‘thoughts are great…but action leads to closing’
I must admit it…my house is a mess! And…I just cleaned up that area. How does it already look like a storm hit it?
I have to confess…I’ve started a thousand projects around here, and about 999 of them still seem ‘under construction’.
I should accept it. I have a problem. Actually many, but I’ll start with this one and see if I can find closure with it.
I peg myself as really good at coming up with ideas. I have journals and sheets and post it notes collected with a bunch of random ideas. These can be related to business, the house, relationships, professional development, investments, blah blah blah. Most of my ideas are bad. However, I believe that while coming up with many poor ideas…and documenting them…I’m bound to come up with a good one here and there. It’s almost like I come up with 99 bad ideas for every one diamond in the rough. It’s a low shooting percentage but hey, if you don’t shoot you can’t score.
I do feel strongly about documenting by the way. If you don’t put your thoughts and ideas and goals down on paper, or somewhere digitally, they’ll just float around in your head, and possible float out of your head for good. Once you put them somewhere, you can make space in your head for developing that idea or adding interest to it…or coming up with another one. Find yourself a cool journal, even a good expensive one. It’s investing in your own brain/goals/ideas. And it will encourage you to put good use to it, and hold value in your own beliefs.
So I’m good with all that stuff. My interests are many. I’m quick to jump into things and just try something. I love learning anything new. However…I’m not good with following the practice of the phrase, ‘Always Be Closing’. This phrase is from the 1992 drama film called Glengarry Glen Ross, in which the character played by Alec Baldwin encourages some of the other characters to close deals within their sales work. Watch out for bad language, but here is a great clip from the movie. Look…it’s a very shallow message in regards to simply making more money above all else, and disregarding things like being a good dad, or being kind. However, it struck a chord with me in how it can relate to the idea of completing something. And this is what I have trouble with. As I said, I can start a bunch of projects. But I never seem to finish many of them.
This weekend, I had a task that I wanted to complete. The ramps in my landscape trailer have to be lifted in and mounted to the inside walls for transportation. Well, I’ve always had this crap system of a cheap eye-hook and bungee chords to hold them in place. Boring I know…bear with me. This system has bothered me for about 5 years. I can’t believe that! I’ve spoken about it, wrote down ideas, sworn at it many times…but never really done anything about it. Well on Saturday night and into Sunday morning, I came up with a plan, went to the hardware store for materials, and put in a new ramp mounting system. It was actually pretty easy! On Sunday, I found myself putting all of my tools back in their proper place, sweeping up the garage floor of all debris, and wiping down my workbench with a cleaner and paper towels. I suddenly thought, ‘Oh my…I’ve actually completed something, and I’m in the very final stage of cleaning up the mess associated with it. I never do this!’ I’m telling you…it felt so good. I immediately thought about ‘Always Be Closing’, and the benefits related to that. I thought about Casey Neistat, and how he has those words tattooed on his arm. He actually dedicated an entire Vlog to this idea. Watch it here!
Neistat says that if you start a bunch of things and don’t finish them, you’re a loser. That’s me…how sad. Someone who starts something and always finishes it is a closer. That’s not me. My new focus is to become more of a closer. I must bring my ideas to fruition…see them through to their fullest potential. I’m on it. By closing, and completing something, we are able to reap the rewards related to our project. After dealing with annoyance of the ramp system in my trailer for 5 years, and halfheartedly poking at it here and there with temporary repairs, no wonder I felt so good about putting smart and hard work to it and having it completed.
Closing leads to you feeling much more productive.
Closing frees up space in your head for other, more important ideas.
Closing encourages intellect and hard work over complaining and hoping.
Closing leads to more appreciation instead of expectation.
Don’t be a loser…be a closer!
A.B.C. totally relates to keeping our lives organized too. This is an area that I struggle with, and one that I’ll be putting some more focus into. When you come home…with a bunch of things in your hands…maybe a bag or two…and pockets full of receipts and change and hair clips (for some reason, I always find myself here)…do you put everything away in it’s designated spot? What I usually do is pile it onto my dining room table. It’s flat, easy to access, and I won’t need the table until about 5:30pm. That’s not closing. That’s losing! The worst is when I’ve put together a nice dinner and I go to bring plates to the table for Matilda and I, to find my loser pile in the way. Worst!
I do have all of the designated places for things. I have a file cabinet with nicely labeled folders, a piggy bank in the living room, a cup in the bathroom for Matilda’s hair clips. I just don’t follow that step of putting things directly into their proper place. And this is key. If you hired someone to come ‘organize your house’ or your life, a main thread would be to immediately place things into their position. Put them in their home. Look at your computer desk, your kitchen counters, the desktop on your computer…even your email inbox. Are you organized? I’ve started trying to get to a totally empty email inbox as often as possible. This entails creating simple folders, unsubscribing from all of the crap, deleting as soon as possible, and once a day, taking care of pertinent messages. It relieves so much stress for me to have a clean slate. But I need to work on the more ‘physical’ areas of my life…and organize those. I want to finish more projects on my to do list…not just start them. I don’t want to be a loser anymore…I want to be a closer! Please comment if you’ve found effective ways of ‘closing’ in your own life.
Music: Blind Pilot is an Oregon based band. They use interesting instruments like a mountain dulcimer, vibraphone, and a harmonium. Here’s a great one called New York.
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