How to do… ANYTHING

I am aware that the title of this piece makes a Bold Claim.

Fear not, it shall deliver.

Whatever you are talking about, whether it be: creating a piece of art, building a global community, mastering a disparate skill, learning a language, cultivating a loving relationship, raising a child, healing one of the world’s ills, or learning how to ride a stunt goat, the underlying principles are the same.  Common threads run thru all these things, and many more.

In this post, I’ll show you what they are…

flt3

Let’s get real for a moment.

‘Talent’ by itself is worth next to nothing.  There are talented people living on the street and eating out of garbage cans right now.  The same is true for passion.  You can be as passionate as you want about something, until it is time to pay rent.

Talent and passion are dwarfed into extinction, beaten hogwild, and trumped beyond measure every single time by doing The Work.

What does ‘doing The Work’ mean?

It means: giving the thing of your choice, your focus, and your love, over time.

Now let me be really, really clear  When I say Focus I mean: one-pointed quality attention.  You can *work* at something for 24 hours a day but, if your mind is forever wandering wandering wandering, all that time spent will probably amount to a big fat nada.  Focus means giving whatever you are doing your best energy, your absolute best self.  And, as well as your focus…

You have to Love whatever it is that you are doing.  You must love it so hard that fetishing it daily, coming back again, and again, and again to pour your very life into it, is a joyous act for you.  Simply wanting the end result does not cut it.  You have to love the process of the work.  Without this love it would be very hard, if not impossible to sustain something over…

Time.

Things grow organically.  It is a law of nature.  Before you plant the seed, the soil must be prepared.  When the seed has been planted it must be tended and watered daily.  If the fruit is not eaten it will go to waste.  Some of these things can be sped up, others cannot be rushed.

Which brings us to an important point.

I don’t believe ‘you can become great at absolutely everything’, and I don’t believe ‘you can have it all’.  Focus and time are finite resources.  ‘Selection’ (meaning: making the core choices about where to spend your time and energy) is an art.  If you are truly focusing on one thing then you are, by definition, cutting off everything else.  Therefore: the amount of things you can build, create, and master are also finite.

This is not a bad thing.

Why?  Because with this realization comes the knowledge that: decisions must be taken and sacrifices must be made in terms of where you spend your time.  There is freedom, joy, and liberation in the making of these choices.

You don’t have to take my word for it, try it for yourself.  Choose your work.  Fetish it with your focus and love over time.

See what happens.


My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist.  If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music.  Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.

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116 Replies to “How to do… ANYTHING”

  1. Super well written post! This: “When I say Focus I mean: one-pointed quality attention…” really resonated with me. Moreover, I’m glad I read it before I start a brand new week! Thanks for sharing this insight :)

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  2. Yep. There is an argument somewhere in a book or other study saying that putting the time into something is the key. The geniuses or “skilled” people we know from history for their ‘talent’ (I prefer the term ‘passion’) got there through putting ridiculous effort and time into their work. It’s far less common, almost unrecorded for someone to come up to that greatness by natural talent without the time put in. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Anytime my friend.
      You are right of course, this has been well documented in certain texts. Most recently, the ’10’000 hour rule’ in Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’, and also in Robert Greene’s ‘Mastery’.
      Thanks for stopping by, hope the day is treating you well,
      – J

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  3. Inspiring! You’re so right, and is not just an art to focus in something, in this contemporany world, full of information and technology (distractors) is more than art to focus, but is not impossible.
    Thankyou!
    P.D., sorry about the grammar and redaction, buy I preffer to try than to say nothing. :)

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  4. Absolutely speechless…you dont know thats exactly what i needed.to hear. “How.about do.anything” very prolific and true and yet simple if your mind is already knowing those things. Thank u for that post

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  5. We have had our blog for 2 years but we hardly ever updated. Last year we had 27 times. In the last 2 months we buckled down and have already updated 23 or so times. The results have been great. We are enjoying ourselves and slowly gaining attention. I just imagine what could have been if We had done this for the last 2 years. I use that as motivation to keep trying. Thank you for the reinforcement of what we are doing. And keep up the great work.

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  6. Hi James. That is one killer opening paragraph. And I found myself suddenly wanting to learn to ride a stunt goat. This is, until I read the rest of your piece, and realized I did not have the passion to focus on it over time. Well done, you! And thanks for stopping by my blog too.
    -OM

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    1. ;-)
      Thankyou in return, your comment made me smile.
      When I wrote this blog, I had no idea that a stunt goat was a real thing. Apparently, it is.
      I only ask that, if you reconsider your position and do feel compelled to try it, that you send me pictures. ;-)
      Yours,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi James – I like reading your posts. They are not only very well written, but practical and realistic. This sentence, in my opinion, is quite true:” I don’t believe ‘you can become great at absolutely everything’, and I don’t believe ‘you can have it all.” All the best.

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    1. Thankyou very much for your very kind words. ;-)
      Yes, I think that the myth of ‘everything’ ends up making people unhappy. I have found that, when I set limitations and really focus on the most important things for me, I am happiest.
      All the best to you, I hope you have a great day,
      – J x

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