Everything was going so smoothly. Write and publish a book, develop a website, setup social media accounts and write a few blogs. Receive some really nice feedback and invitations to speak from several groups. Reconnect with old friends and make some new ones. Then, BAM! My gorilla strikes and my halo goes missing. Well obviously the halo never existed, but the gorilla does.
The definition of 800-pound gorilla in the urban dictionary is: “A seemingly unbeatable presence always to be reckoned with; whose experience, influence, and skill threatens to defeat competitors with little effort.” A perfect description of the one I battle; Distractions, those things that prevent me from giving my full attention to the important work I should be doing.
I’ve developed many tactics for defeating them over the years, stopping just short of being locked up in an empty room. Still it’s a constant struggle to focus on the most important things in life. Like this mission. I had been consistently winning the fight for nine straight months. Probably because I had a clear goal, plans to achieve it and the commitment to see it through. The book is done and available, mission accomplished, right? Wrong!
The point of the book is to get people to do it. To make their personal plan toward sainthood and stick with it. And to encourage others to do the same. Unfortunately I had set no next step goal or plans to encourage and support people in doing that. Same thing happened when I was participating in triathlons. I set a challenging goal, trained hard, finally succeeded and have rarely ridden a bike or swam since. I was satisfied and ready to move on to other things. Thankfully my aim with this cause is much higher than achieving the initial goal. And speaking of aim, how about a short relevant story?
Once upon a long time ago in college, a group of guys were going pheasant hunting. They were all farm kids. They said something to me like, “Hey city boy, you’re going hunting with us.” I had no experience or interest. But given the choice between studying and, well anything else the choice was easy. Plus, it was clear that they were not asking for my consent. They were on the football team, I played tennis. Enough said.
We trudge through the snow to a corn field. I’m handed a shotgun and instructed on how to use it. They tell me they are all going to the other end of the field where they will spread out and walk through the rows. I am to stay put and shoot a bird when they start flying. What could possibly go wrong?!
I wait and suddenly a million, or maybe a dozen pheasants take flight. It’s loud and startling. I’m distracted by the flapping of wings and guys yelling at me to “shoot!” I attempt to take aim…but at which one? I give up and figure I’ll just shoot as many times as I can. I’m bound to hit something, right? Wrong again! The only thing to hit the ground were my friends rolling around the snow in laughter.
They knew exactly what was going to happen. They just wanted a good laugh at my expense and a story to hold over me forever. End of hunt, my last. I am glad the birds got away. Seriously, I don’t even like swatting flies. I did learn a valuable lesson that day. You must aim at one thing in order to have any chance of hitting it. And don’t let anything distract you from your intended target or you will shoot aimlessly and miss them all.
Following the book release I had no goal, no target, no one thing to aim at. There was plenty to do. I did a Blog Blog here, and a Facebook there, here an Instagram, there a Twitter, everywhere an e-mail. Cute, huh? But it became overwhelming and I couldn’t keep up with what I thought I should do, so I quit into distraction land.
I watched the endless hurricane coverage, U.S. Open tennis matches, football, etc. Worse yet, I quit the book. I wasn’t following my own plan. I stopped playing saintball. Then I started getting down on myself for being so lazy. “Dude, what’s your problem? People are actually interested. Why would you stop now?” “No good reason. Maybe fear of success and all the work that entails. Or fear of future failure where all the work goes to waste.” “You are being rediculous! Only one way to snap out of it. Establish a new goal, plan and commitment.” What…you don’t talk to yourself like this?
The new goal is to attract 450 free newsletter subscribers by the end of the year. I like to think that we have a shared goal to save the world, one person at a time starting with ourselves. Therefore, the more people we can reach with our saint building philosophy, the better chance we have of making the change we want to see in the world.
Why 450 you may ask? Simple math. The Saint Builder Foundation Facebook page has about 90 followers. My hope is that they will all become newsletter subscribers too. Then they will each find two friends to do the same, resulting in 180 more. Finally, each one of those 180 will find one more, another 180. Total, 90+180+180=450. Goooaaal!!!
And here is the plan. I pledge to:
I have been advised that to enlist your help that I should give you something. I’m not sure what that would be. There are many resources on the website, especially on the sandbox and saintball pages. I was also advised not to put them all out there for free. I have to keep reminding the expert marketers that this is not a money-making venture, but rather a life mission. We are all in this together and I want to develop and give you stuff that helps in your journey. Aspiring saints just aren’t “what’s in it for me” types anyway. Regardless, how about this? When we get to 450 newsletter subscribers there will be a yet to be determined cool recognition for you early adopters.
Here are a few ways you can help. Sign-up for the free newsletter if you haven’t already. Send an e-mail to your 5 best friends with a link to saintbuider.com and ask them to sign-up for the newsletter too. Share these blog posts with your friends.
I truly appreciate your ongoing interest and support. You all have my sincere gratitude!
I think George (yes, my gorilla has a name) has retreated for now. Back to work. I did cancel the distraction of the NFL Sunday ticket. George was very upset. I am too. Sacrifice is a saintly trait, right? Right!
Have and enjoyable weekend, Scott