My commute to work in the morning is a fairly simple process but it does involve two sensible options.
Option 1: I can get on the F train at Delancey/Essex, then change at West 4th street for the uptown C or E. I’ve made the commute as quick as about 20 minutes and typically it doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes.
Option 2: Get on the F at Delancey/Essex, and get off at 34th Street, then walk the rest of the way.
Option 1 means I have to wait for a second train but be slightly closer to my office at the exit. Option 2 means I don’t have to wait for a second train but I do have a little bit further to walk.
It may seem like a snap. Maybe choose to walk a littler further on nice sunny days like today, or perhaps take option 1 when I’m in a hurry. But more goes into it than that. Because some mornings I don’t bring coffee so I like to stop and get iced coffee at Starbucks. Of course, if it’s chilly and I want a hot coffee the cup at the local deli on my way to work on option 1 is just fine.
But of course if I stay at the back of the train on Option 2, I walk fewer short blocks and only 1 long block.
And on, and on it goes and I tell you this isn’t a single-time occurrence. This happens in my mind almost everyday depending on how close to being on time I am vs. my need for coffee, etc.
This morning I realized I was over-analyzing my situation and from now on, I’ll just take option 2. Not for any “good reason,” mostly just because it feels better and I am TIRED of over-thinking about it.
It dawned on me that in life, we often do this.
When we try to achieve a goal, how often do we over-think our situation? And how often are we presented with the same, or similar situations, and continue to choose based on lengthy mental analyzations?
As musicians here’s how it might manifest itself:
Goal: “Today I’m going to submit my music to a label”
Thought process: What if they don’t like it? What if someone doesn’t answer the phone? What if someone does answer the phone? What if I forget to attach my pkit to the email? Should I follow up with the person I’ve just emailed a couple of days ago? What if it bothers them? What if I get the wrong person? I’d better research the right person to talk to. Crap, I can’t find the person I need to talk to. Now what do I do? I found the main line but I’m terrible on the phone.
…and on and on. The reality is we think too much about almost everything and too many times we manage to convince ourselves into prolonging efforts or even worse, into in-action. Analyzation can be a very useful tool but we need to ACT more on our guts. ACT on the goal.
If you have a goal set for yourself for today, or next week or this year – what are you actively doing to move closer to it? How can you take a step right now to simply DO that thing? If it’s a long term goal can you back-track from end-result to what you can do TODAY to progress just a little more towards the desired result?
Today, choose a path to take and a take the first step to move down it. Put down the Xbox controller and write the chorus to that song. Close down iChat and make a list of 15 main-line phone numbers for labels to call. Turn off the TV, and turn on Spotify and listen to 15 new songs you’ve never heard before.
Your goal can be a simple one so long as you keep moving forward.