Short message today from Beijing Airport, en route to the China/Mongolia border.
Study people that have been successful in the way you want to. Figure out what they did.
Modernize their ideas to the present day. This isn't hard, there's tons of underoptimized stuff everywhere.
Draw up something like a plan.
Okay, now - you've got to stick religiously to that plan, even when things suck. If you've drawn up your plan halfway intelligently, it probably includes a lot of serving others, a lot of working hard, and a lot of striving to improve.
Some days this sucks, especially when you have a huge workload and tons of commitments and don't have any idea how you can do them all in time.
Also, very frustrating when you put in 100's of hours and the tangible results move only a little bit.
Keep going. Macro patience - keep moving forwards.
Serve more, work more, strive more.
Eventually it'll catch up with you, and all the external tangible stuff will line up.
There's a long lead time on it, though. I remember Judd Weiss explaining to me how it works in real estate - the higher up the chain you're working, the more money you make - a lot more - but it also takes a lot longer.
The people that work on the huge developments that make multi-millions - these take years and years. If you're working just by the hour, you get your money fast, but you don't get all that much money. Brokers take a little longer to get paid, but still make a fraction. The people that draw up the plans and coordinate huge developments - they work for years without seeing their payday, but then they make millions.
I think everything is usually like that. Build, serve, work, strive. As long as is necessary. Keep going when things are moving slowly. And you get there.
I think that's the value of planning. Draw up your plans intelligently, based on observation and evidence as much as possible. Then, you stick with the plan more than your day to day emotions. Lots of things affect emotions - working and striving and doing a lot isn't always fun. Actually, it sucks sometimes.
And then you break through, and things are going right, and it's glorious. Takes a while. The bigger things you're working on, very likely the longer it takes.
So be it.
Coffee's awesome here in the airport lounge. Really, really good. Off to Mongolia.
Had a hell of a time at the Consulate trying to pick up a visa for longer than thirty days. I had my ducks about as lined up as I could, but it was going to come down to whether the consular official wanted to help me or not.
She didn't. Most useless human being I've encountered in a while. "So, by the rules, I'm sure I'm eligible for this visa..." - "I'm sorry, you're not." - "My friend got this same one, under these exact same circumstances, in Mongolia." - "Maybe you should go to Mongolia." - "The point is that it's the same rules there and here." - "You're an American. I'm sorry." - "Umm, right, yes, I'm American. So is my friend. I read all the rules that are available online, and I believe I'm eligible for this visa. I have the forms and money. Can you please just take the forms, the money, and put it into processing?" - "I can't do that. Next person, please." - "Excuse me, ma'am..." - "I can't help you. Next person."
That's just a snippet of the whole exchange. Man oh man, I've met some very friendly and useful and helpful consular officials and immigration officials, but I've also never seen a position with such uncalled-for amounts of arrogance. She wouldn't refer me to anyone else, wouldn't give me a copy of the rules that she's referring to (online, the website says I'm eligible) and was just a patronizing and nasty person. And I was pretty polite and friendly up until about 90% of the way through the conversation.
I run through all my options, and anything that's going to make a scene or escalate things is more likely to do harm to me than to get what I want.
I leave the Consulate, the security guard is very friendly and cool on the way out as I pick up the bag I left downstairs (thanks, that helped), and I sit down with some food and coffee.
This illustration is what happens when I mix my metaphors.
The alternate title for this post was "Thoughts Become Words", but then the illustration would have made even less sense.
I've been having a lot of conversations about intention lately. I really think it's important to live deliberately - to live on purpose, not by accident, not to just get swept along. To have dreams, and to pursue them.
But there's a balance. You gotta know what you can control and what you can't, and you have to make your peace with what you can't.