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Always remember your why

Ahh yes, the first week of November! Only two months until the new year, where does time get off to? Can you recall what you were doing a year ago today? I can’t seem to recall what was going on in my own life. If I look back I can see that I ran a 5k, but my posting died after inktober ended…So there is a good posibility that you may not remember what you were doing a year ago either. Or it of course could simply be my unreliable memory.

I work in the marketing world and we generalize people’s attention spans down to 7 seconds. I’m starting to wonder if that is directly correlated to short term memory problems? I read that since the year 2000 our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds down to 8, which just so happens to be shorter than a goldfish (they hold the record now-a-days at 9 incredibly long seconds ha-ha).

With our attention spans shrinking and the possibility that you may not remember what you were doing a year ago, I ask what do you have lined up for today next year? If I had to choose one thing that I’d like to accomplish, it would have to be officially starting my side hustle (I’m hoping that it is much sooner though). I’ve mentioned it countless times before (on other platforms), however I have never been able to accomplish my goal. This of course is for many reasons, ultimately I feel like none of them should have impacted my life or my goals the way that they did. In the spirit of keeping a positive mindset you just have to push through the negativity or fight your way out of it. If you started something, or plan on it, but are struggling to keep momentum it’s okay to take a moment to rest.

My biggest suggestion to you would be to remember your why. Why did you start? What sparked the interest in the first place? I’d even suggest writing them down and placing them somewhere you will look at them daily. Read them and never forget your why. It acts like a driving force to keep you motivated. I of course couldn’t have thought of this in this way until I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I still haven’t quite read through it a second time but it is on my to do list, which never seems to get any shorter.

I have to keep reminding myself of my why so I think I’m comfortable enough to share it here. I recall starting my passion for letters back in 2014 when I was going through a tough job transition. I would spend my lunch break tracing letters and playing with their forms breaking typography rules and getting back to my creative roots. This got sidelined by a new job opportunity that I took up in 2015 it took precedence over my lettering passion and I switched my focus to a deep dive into the world of marketing and graphic design. Of course that deep dive segued back into my love for letters and ultimately falling in love with calligraphy. So in 2016 I started back up with the Crayligraphy community making lettering pieces and playing with typography and cursive all in one simple and easy to get into hobby. But I slowly lost interest in typography, not 100%, but it wasn’t my main focus. To date I still love laying out a good type design, but by no means is that what I spend most of my focus on.

After losing interest in the typography genre and getting up to speed with my career change, I thought about what I wanted to do for a hobby, which brought me back to a memory of my childhood. I recall being 7 maybe 8, my mothers friend used to write in a rainbow of colors with a broad pen, to what I can only think of now as chancery or italic calligraphy. Quite the beautiful script if I do say so myself.

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She offered to teach me since we were neighbors (and the ’90s were much less chill on the helicopter parents thing) but I was young and dumb & declined the offer. Probably so I could go catch lizards in one of the nearby vacant lots, or cause some other mischievous trouble like breaking bottles against brick walls behind a nearby bar. Over the years learning calligraphy was always something that I thought i’d like to learn. Like the time my grandmother wanted to teach me how to speak Spanish and my stubborn ass said no. I’m still kicking myself for that one but I am currently on a 105 day streak in the Duolingo app. So I told myself, being the goal oriented person I am that I need to set a goal and that was to follow Merriam Webster’s word of the day and practice my calligraphy daily. Which I can say proudly that I did for 365 days. Every day in 2017 I sat somewhere and practiced for no less than 15 minutes a day. By the end of the year I was very impressed by how much improvement I had made.

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I wouldn’t be here to day typing this up if I hadn’t set a goal to make a blog. It took me much too long to start it but here we are. Set a goal nothing is too large, just set one if you think it’s too big. Take a step back and think about how many smaller steps or goals you have to accomplish before you get to the big one but celebrate each one like you would if it were that large goal. Don’t let your head get in the way, don’t let the naysayers stop or discourage you from your journey. It is your’s alone to take and it is well worth it and your happiness.

Let me know if you have ever set a long term goal and how you felt after you accomplished it. If not set one right now and do that hard thing you don’t want to do today and everyday until you accomplish it.

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  1. hannamccown

    Great post. I need to get back to blogging. I also want to learn calligraphy properly. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Doug

      Thank you for taking the time to read through it. I’m glad I could inspire and remind you. Let me know if I can be of any assistance in your learning journey.

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