Stay the Course

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readMar 11, 2019

Turn Consistency into Success with Hal Elrod (The Secondhand Inspiration Project)

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“95% of our society — the ‘mediocre majority’ — fail, time and time again, to start exercise routines, quit smoking, improve their diets, stick to a budget, or any other life habit that would improve their quality of life. Why? Most people don’t realize the seemingly unbearable first 10 days of a new habit is only temporary.” -Hal Elrod

I’m embarrassed about how much I’ve struggled with developing my latest poetry manuscript. I’ve re-ordered the sequence of poems more than a dozen times. Full-fledged outlining, editing, and redrafting entire sections each time. I keep tinkering with and rehashing everything. It’s been months and I’m still stuck in the starting blocks, not even in the race.

I’ve been reading books by “better” poets. I see their creative vision in libraries and bookstores. I keep wishing I was in their position. I imagine these writers invigorated by their success. Then I look at my lack of progress and stack of unpublished manuscripts and feel frustrated.

What am I doing about this? Well, as cliché as it may sound, I’m trying. I do small things. I read a book and several blog posts on compiling a successful poetry collection. I’ve settled on a name for the book. I have a list of edits to make and contests I’ll enter once the manuscript is ”ready.”

Basically, I’m doing what I can, daily. It’s been months of contemplating, creating, struggling, and overthinking — but I work on it nearly every day. I’m not perfect, but at least I’m consistent. And sometimes that’s the best you or I could ever expect to be.

Truth is, most people quit a new goal in just a few weeks. It’s been scientifically verified. They can’t get past that initial motivation. Willpower by itself isn’t enough to get over the hump and find results. Even disciplined individuals have trouble remaining committed. That’s why most New Year’s resolutions become afterthoughts by Valentine’s Day.

In order to find success, you need to become committed, not just curious.

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com