Cancer Forced Me to Face My Greatest Liability

Death has visited my family three times the last 10 years. So the fact that all lives will expire is not a big deal.  It is a fact that I just don't lose sleep over. 

Buuuuut….  A cancer diagnosis can bring a person face-to-face with his own mortality, prompting him to realize deep inside that the days are truly numbered.  The legit prospect of my own departure from the globe gives me cause to confront one of my biggest liabilities:  

I get really excited about something for two or three weeks.  The excitement eventually wears off and I fizzle out until the next exciting idea comes around. 

Wash… Rinse… Repeat!!! 

I call it “The Fizzle-Out Syndrome,” and I am perpetually afflicted! 

My single desire has been to put my Wendy out of a job, which means I need to generate enough income to eclipse Wendy’s income.  We have been married for close to five years I am nowhere closer to this goal. Why...? The Fizzle-Out Syndrome. Mind you, it is not that I do not want my Wendy to work.  It is this: I do not want us to depend on her income. 

So I started tweaking the way my day-to-day life goes… in my quest to rid myself of such an nasty affliction. 

I am now extremely critical of the way I spend my time each day.  I'm discovering activities that are not in line with my goals. It is not a shock that achievement eluded me for the last five years.  Here’s how the process works... 

I write down one of my goals each day in my journal.  It could be a micro goal (daily, weekly, or monthly) or a macro, big picture goal. Next is to plan out the day’s activities with respect to that goal.  My calendar is maxed out on some days and totally empty on others. The added medical appointments due to cancer can fill up an empty calendar in no time at all.  That’s living through cancer, right? 

Then I go about my day doing the things I believe are in line with my goal(s).  I document how my time really gets utilized: chopping out, working in the backyard, fixing our cars, housework, blogs, working on lesson material, preparing for a gig, flipping stuff on Ebay, etc.  I do the best I can to track my actual performance. 

At day’s end, I evaluate the activities, comparing them to the micro and macro goals for my life.  It is a time of analytical accountability that forces me to see the errors of my ways and make corrections while I’m in motion: Ready, Fire, Aim!  Here one correction that is in work... 

It is time to cut down on social media gazing without deliberate purpose and intent.  I am not anti social media. I love it a lot. The sites and apps are amazing and incredibly useful.  Engaging posts and interactions like sharing blogs, words of insight, tips on drumming and music theory, and bits of encouragement are ways to add value to other participants.  Social media gazing, grazing, and “escaping the suck of life" (not that my life sucks) are time wasting activities to be avoided at all costs.  

It's a simplistic process that yields results: write down the goal(s), track the activities, compare the behavior to the goals, tweak the activities where necessary.  Repeat the same process day after day. It’s my system of accountability because I seem to spend most of my time alone these days, immersed in my daily grind. I expect more shifts in perspective as I continue.

My Wendy deserves better from me.  I’d love to see her work because she wants too.  Today, she works out of necessity. That needs to change.  That is why I’m obsessively seeking the cure to the Fizzle-Out Syndrome. 

Do you know the Fizzle-Out Syndrome?  Have you found a cure? I’d love to hear it. 

What is your best productivity hack?  Your success may be the thing that helps me put my Wendy out of a job! 


Side Notes: 

Gary Vee, Darrin Hardy, and Gary Keller offer amazing insights on productivity.  Check their videos and books out please 

The 365 challenge mentioned in previous writings is my first attempt at overcoming the dreaded fizzle-out syndrome.  Run the same process everyday… tweak where needed… and patiently wait for the results to pop! 

I genuinely believe I will win this round with cancer and stay on the globe for many more years.  

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