Stop buying stuff and do the work

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making (and I do it myself) is buying and investing in various products, books, and services but never actually doing the work.

It’s tempting to think that if we just invest in X then we’ll automatically have Y.

It’s just like a gym membership — the only way to lose weight or get in shape is to actually go and workout. You can’t just pay for it, you have to use it.

Say and pray doesn’t fly

Even programs that are well designed to give you a regular, daily opportunity to participate, like my Writer’s Circle, it doesn’t pay off to sign up and just “hope it works.” You actually have to do the work, make the hard choices, and face the difficult obstacles to get the results you want.

In our instant gratification society, we want to believe that there’s a single cure-all or an over-night remedy that will just fix everything while we sleep.

Doesn’t work like that, unfortunately.

And when we combine it with a culture where most of us feel broken and like we need to be cured, well, it’s not too hard to see we’ve got a problem.

Ways we do this

Here are some examples of the ways we do this:

  • Enrolling in a gym but not using it.
  • Buying books but not reading them.
  • Going to healers but not doing the exercises or integration work they assign us.
  • Taking classes but not implementing what we learn.
  • Signing up for programs but not participating in them.

I’m guilty of all of these things. How about we make a pact right now to stop the madness?

The sad thing is that so many people are spending so much money on programs and training (I see it in the coaching world in particular, but it’s also true in writing, business, etc.) but never taking the time to integrate or even implement what they’ve learned. And sometimes before one class is over they’re already signed up for another one. Many people are in thousands and thousands of dollars in debt as a result.


Here are a few ideas about how we can change this up:

  • Ask yourself, “Is this truly important to me?” If the answer is yes, figure out how to make it happen. Your actions demonstrate your priorities. Period. Figure out a way to be all in. If the answer is no, let it go and move on.
  • Make space for it: Something I learned from Miriam is to block off time in my schedule for learning. I love it.
  • Look at the stockpiled “stuff” you’ve already invested in and make a clear decision about what you sincerely want to use. Let the rest go.
  • Question whether or not you are truly ready to learn anything new right now. Consider your energy, bandwidth, and other commitments. Consider not signing up for or purchasing anything new unless it’s 100% in alignment with your highest priorities.
  • If you don’t have the bandwidth but you want to take something on, be clear on what you’ll give up to make it happen. One of the biggest mistakes I see writers making, for example, is hoping they’ll have time to write instead of creating time for it. I see this with entrepreneurs, artists, and sensitives as well.

Bottom line

We’ve got to stop torturing ourselves by taking on more than we can handle. In a way, doing that is a form of resistance. Look to see what sacred priority is being forced to the bottom of the pile because of the choices you’re making. Is that okay with you?

Your turn

What do you think? I love to hear from you on my blog. 




Coming Attractions

~> August 2nd. Register by August 2 for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts August 6th). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing.

~> September 6th. Last day to register for the next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group happening on October 4th. These groups always sell out (only 4 spots) so if you want to discover your life purpose through the remarkably accurate tool of hand analysis, sign up here now:


What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Mentoring with screenwriter Chris Soth and participating in ScreenwritingU’s Pro Rewrite class after finishing the ProSeries.* (They’re offering their free rewrite* class this month on August 4, which is great — though make sure you have plenty of water — it’s a looooong class.)

~> September 18 to 22nd. Heading to Hollywood for a ScreenwritingU* event to meet with producers and agents then staying on for the InkTip Pitch Summit.

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Almost done with Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix! Saw The Dark Knight Rises on Friday (um, huh?). In the middle of watching (500) Days of Summer (good so far) and recently saw Another Earth (good but depressing). More soon!


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