First, pop quiz: Did you do that exercise? If not, all good but…
If we want to move from theory to practice and from merely consuming these ideas to actually deeply thinking about and LIVING these ideas, we’ve gotta do the work.
The image that comes to mind for me is a stonecutter.
Imagine a guy (or gal) banging away at a HUGE rock with a sledgehammer. He pounds and pounds and pounds at that rock with his sledgehammer again and again and again.
And absolutely nothing happens.
Just a big rock. And a sweaty sledgehammer guy.
Then, apparently out of nowhere, on the next strike the rock splits. YAYUH!!!
Now, if you happened to be walking by that guy right when he made the swing that cracked open the rock you might think that a) the guy was super strong and/or b) splitting rocks is easy.
You missed all the tiring, potentially frustrating swings our sledgehammer guy made BEFORE he cracked the rock.
It’s kinda like Jim Rohn’s combination lock. You might be ONE digit away from unlocking a level of clarity you thought was still super far away.
Moral of the story: We’ve gotta show up and hit the rock. Every day. If we want to make sure our ladder is leaning up against the right wall and that we’re living a life of deep, authentic purpose and meaning, we NEED to show up and do the work.
We’ve gotta turn off the entertainment at night so our brains can relax and we can get a good night of sleep. Then wake up early, feeling energized as we choose to go Deep into Creative work before we splash around in the Shallow side of the Reactive pool of life.
Over. And over. And over again.
Any one session might not yield epiphanies but we’re “accreting,” as Cal Newport would say, just a little more value in each Deep Work session. Knowing that, like the rock splitter, if we continue showing up and doing the work SOMETHING good will happen.
How can you take another swing at that rock today?
Enjoy it. I can hear the rock splitting from here.