When I began moving my ideas onto Your Pen Paul, I had the good fortune of receiving some honest criticism. Experiencing the behind the scenes work firsthand, my fiancée told me upfront that my writing was “beautiful,” but it had none of my personality or voice attached to it.
At this time, I had already finished a good amount of the content I wanted to have before launching Your Pen Paul, and in particular, I had nearly completed this post, which was around 3,500 words at the time.
I was proud of what I created, but it wasn’t going to work.
Everything I had written and designed was for the future. Everything I had written and designed was how I wanted things to be if I had already reached the goals I was conjuring up. And because I hadn’t reached those goals, my voice and perspective were completely lost. I was speaking from a dream world rather than real experience.
I am so thankful for this reality check. Everything I wanted to say would have fallen on deaf ears and my time and effort would have felt wasted.
The lesson learned from this experience has been understanding how to manage my vision. Coming up with a great idea is an instant source for motivation, but if I’m not prepared to realize the barriers I will come across, my dreams will remain a fantasy. If I look toward the future without addressing what needs to be done in the present, I will never take the steps needed to push forward.
Some would argue this is where I need to embrace the “fake it till you make it” mentality. However, I believe this results in one of two things. Either I truly “make it” and everyone following me is led astray, or I lose myself and allow my fake reality to take over.
Neither of these outcomes meets the mission of Your Pen Paul. Everything I define as success works off the principle of community. As Cameroonians are fond of saying, “nous sommes ensemble.” We are together. If I rise above everyone else, it will make for an awfully lonely celebration. I want you all with me, so let's rise together.
As you find your purpose and define your future goals, you must understand how to manage your vision. Narrow your focus on the 24 hours in front of you and your vision will evolve organically through your mistakes and successes. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed (and you will) by everything you need to get done, remind yourself to focus on today.
Tomorrow will come regardless of you worrying about it, so take advantage of the moment before you and get to work. This isn't hypothetical. The fact that you are on this website, reading my words, is proof that remaining focused will get you to the finish line.
Believe in yourself, stay focused on today, and never settle.