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May 16, 2019 18:30:33

Your top line is someone else's bottom line

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 514 words | 315🔥 | 315💌

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 315🔥
Total posts: 315💌
Total words: 104112 (416 pages 📄)

I told @jasonleow I would expound upon the topic "when the low bar of 200 words becomes a ceiling."

People who write on 200WAD have a goal to write at least 200 words at a sitting. In fact, this is imposed by the platform itself. While this is good motivation to write at least 200 words, it can also become a limit. "I need to write at least 200 words" becomes "All I need to write is 200 words." What used to be the floor, the bare minimum, has become the ceiling.

Goal-setting is important. It is also important to reset your goals periodically. The whole point of setting goals and working toward them is growth. You will become better, which means you need to set higher and higher goals. To use a sports analogy, you need to move the goal posts.

Goal: "I'm going to walk at least 5,000 steps today." This is fine but once you consistently reach 5,000 steps it's time to set the goal higher. Otherwise, you are not pushing yourself, and the once stretch-goal of 5,000 becomes a fallback when you should be aiming for 6,000 or 8,000 or even 10,000 steps.

It's easy to play games with yourself with setting goals. Now let's take it up a notch and talk about your goals compared to the goals of other people.

Your top line is someone else's bottom line. 

When you think you can't push yourself anymore, just remember that the ceiling you are trying to reach is someone else's low bar. 

I'm out of shape. I'm not a runner. I guess if I tried I could run one mile and hopefully not pass out. Running one mile is definitely a ceiling for me. Talk to any runner, however, and running one mile is nothing. That's barely a warm-up. That's probably not even the bottom line for a runner. A runner is probably going to run at least five miles or more. I did not use this example to demonstrate how pathetic my running ability is, although it manages to do that nicely. The point is that I should first set a goal realistic for me. Then I can look at others who are successful at the task and decide how good I want to be and set new targets.

Let me return to the example of writing. Yes, you can write your 200 words and be done. Some people are writing hundreds or even thousands of words in a post. Some people are writing multiple posts in a day or writing elsewhere besides 200WAD. There is the exemplary group known as #Teamstreak with members writing consistently every day for at least thirty days. 

If you are ready to get serious about improving your writing, think about your goal. It doesn't matter where you are when you start. Your top line is someone else's bottom line. 

A month from now, six months from now, a year from now people are going to see where you are and realize their top line is your bottom line. And so it goes.

But you have to get started and keep going. Who's with me?

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    @brandonwilson - Like Jason and Seun said - the goal is 1826. 5 year streak. That is a top top top line. 135 done - 1691 to go.

    Keni avatar Keni | May 17, 2019 11:24:31
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    @brandonwilson nicely expounded. Love this line - "Your top line is someone else's bottom line." It's a great reminder that if growth is our goal, we can and should push ourselves and shift the goal posts, as you said. After writing here for months, almost forgot about it! Thanks for highlighting it. More needs to hear this. Maybe we should even have a new team hashtag for it!? #WriteYou3000 ? ;D

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | May 17, 2019 13:50:49
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