Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.
I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business.
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.
When asked to define “Great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”
He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.
Like any other amuse bouche, you may have hated it, but it was worth every penny that you paid for it, right?
Goal Success by Choice
We can choose to be successful with our goals if we make the right daily choices, build the right habits and behaviors and adopt the right mindsets. Goal Success by Choice shares lessons about the choices we can make that can either move us closer to our goals or hold us back. I hope this post helps you get a little closer to crushing your goals.
An Unproud Moment
I recently did something I wasn’t proud of.
This isn’t a confession about some big moral lapse or dangerous mistake. It is something a little more tame than that but still something I have thought about for days.
I published a blog post that I was not proud of and, frankly, I thought it sucked. It was not my best work and I should maybe have scrapped it and started fresh.
The name of the specific post has been withheld to protect the innocent. I would also request that you not go through my recent posts and try to figure which one was bad.
While I am not particularly proud of what I published, there is a silver lining. This experience reminded me of three big lessons about goal success. I am going to share my story and these lessons today.
The Creative Process is Hard
I have learned a lot about the creative process, and the writing process in particular, over the past few years. One of my biggest discoveries is that the process is hard.
Each week, I publish two Operation Melt posts. This means that I am creating over one hundred unique creations every year. Assuming each post takes an average of ninety minutes to create and publish, I am spending over one hundred fifty hours writing every year. This doesn’t even count my various social media posts through the week.
Though I hope to maybe get there one day, Operation Melt is not my day job. So, I need to find ways to fit my writing into my daily life. I still have a full-time job that consumes at least forty hours per week. I spend a significant amount of time exercising; almost fifteen hours in the first six days of this week. Plus there are all of the other normal parts of life that take time.
The creative process isn’t something that I can just jump into whenever I want. My mood has to be right, my mind has to be in the right state and my other stressors have to be managed for my creativity to be at its peak. This is when I can find “flow” or feel like I am “in the zone” when I write.
When I can find “flow,” the words come pouring out and I am fairly happy with the results. When I can’t, when I force it, my writing life sucks!
When writing my unproud post, I wasn’t feeling any sort of flow. I had a lot of competing demands in the week when I was writing and I had put off writing until the last minute. When I sat down to write, I wasn’t in the mood and I had to force myself to write.
I checked the task off the list and wrote what I needed to write. But the process felt like work and not the creative outlet that I was seeking. The result was a product I wasn’t proud to put out into the world. The creative process is hard.
We are all capable of doing hard things in our lives. But being capable doesn’t always mean that the results will be perfect. When our result is something that we aren’t proud of, we just need to understand what led to that, learn from it, forgive ourselves, and try to do better next time.
Lesson 1: we can all do hard things in life but the outcome won’t always be perfect.
Beyond not feeling flow when I was writing this post, there were other reasons that I thought it wasn’t my best work.
The tool I use to check the grammar and style of my writing gave me some harsh criticism. The post was too long, the overall performance score was only in the high eighty percent (versus the ninety-nine that I achieved in my prior post) and the “engagement” rating called it “a little bland.” Does that sound like positive feedback to you?
The review from this app, combined with the feeling that I was forcing the creative process, caused my inner critic to start talking to me. “This post sucks!” “Why are you even writing?!” “Everybody is going to hate this!” “You aren’t a good writer!”
My inner critic’s voice was so loud that I considered pulling the plug on the post completely. What happens if I skip a week and just try again next week? My inner critic almost convinced me to give up.
I didn’t give up! Like many other stories I have shared over the past four-and-a-half years of Operation Melt, I pushed past the adversity and my negative self-talk and stayed on track. It may not have been my best work, but that isn’t going to make me give up!
Lesson 2: critics suck and your inner critic is the worst of the bunch. Don’t listen to the critics and don’t let them convince you to give up. Stick with your process and good results will come.
My unproud post was clearly not my favorite writing experience. It felt forced, the quality metrics said it was bad and I had to shout down my inner critic to even get the post out the door. But there was one aspect of this post that helped redeem the entire experience.
The message was good!
The idea behind the post was clear, it was something beneficial to the reader and it wasn’t a message that everybody is saying.
I started Operation Melt as a way to share my fitness journey. I knew I was having an impact on people and I wanted an outlet to tell my story as a way to help others.
This was the same idea behind my book. I had accomplished something big and I did it in a way that was unique and made it easier for me. I knew it was likely that other people could benefit from learning my approach and could possibly apply it to their own goals.
Once the weight loss journey was done, I evolved Operation Melt into a broader platform to continue helping people accomplish their goals.
Do you have a goal or a dream that you haven’t acted on?
Too many people never even try to achieve their biggest goals. These goals die of loneliness, not of failure. I want to help inspire people to try, motivate them to keep going, and equip them with some tools that have worked for me and for others. Plus, now that I am a certified Goal Success Life Coach, I have a new set of tools available to help people.
The theme through all of these steps is that I want to help people.
My writing isn’t just a creative outlet for myself, it isn’t just my art. Though that is part of it. I write for a purpose and that purpose is to help other people achieve their goals.
Although my unproud post felt bad to create… despite the metrics showing that the writing quality was bad… much to the chagrin of my inner critic… the message was good. This post is going to help people. This is why I write.
Lesson 3: remember your why when times get tough, it will carry you through.
I hope that sharing my unproud moment with you and the lessons I took from it will help you get through your own unproud moments. Maybe your art or creation didn’t meet your standards. Maybe the scale gave you bad news. Maybe you lost a job. If you look hard, there are lessons that you can learn from these setbacks and they will make your ultimate victory even more rewarding.
Good luck and let’s crush some goals together!
Here are some other resources related to today’s post that you might want to read:
- Blog: Silencing the Haters (8/16/2020)
- Blog: Good Days and Bad Days (5/31/2020)
- Blog: Competing only with myself (2/16/2020)
- Blog: I still get nervous (2/2/2020)
- Blog: Week 118: Why I Believe in My Vision (9/22/2019)
- Blog: Week 115: My Story is Not About Weight Loss (9/1/2019)
- Blog: Week 57: Believe the Impossible, Achieve the Impossible (7/22/2018)
- Blog: A New Chapter Begins (12/14/2017)
Did You Like What You Read?
Was this post helpful or interesting to you? Do you want to read more? Don’t trust it to the social media algorithms. Join my email list below and get these posts delivered directly to your inbox every week. While you are at it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, your goals or anything else on your mind. Send me a note via my Contact Me form.