You can easily cut it with scissors or break it between your fingers. But give it time and it can move mountains.*
“Lose 10 pounds in a week!”
“Write a novel in a month!”
“Heal your condition in a weekend!”
They all sound too good to be true. (Hint: They are.) They’re not impossible by any means, but they’re also not terribly sustainable. Sure, you could lose 10 pounds in a week, but chances are when you lose it that fast … you’ll put it back on just as fast.
The orthodontist said that the face mask and the tiny rubber bands would actually pull my 9-year old son’s jaw into position and correct his underbite in less than 10 weeks, but he needs to keep it going to make sure that the jaw doesn’t move back to where it was.
Did you catch that?
The rubber bands need to stay in place–even after the goal has been reached–to make sure that things don’t go back to how they were.
How can something as small and wimpy as a rubber band that’s smaller than a dime move something as strong and immobile as a human jaw? The answer is one of those really annoying ones: a little bit every day.
Sure, the orthodontist could probably do surgery and correct my son’s overbite, but it would hurt (a lot) and it would probably shift back into place sooner than you can say no dental insurance.
Dude, enough with your kid’s mouth. How do I write my novel, lose ten pounds or heal my medical condition?
Warning: annoying answer coming up.
Here’s the secret: you’re not writing a novel, you’re writing a page. You’re not losing ten pounds, you’re losing one. You’re not healing your condition, you’re healing a cell in your body.
If I sat and watched the rubber band on my son’s jaw, I wouldn’t be able to see it do anything (OK, fine, I have sat there and watched). That’s the irritating part: change is imperceptible. You can’t watch yourself lose weight any better than you can watch grass grow. You could do a time-lapse video of it, but that’s the same as doing photos of yourself every day (writing, losing weight, etc.). Hey wait a minute, that would mean measuring your progress. What a concept.
Don’t be concerned about your monthly goal. Concern yourself with your daily goal or even your goal for the hour.
Oh, and don’t sit there and try to see things change before your eyes. Set up a time lapse video.
- Possible: word
- Impossible: novel
- Repossible: page
*Or at least an upper jaw.