Your pursuit

Tom Simpson
February 19, 2024
2 min read
2 min read

When five minutes turns into forty-five, and days turn into weeks.

Thanks for all your responses to my spiel two weeks ago. If you missed it, I was talking about redefining your “should do” to your “want to”. Deciding on your goals before someone else does for you.

I landed with a question, “What’s your want to’s?”

And yet, that’s only half the battle—two sides to the same coin.

Clarifying your goal. And pursuing your goal.

Where goals are your clear-cut desires for the future—your pursuit is the moves that you make towards it.

Regardless of everything that stands between you and the goal.

Because there’s always something—reasons not to—no time, resources, environment, motivation, qualification, networks, know-how.

And yet out of all the things standing in your way, I wonder if you’re like me?

There's actually not as much between you and your goal as you'd care to admit, and yet it still feels like something's in the way.

I’ve wanted to write and publish my work for a long time. But I couldn’t get a single piece out. No matter how hard I tried, it turned into a rambling mess of words and ideas, but no flow.

Without fail, every time… no flow.

I had everything I needed at my fingertips—a computer, ideas, and the skill to do it.

But there was still something stopping me.

When I would write, I would simultaneously un-write my work.

I would edit, make critical judgements, filter, break down, rework, reread and tweak.

All in the name of quality.

Because I thought that's what it took to produce something of value.

What was really happening? I was judging my work.

Line by line judging each effort. Feeling increasingly discouraged and unmotivated until I’d eventually surrender in defeat with a page of disjointed parts.

Delete. Scrunch up. Throw away.

What’s your process?

Do you pick apart your work, undoing each effort, piece by piece?

And yet here we are, I’m writing to you now. Here’s what happened.

Every morning, I’d write.

Every morning, for five minutes, I’d start typing.

Whatever came to mind, it didn’t matter.

No re-reading, no re-writing.

Five minutes, close the lid, walk away.

And then one morning, about two weeks in, I was writing.

Five minutes passed. Then ten minutes.

Forty-five minutes went by—typing, typing, typing.

One hour later, I looked at the clock and realised I’d forgotten to stop.

I looked back at my work, and sure enough—a full piece of coherent ideas, threaded together with thoughtful stories and interesting phrasing.

My first piece, ready to go.

It’s like that sometimes.

We underestimate the power of five minutes.

Two weeks in and what I didn't realise was I'd already accumulated over an hour of writing.

Finding your flow doesn’t require a critical moment, a distinct flash of inspiration.

It’s much simpler than that.

Much more routine.

What’s your goal?

Now, what's your routine to get there?

What can you do for five minutes each day.

And maybe one day you’ll forget to stop too.

Can you spare five minutes today?

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