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Filed Under , , on February 28th, 2015

Searching for Cookies

By Seth Kabala

103 days ago, I started a strategic initiative to achieve financial freedom, apex career status, and optimum mental health, all in rising amounts over the next decade. With any journey, it is important to set short-term goals to measure one’s progress, ensure one has stayed on the path and avoided stumbling into the dark woods, where thorns are curled as tightly as razor wire topping penitentiary walls, and, if necessary, correct course before the wrong-turn becomes an irreversible error, like turning right instead of left and driving the family station wagon into a lake. Blessing or curse? You decide.

I set my first milestone achievement for 90 days from start, and I missed it.

Since all readers of this column are geniuses, I know you’ve concluded I am 13 days past milestone one. When the clock ticked past 11:59p on day 90 without my having notched the milestone board with my dagger (yes, I keep a dagger for such occasions), I felt depressed. Didn’t want to exercise. Didn’t want to keep my feet motoring in foot-fire motion, knees chugging up and down like pistons in the angry engine of a Mustang Shelby Cobra GT 500.

That’s perhaps too lofty an example to feel bad about. How about this: I didn’t want to raise my foot to kick the cat, even when said cat was in prime booting position. Having an opportunity like that and passing on it? Now that’s depression. All I wanted to do was sit and stare at the wall.

How stupid is that?

How is missing a self-imposed deadline on a direction-changing initiative indicative of failure, zero chance you can recover?

It’s not.

If it were, I’ll wager society would be a wasteland of once-tried dreams, because how often have you struck gold on your first swing of the pick axe? Seen the sun reflecting a golden glint off of nuggets, the tops of which are barely poking past the settled plain of dirt, silt, and sand at the bottom of your panning tray? Employing a one-and-done strategy might lead to you finding enough gold to pay for gas at best, find nothing and become a friend of the bears until they get hungry and eat you at worst. But, hey. At least you didn’t beg for your job back.

Let’s say you were one of the lucky ones who found enough gold dust to either distill your own personal bottle of Goldschläger or exchange for a tank of gas, and let’s call that success. Did you earn that hallowed achievement on the first try? Those who answer yes are liars and douche-bags. We all love and hate the struck-by-lighting and won-the-lottery tales, because it leaves open the door for luck to find us with its magic wand and make all the hard work disappear with a swoosh and a snap and a sparkle of pixie dust.

But we don’t live inside a Disney movie; we live in the real world.

It takes time to get to critical mass, to achieve a certain momentum (different for every initiative) where things start happening. Momentum begets momentum (was reading King James earlier, thou should know), be it starting a new career, going back to school, landing a huge account, or finding the last bag of Archway Iced Molasses cookies in the metro area. If you drive around to enough stores, you will find the cookies. (And you can shut up about your cost-benefit analysis.)

My bag of cookies is on a shelf somewhere, and my sweet tooth is hanging around for a while.

Time to put the car in drive.

 

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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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