If it was my book, I’d have added ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’ in one of the later chapters of The Success Principles. Because just days after finishing the last in my big pile of self-help books I am empowered and motivated. I don’t quite know where I am going yet, but I am going to Somewheresville, and I am going now. Or at least soon.
Hence I’ve emptied the kitchen cupboards, packed up my Cabinet of Precious Things, emptied the bookshelves and cupboards and am now in a permanent state of confusion with gaffer tape stuck to my socks. It’s a bit bloody difficult packing when you don’t know where you’re going or for how long, but Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog says ‘avoid failure to execute’ which sounds manly and unpleasant, but adds: “Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.”
I have launched directly into the major task of emptying the flat. My partner – who lives in it – is surprised.
Had I continued through ‘the twenty-one most powerful principles on personal effectiveness’ Tracy had ever discovered, I’d have seen 5-12 basically say focus and prioritise, but I’m taking a different approach. With all the clothes on the floor, boxes everywhere and nothing to cook with, plus the Virgin team on standby to snip the internet connection and notice handed to the landlord, staying here is no longer an option.
This is a good method, but not for the faint hearted. On the other hand if I’d drawn up a list of everything that needs doing to extricate yourself from a place, I’d have said f**k that for a game of soldiers and resigned myself to a life of underpaid employment interspersed with Word Poker sessions. A bit like eating sausages: you want them; if you knew what went into them, you wouldn’t. OK, some sausages.
So far, I might have baulked at several points, specifically: estimating storage space (do I have 100 cubic feet of possessions? I’ve never really thought of them that way); discussing global roaming charges and options; backing up my work on external hard drives (why have I been locked out of my own Rugged? Why does the external drive set up on the Mac refuse to acknowledge the hard drive on the PC?); password storage (unless I have them tattooed in mirror-writing in rows across my backside); meter reading; weeks of goodbye drinks hangovers; Responsible Disposal of Household Items; the failure to sell my car – even back to the garage I bought it from a year ago for half the price (it’s a Peugeot GTI, parked in London, make me an offer).
But I haven’t, because I can’t.