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I’m disappointed about not making any progress at this stage

Commitment Device

COMMITMENT DEVICE@2x

The Context

Patience is at odds with passion. The more we want something to come to fruition, the more painful it is to wait around for it to happen. It’s the law of polarity at its finest, whereby any over determined action produces its exact opposite. And so, the question becomes, if we can’t whistle while we work, how can we hustle while we wait? Thoreau called this practice fertile idleness, which is defined as leveraging downtime into something creative, productive and meaningful. A useful strategy when you find yourself standing on the precipice of progress, trying to will your dream into existence.

The Tool

two color

Commitment Device

COMMITMENT DEVICE -- A physical, simple, creative, intentional and memorable totem that keeps your dream in front of your face.

One of the tools for insuring ourselves against the discouragements, delays, distractions, depressions, derailments and disappointments of the dreaming process is a commitment device. After all, if your commitment isn’t symbolized, memorialized and personified in a tangible way, you’re just winking in the dark. And so, find something physical, simple, creative, intentional and memorable that keeps your dream in front of your face. It could be as simple as a sticky note on your laptop, or as sophisticated as a pair of running shoes with the name of your next big project embroidered on the laces. Not only will this commitment device keep your accountable to your dream, but it will afford you the opportunity to share your dream with the people around you.

My wife and I have a mantra: Keep moving the story forward. It's a reminder that it’s only a matter of time before a dream becomes a reality. I have an art piece in my studio that shows this mantra, and even wrote an entire book about it. Game changer.

The Rest

Remember, self propulsion is the only thing that will move you forward. The commitment device creates social pressure and positive tension. Keep it with you at all times. Rehearse your dream before it evaporates. How could you increase your commitment by creating unacceptable consequences of failing?

The Benefits

Visualize the positive effects of the work
Build momentum early in production stage
Leverage social pressure & positive tension
Keep yourself accountable to your project

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