In my last post, I explained why doing things “good enough” is the best goal for getting you where you want to go. But as I pointed out, good enough really means good enough to get the job done. That means, there are a few things you have to get totally right to succeed in the life of your choice.
(1) Feel okay about pursuing your dream.
We live in a world in which most people don’t pursue what they’d really like to do in life. That means you’re the odd man or woman out if you do. And that makes you a target—for everything from light-hearted quips at the office to “you’re even crazier and more irresponsible than I thought.”
It's often true, too, that the closer the relationship (i.e., extended family versus friends), the more likely the comments will tend toward the “crazy” end of the continuum.
You'll have to feel quietly confident that you’re doing what’s best for you and your family and go about the business of making it happen. And avoid your own internal messages that might say you have no right to be Different and really enjoy your life. (I’ve written elsewhere about the need to accept that “pleasure” is a gift from God, and how accepting feeling good about something can help motivate your quest for Different.)
(2) Accept that you’ll make mistakes.
Even if you have all the time, money, and skills to do everything absolutely right, you still won’t.
Learning curves and the innate hardness of life assure that things will go wrong—often due to our own efforts (review Genesis 3:17-19 if you’ve forgotten the part about the ground producing thorns and thistles). But it’s okay. If you set your expectations so as to allow for mistakes and problems, it feels much better than if setbacks shock you every time they show up.
(3) Believe you can do it.
Accepting #2 is half the battle on this one. Enjoy the learning process. It never ends, but if you like learning, you’ll also realize if you learned how to do one thing outside your comfort zone, you can learn the next. (For more on this, see my post "Believe in Different . . . Go and Do Stuff.")
Hang in there—especially at first. “At first” may even last for several years, but the longer you go without giving up, the less attractive giving up becomes. And take heart from what you’ve already accomplished.
(5) Have fun.
A Facebook meme shows a vintage picture of a man on a simple tractor with the caption, “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have.”
I admit it’s hard to laugh when the tractor won’t start—again—but even the troubles sometimes have built-in compensation to make it bearable. In my country living dream, for instance, chickens get out of the pen at times. But rather than fret, it’s more fun to laugh at how stupid they look and sound as they cluck around the yard.
The challenges to any of these five may come from outside,
but your success comes from what you do with them inside.
- - - - - - - - -
P. S. Here’s a bonus must-get-it-right point if, like mine,
your plan for Different includes moving to the country,
but you’ve never lived outside the city:
Know what you want in a piece of land.
While our vision for country living morphed even while we were shopping for land,*
the basic list of we wanted served well. Think it through, and crash test your ideas against reality as you look for a place in the country. Just a few of the primary considerations:
• How serious do you want to get about farming?
Professional? Enough to supplement your family’s menu? Not at all?
• Do you envision recreation, production, or aesthetics as
your primary motivator for moving out of town?
__________________________________ *For a great story on how plans can morph, check out my post “A Vine-Ripened Vision.”
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