The character trait most likely to lead to success in every aspect of life is : the ability to resist distractions. To give attention to detail, within the swirl of information and activities vying for a dominant place among your thoughts, or not, will make or break any project from office work to homework to home planning and building.
Building a new home or renovating all or part of an old one involves solutions which can only be categorized as creative. Creativity does not come from broad sweeps of the imagination. The moment of inspiration, when a problem is solved by a creative burst, is filled with tiny brush strokes – details – addressing almost every aspect of whatever solution has just been born. The obstacle for every creative person is hanging on to that vision just created, that collection of puzzle pieces floating in the mind amid all of life’s demands.
The ability to concentrate on a specific topic or activity, while all around you, Life is demanding that ‘this’ gets attention and ‘that’ gets updated and ‘these’ are kept in the loop; and ‘them’ and ‘they’ can’t feed themselves, and “all those others” – texts, tweets, voicemails, phone calls (robo and real), emails about literally nothing, news stories, binge TV, politics, and social media platforms which demand to be ‘liked;’ they all want you to come out and play…right now. All these things are immaterial, nonessential, unnecessary distractions. They don’t matter.
Coming out to play in this specific moment, as you begin to plan a change in life that will affect how you live for your entire future, is not an option. This is the moment when you step-up and force planning-my-future to be the most important task in your life, allowing only the most important puzzle pieces to have attention: employment, family care and wellbeing, groceries, medicine, healthy recreation; and through it all…this homebuilding project. Through none can be allowed any of those things that don’t matter.
Old, bad habits will have to be broken. The automatic reaction to pick up the phone or look at the computer screen, whenever there’s a ring or ding, must be replaced with a new, inner attitude to let it go. That attitude adjustment will need support to flourish and last through your far-off future. That support is called inner strength, and it all starts with you.
Even though you are the center of a new, creative idea, some tried and true adages, used by successful creative minds throughout history, are:
- Don’t Panic: Just because something is hard to do, it doesn’t make it more likely to fail. The solution is to stay calm and take the time to find an answer.
- Never Give Up: Failure is almost always associated, not with difficulty, but with quitting too soon. While it’s important to use common sense when picking a goal, it’s also essential to keep a reasonable goal in mind and heart, where it can be nurtured. Letting go will kill a dream. Forging all the way through might make it happen.
- Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing: 1) Don’t allow any creative project to interfere with the means to pay for it. Home planning and building is extremely time consuming and can quickly pull you away from your means to get a paycheck. 2) Keep the scope of the project consistent with the original concept. Don’t be distracted by every sparkly appliance and surface to catch your eye. Stay on track.
- Follow-Through: 1) Choose project-related topics and learn all about them. 2) Set goals and keep them. 3) List tasks and do them. 4) Questions will form, so ask them. If you can’t find an answer from one source, go to another. 5) If a project is going wrong, stop and fix it. 6) When workers resist, refuse, or fail to follow your plan, pause the project long enough to study the problem and find a solution. When taking corrective action, don’t be cruel, but do stand firm, so the task at hand can be well-finished.
- Finish Strong: Total dedication to do anything well, by blocking distractions, is the only acceptable attitude. The source of such dedication is inner strength born in the heart, guided by the mind, and forged through the spirit of wholehearted, single-minded commitment. Having an idea is easy. Making an idea real will require focus, passion, and devotion, all at a level of intensity which may be unfamiliar, but all of which are waiting to be lifted into the light, by the hidden strength of the heart, mind, and spirit.
An often raised question is, “Where does inner strength come from?” It’s not a matter of having inner strength or not. It’s inborn. You definitely, already have the inner strength to dedicate energy and effort to complete a complex home planning and building project; and the fortitude to be indistractible. You only have to flex it.
Buy a subscription
just for yourself.
Give a subscription
who might need help
building or remodeling.
who needs to see HBT.