Reap a harvest: making ‘fallow seasons’ work for you

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Photo by Isak Engström on Unsplash.

On a recent podcast, the guest talked about working through a “fallow” writing season. Fallow—meaning idle, unproductive or uncreative—describes the past five months of my life. In the article Why We Need to Be ‘OK’ in the Fallow Season, Ryan Fahey asks the question, “Are you in a season that doesn’t seem to be producing any results?” followed by, “Are you spinning your wheels…frustrated at not seeing the results you want?” Yet, the fallow season is actually the most important season of growth. In fact, it’s essential for producing something wonderful. Unfortunately, some of these seasons take longer than others to deliver the outcome we desire; i.e., not all fallow seasons are the same. But the good news: fallow does not equal failure. And if we focus on the process, rather than the outcome, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Are you in a fallow season? Let me know at chrismadayschmidt.com, and remember to sign up for my free monthly emails.

How to determine if you’re an amateur or a professional

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In a recent post, I talk about taking massive action to fight for your goals. The article I reference focuses on the importance of changing our mindsets. And that it isn’t just trying something once, or trying and failing and then quitting. It means trying until we get the results we want; i.e., mastering daily habits that ultimately lead to success. According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits and the creator of the Habits Academy, it’s about the power of schedule and creating a daily routine. Clear says, “Stop waiting for motivation or creative inspiration to strike you and set a schedule for your habits. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set a schedule and stick to it. Amateurs wait until they feel inspired or motivated.” Further, give yourself permission to deliver a less-than-average outcome. “The only way to be consistent enough to make a masterpiece is to give yourself permission to create junk along the way.”

So what’s the verdict—amateur or pro?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Do what you can: how to cultivate discipline

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On the heels of my previous post, “Persistence, determination…,” what if you don’t see the results of your consistent efforts right away? Or even within months or years of “showing up” each day? How do you fight the discouragement and keep on keeping on? That, my friends, boils down to the question: How badly do you want it? If it’s something that doesn’t occupy your thoughts 24/7 or make you excited to jump (or crawl) out of bed each morning, then whatever it is may no longer be worthy of your attention. And that’s okay. But if it is a dream that defines you or your purpose in life, then you must work through any disappointment or obstacles and chalk them up as growing pains. Maybe up your game, reprioritize. Simplify along the way. According to “Consistency Beats Talent…,” ‘Do what you can with the hours you have. Cultivate discipline. Master your time so you can maximize your production with what time you have.’

How do you cultivate discipline?

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.