We only add another clang to the din by grabbing at the moment and living on expressed impulse. That’s how I see most individuals act on the internet. And they call it “authenticity.”

Instead, I advocate (and strive) to become a craftsman at what I do, and for me, that is to become a remarkable communicator. Whether laboring to compel action with words, developing a new marketing strategy for a client, or just writing this blog, I can quietly produce something that positively impacts the world around me, even if it’s just one other person.

It’s a practice. The practice is what is most important. Not the outcome. Practice long enough, and the results will work out. That’s what I believe.

I believe, too, that aspiring toward craftsmanship in what you do, allows for recognition and value for your work, and that brings personal fulfillment. Something where the reward is just carving out the time to do our craft every day to get better and make a difference.

We can take this approach with a new skill or to level up an existing one.

What is your craft?

Service and intent

Are we not here to serve? To create meaningful work and hold ourselves accountable? To discover and unleash our potential contributions?

My journey starts with a single step, and/but… I cannot guarantee success.

Nonetheless, my intent to improve, to serve, and to create value is crucial to my progress.

Too often in the past, I’d acted without intention, or worse, with the wrong intent, but now in this career iteration, I’ve embraced the purpose of service. With that, I see how to become an agent of change, a builder of significance, and a creator of impact.

It’ll take time, and it requires practice. It is the practice.

This is how I begin each day, and each project, with the intent to serve. It’s a mindset.

Learn more about what I do here.

The suit won’t burn

Once you’re Spiderman, you’re Spiderman for life. Forever. The suit won’t burn, and it’s flame resistant. That’s the point.

You try being Spiderman.

You get crazy calls in the middle of the night. Calls from the Chief of Police asking to catch a burglar trying to rip off the new flat-screen T.V.

Spiderman doesn’t care about the T.V.

Yet he pulls on the suit. That stinking suit. Because he didn’t get around to washing it yesterday.

And it’s hot with those sucker cups on the fingers. The bundle of ropes and a little package of equipment is cumbersome. He puts on the suit, anyway, and it’s his job.

Only Spiderman can put on that suit.

Off he goes. He is flying out from his living room window, swinging from rooftop to rooftop.

Until there is the poor, dumb burglar, the Chief called about. He is humping the T.V. on his back to the get-away car.

So Spiderman does what he does. First, he falls on him. Wrestles him, and just enough to whoop him. Then tie him up—no big deal.

You might think something big will happen to you when you’re Spiderman. That’s only in the movies, and it doesn’t happen that way – not even for Spiderman – in real life.

Nothing happens.

The Chief calls, and he goes.

The burglar gets an ass-whooping. Spiderman leaves him for the police.

The Chief calls again. Same story, different day.

Once Spiderman considered something different. He thought he might try something exciting like racing cars and something to make his heart beat at a different rate.

But once you’re Spiderman, you’re Spiderman for life. Forever. No turning back.

The suit won’t burn, and it’s flame resistant.

Maybe that’s your problem. Who knows. Perhaps that’s the entire problem with everything. But really, it’s an unknown blessing. Who you are is the best part once you figure it out.

Nobody can burn their suits, and we’re all flame resistant.

Work with heart

When taught poetry in school, I learned some verses by heart. We all took a turn reciting a poem. This was how I learned the written words, but without understanding the depth of their meaning. I knew a poem or two by memory, but I didn’t know what to make of it or why it should matter. I didn’t learn to say it with heart.

Lesson: work by heart or work with heart. The more I choose the latter, the better.

Efficient vs. Effective

When it comes to time management, I tend to focus on efficiency. I try to cram as much as possible into each minute of my day. That includes multitasking and juggling multiple responsibilities simultaneously. But the truth is that being efficient isn’t always the same thing as making the most of my time. I get a lot done, but am I achieving my goals and living my best version? So I shift my mindset from “getting it done” to “getting the right things done.” Just because I can do multiple tasks simultaneously doesn’t mean I should. Sometimes with some things, this is okay. But more often, my work requires a singular focus – from parenting matters to completing my best work for a writing client. And when I give myself time, I’m more patient, allowing myself to lean into the work and sit with it. No rush. So I increasingly recognize that I must give myself time to do my best work. By doing so, I not only can be more productive, but I’m also happier with the result and myself. It’s not hard to guess that this is a more fulfilling way to live in the long run.

Put your butt where your heart wants to be

Want to get stronger? Hit the gym.

Want to get faster? Hit the track.

Not sure how to level up? Consistently offer value.

The bottom line is: your body leads your mind.

So, get moving!

If you want to paint, get in the studio. Your heart and mind will follow.

If you want to write, sit before the blank white space and don’t get up until your fingers hit the keys. Resistance will fade away, and inspiration will take over. (Of course, it helps to arrive at the keyboard prepared with notes).

That’s all there is to it.

With my freelance writing work or any creative endeavor, I must “put my butt where my heart wants to be” if I want to do work that matters and continue leveling up. I show up regularly, regardless of setbacks or challenges.

Hello, 4:45 am! My ass is in the seat here at the home office.

Practice alone won’t make it

It’s a hard truth to accept but a necessary one. Mindlessly repeating the same actions repeatedly won’t lead to growth or improvement. Instead, progress happens when I make time for both doing and thinking. I must reflect on my actions, analyze my mistakes, and strategize ways to improve next time. The combination of practice and thoughtful analysis leads to true mastery. So, here’s a reminder not to mindlessly go through the motions. I do my best work when I build in the time to reflect, learn, and grow. In doing so, I will reach new levels of excellence.

Where in your life might it be wise to pause, reflect and refresh?

Choices are clues

My choices not only determine my priorities, plans, and results — they are also clues about what matters to me.

My choices are not to be taken lightly in the grand scheme of things, and they are not merely a means to an end but a revealing window into my deepest values and priorities. I try to be awake for these things.

My choices reflect my most actual desires, beliefs, and convictions. For instance, if I find myself toiling late into the night, it indicates that my professional aspirations are paramount. On the other hand, investing time in nurturing a relationship suggests that my connections with others take precedence.

My choices signify what I am willing to sacrifice and unwilling to compromise on. Each option carries weight, shaping my life and contributing to my personal growth and development (or lack thereof). Therefore, I must be intentional and mindful of my choices, for they hold the power to mold the person I aspire to become. I do aspire.

Again, being awake to think of each choice this way is essential for me.

What about you? Do your choices reflect who you are and what matters to you now?

In the spirit

There’s a difference between the things I do (or you do) every day — every single day — and those I do (or you do) only when the spirit moves us. Take note of that difference. One big difference is that once you commit (decide) to do something daily, you find that the spirit moves you daily. Once you decide, the spirit decides every day how to do it. Not if. I’m committed, I decided to use my freelance writing services to level up, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m struck by the things I’m propelled to no longer do and in awe of what I wake ready for. The deeper I get into the commitment, and the longer I sit in this decision, there’s no looking away.

Embrace the mess

Embrace the mess, and finish the dishes.

Embrace the mess, and keep up on the laundry.

Embrace the mess, and cut the grass.

Embrace the mess, and make your bed in the morning.

Embrace the mess, and show up sprite for work.

Every day there is something that must get done well, and there are problems to solve standing in the way. A phrase I often say to myself is,

Embrace the mess, and __________ (fill in the blank with any mundane household chore).

I say this to myself often, especially when there’s an ordeal, and the stress is prolonged. The phrase reminds me to be willing to accept disorder and take action to manage it. Practical steps like one foot in front of the other steps. Slow steps. “Embrace the mess” is never in a rush but always moving forward.

Whatever you insert into the second half of the phrase is an encouraging reminder that you must tackle it regularly. Doing so helps keep it under control and prevents your immediate environment from being stressful. If my environment is organized and efficient, I focus better and frees free time.

For example, a simple task like making the bed can bring a sense of order and control to a chaotic day. It sets a positive tone for the rest of the day because no matter how difficult the day ahead might be, you know the comfort of collapsing onto a made bed.

The “Embrace the mess” mantra helps me keep a positive and proactive mindset towards disorder in different aspects of life.

Today it was Embrace the mess and write the blog post. I’m glad I did.