There is nothing greater than the feeling of completion – of having worked on a demanding project that is important to you for a long period, and then bringing it to a successful conclusion.
David Deida, in classic book The Way of the Superior Man, writes famously that for a man to be whole he should have a mission other than women – something he is passionate about from the core of his soul to dedicate his life to.
In my experience this is true. For me, the passion happens to be writing. For another man it might be sports, or art or carpentry – anything, so long as it requires focus and exertion. Ideally, whatever you choose should be something that you are inextricably drawn to, and it should involve you making something to put out into the world – whether that be a book, a video or a great golf swing.
Too many people are passive consumers, and no wonder: there’s a whole world of content out there to be read, watched, listened to, downloaded. There is too much information and it turns us into mindless consumers. A real man is a man who produces something, who gives to the world rather than merely receives. And the great thing is, it is through this act of giving that we are happiest.
But one difficulty is that, having taken on your project, you may find yourself floundering halfway through, intimidated by the enormity of it and unable to carry on. How much easier it would be simply to give up. To go back to playing Call of Duty or watching football instead.
Here’s a tip – don’t. Just don’t. The secret to completion is consistency of effort. The secret to consistency of effort is breaking every task down to its minimum components, and executing these on a daily basis.
Don’t think about the end goal – just think about what you need to do today, and do it to the best of your ability. If you’re tired and you can only manage half an hour’s writing then just do half an hour – it’s better than nothing, and it means you’re exercising the muscles necessary to get to the end of the task. Days add up to months, months add up to years, and before you know it your project is done, and you will feel a sense of satisfaction deeper than from anything else.
Seek progress, not perfection, every day. Break everything down into manageable chunks, do whatever you can in the given time you have and don’t be hard on yourself – you can always polish later. In time, you will have successfully completed your project: and when that happens you’ll realize that completion really is better than sex.
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