You know, there’s a neat little benefit that something like the NaBloPoMo challenge gives you, as a writer, and as an individual pushing yourself to grow.
It puts you against a wall.
There are two types of fuel for success in the world: inspiration and pressure. And while we often crave the first, it’s the latter that we need to value a bit more. Because it often helps us the most. Why? Because it forces us to deal with things we would not otherwise choose to. And we need that as a balanced part of life too. Not too much of either, but enough of either one.
NaBloPoMo is 30 days, blogging every single day, no matter what. And of course, when you participate during the traditional November month, there’s always Thanksgiving week in there too. So you have to make your turkey, and eat and write about it too.
But putting yourself on a daily deadline and making that honor commitment to make your posts count every day is quite something to embrace. It creates stress, it forces you to be creative under less than ideal circumstances and it gets you to face a task you might otherwise wish to avoid. And it forces you to adapt when things don’t go as expected. Even when you have some ideas on what to write about, it doesn’t mean that those ideas will spark and flow the day you need them to.
The same is true in business. Even when you prepare and have a plan, it doesn’t mean that’s how things are going to work out. And you have to learn to be flexible. To think on your feet and not get bent out of shape too easily over anything.
As for writing, I personally have 49 subject ideas in my queue right now. And not a one of those ideas would flow for me tonight. So with the clock winding down to midnight and not an idea that wants to say more than a sentence or two, the pressure pot is on.
Then it dawned on me, that pressure pot often squeezes the best out of me. Because when push comes to shove, and all you have is a rubber band, a piece of gum and a toothpick and the timer is running out, some kind of genius takes place when you focus well enough.
And that’s a lot of what we deal with in business. Heck, sometimes it’s why we’re in business. We were put against a wall, our choices were pared down and we were forced to work with a situation that was not ideal or to our liking. Like getting laid off, or having a child with special needs or whatever. And we had to come up with a solution and rise above.
Being in business for yourself is risky stuff, and sometimes you have to think like MacGyver in one of those unexpected situations. How are you going to fix this, or deal with that or avoid those? The pressure is not often what I would call pleasant, and sometimes it happens as a result of some failure (learning experience) on our part, but it does often in my experience push me to elevate my thinking and come up with a solution. And I always grow.
So don’t be afraid to feel pressure. Sometimes it brings up in you skills you didn’t know you had. Sometimes that wall is more support than you think. And sometimes even, it becomes your greatest story.