes. Appreciate and celebrate them again. Remind yourself of why you began in the first place.
3) Simplify. If your monthly My Renaissance priority sheets have gotten tedious or complicated, or if they feel like work, then strip it down. For example, I’ve stopped using the S, M, and P designations in the first column because the distinction between spiritual, mental, and physical initiatives is now crystal clear in my mind. It was important to start out with them, but now it’s unnecessary. Some of my entries into the boxes are bare bones, too: “Drink more water – take in more protein.” “Order new running shoes.” “Finish a book.” “Gain approval for our new Minimalist Mansion concept at the City.” Many are more ambitious than these, but the principle is the same: keep it simple!
4) Reconnect. Recognize that there are things on our lists that are more exciting than others. So it’s important to remind yourself that they’re all connected, that the mundane, lunch-pail items support and reinforce the ones that give you more juice. Be sure you don’t rush to the juicier ones—TYT and use the anticipation to keep you fired up.
Over the next months, up until July, your enthusiasm will ebb and flow. Don’t let these ups and downs derail you, but instead just go with it. Let the high points carry you through the low points. Let the moments of lull help you savor the moments of excitement.
And in those times when you think you’ll just throw in the towel, remember what runners tell themselves when they’re tempted to hit the snooze button instead of lacing up: Tomorrow, you can be sore, or you can be sorry. Which one would you rather be? Six months from now, where will you be if you keep at it? What will the ripple effects be in one year? Or in five years? How will this undertaking affect your family, your community, your business, your health, your legacy?
Sure, quitting is an option. So is success. Both are habit forming. Which habit do you want to establish? Remember why you embarked on this. Remember who you are becoming, what the process will give you, the greatness that will come just from the undertaking, not from the initial dreaming or even the expected achievement of your outcome. Stay with it!
In the upcoming Part 5, we’ll spend some devoted time to “Undoing Your Undone.” While the entire process is a Personal Renaissance, the “Undo the Undone” part could actually stand alone.
Your completion of undoing at least one undone in your life is very important to establishing certain beneficial behavioral patterns in your life. In other words, undoing an undone will have a bearing on the quality of the rest of your life, and no, that is not an overstatement.
Remember, the definition of Undo the Undone reads; finishing something significant that you started, began and failed at, thought you had pursued for the last time, or turning a longstanding dream into a reality. Undoing an initiative that is undone simply means reversing or altering an initial outcome and completing it beyond your initial expectations.
See you soon for Part 5: “Why You Must Undo an Undone"
Feel The Tap,
Order Frank McKinney's bestsellers today!
Burst This! Frank McKinney's Bubble Proof Real Estate Strategies
Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes and the Good Luck Circle
Frank McKinney's Maverick Approach to Real Estate Success
Make it BIG! 49 Secrets for Building a Life of Extreme Success