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How important is it?

This is an entry from my personal Journal and it was published over one year ago. It was initially only available to paying subscribers. However, as per my Income Ethics, "all non-free creative work will be made public domain within one year". So, after spending one year behind a paywall, this content is now free. Ah, sweet freedom!

Why do we set out to do something only to dismiss it entirely? We forge ahead at the beginning (mentally and perhaps verbally) but then something happens just before the point where we take action. 

The intention is there, but something is missing. We know exactly what needs to be done and we know how to do it, but something prevents it from ever becoming reality. 

I believe everything we intend to do that doesn’t get done is a direct result of this one thing: it wasn’t important enough.

Or at least we didn’t decide it was important enough. We had the motivation and the know-how, but we didn’t put enough thought into the “why”. At first glance the “why” seems obvious, a no-brainer that shouldn’t need much explanation, to others or to ourselves. But it’s actually crucial to maintaining momentum.

In analyzing why certain recurring intentions never become reality — waking up early, doing daily yoga and meditation, writing in this journal, running regularly — I’ve discovered one missing component that is common to all of them: I had not decided how important they were and why they were important.

It’s easy to say to myself, “it’s important, now let’s do it”, but that’s not enough. I need to understand the why inside out. I need to come to terms with what will happen if I don’t take care of these things. 

I told you, and myself, that I’d do an experiment for the last 10 days of this year. I would write and publish at least one paragraph a day in this Journal. Well, here I am with 8 days to go and I haven’t written in this Journal.

Why not? I have the time. I haven’t run out of thoughts or words. I do still want to do it. So why haven’t I done anything with it?

It’s simple: I hadn’t decided how important it was to me. If the intention was there and I had all the resources necessary to get it done, but I still didn’t do it, then it must not have been important enough.

Luckily, making something important enough is easy: you simply decide it’s important enough, understand why it’s important, and then follow up with action. Repeat those three steps frequently enough and eventually a habit will form. 

I decided today that writing here is important enough to put aside other things. I understood why it’s important: I need to share, to grow. The last part, action, is taking place right now, as I write this entry. This is me repeating those three steps. This is important.

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