Friday, January 7, 2011


It's the character trait I most admire in others and desire for myself. I'm flaky by nature and it's entirely too easy for me to start new things and not finish them (probably due to this). Which is why these words by one of my favorite authors have kept me up nights over the past two weeks:

I’ve been thinking about what I can resolve to do differently. There’s plenty I could name, but it’s the resolve that gets you, isn’t it? There’s a scene, towards the end of The Untouchables, when Jim Malone (Sean Connery), his body riddled with bullets, wheezes at Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) through blood bubbling up from his mouth: “What are you prepared to do?”

Malone doesn’t ask Ness what he feels like doing, or what he thinks he might do. He doesn’t care about emotions, or reasoned probabilities. He’s seeking resolve. What are you prepared to do?

It’s worth asking ourselves, each of us alone, in the lonely night’s dark when bluster and delusion have left us, when the hard truths of our lives press in close as shadows. What are you prepared to do?

Climbing Journal Mount Rinjani package | 29th May 2010photo © 2010 Bohari Adventures | more info (via: Wylio)

I have a lot of new resolutions this year, but per Mr. Miller I'm not going to share them. Instead, I'm going to share two new additions to my wall at work. They're the only thing hanging on my walls besides a picture of my smoking hot wife.

The first is the somewhat tongue-in-cheek-but-not-really Manifesto of the Cult of Done.

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

The other is a quote from Calvin Coolidge, 30th President.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

The character trait I resolve to build this year?



Jeff said...

Interesting comment about not sharing your goals, I think I can see his point. I need to set more goals for myself, long-term ones.

TJIC said...

Thanks for the link ... and the praise!

I read the linked article about not sharing.

I'm not convinced (that said, what works for one person may not work for another).

I find that I can compromise (read: "abandon") my goals when noone is watching, so I publicize my resolutions, so that I'll have an audience.

Works for me.