The Bobby Rock Newsletter #83 (11-6-22) - Better. Progress. Now!
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #83 (11-6-22) - Better. Progress. Now!
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Dear Friends -
Greetings from the west coast. Thanks for dropping in. I’m home in LA, but shit is poppin’ this weekend like you wouldn't believe. In fact, even this newsletter has been put together intermittently, updated as the day has progressed. Damn! Let’s jump straight into it…
In This Issue:
- Update on the Now… with a Nod to the Then: Trying to get it all done on a rare slammed weekend at home… plus, vegan cupcakes rock!
- The Key to Progress on Anything—NOW: Yes, you must have a vision… but you also must have lots of digits in place. Let’s examine this further for immediate progress on what’s important to you.
- Transitions: To My favorite doggie in the world... "It was a great run!" Man, this shit never gets easier...
Now and Then
I’m getting this newsletter out a bit on the late side this weekend, working things out on a Sunday morning. Been a hell of a couple days, stacked unusually tight with three important social occasions that all happened to fall on the same weekend. On Friday night, our guitarist (for Lita Ford), Patrick Kennison, got married to his beloved Nikki Stringfield, in Long Beach. It was quite the touching spectacle… warm and emotional, with a dash of irreverence for convention. Then yesterday, I had a couple birthday celebrations to attend, with the evening’s festivities featuring some killer vegan vittles… including cupcakes. And while I took very few photos at any of these events, I had to snag one of the vegan cupcakes.
These have become way more common these days (thank God!). And in most cases, non-vegans can barely tell the difference between these and “regular” cupcakes. But this is a relatively newer phenomenon in VeganLand, believe me. 30 years ago, a vegan cupcake would’ve been about as common as a four-leaf clover. Shit… I would not have known what to do with myself had I encountered one of these bad boys back then. And certainly, in the years since, all kinds of vegan goodies have emerged, all over the world.
Still, it all speaks to a greater collective awareness there is in just having these options around… a point made even clearer to me as I just happened to stumble across an old promo poster this morning for a talk I gave in LA over a decade ago.
The event was at a yoga studio in the heart of Santa Monica, CA. And yet, even then, the poster reminded me that I was to give a presentation largely dispelling concerns with the plant-based diet… in Los Angeles… in 2010, some 20 years after having gone veggie.
The journey, indeed, continues.
And speaking of journeys, here’s a bit of medicine we all could probably use a little hit of...
Better. Progress. Now!
Understanding the Numbers Game
"Measure what can be measured, and make measurable what cannot be measured.”
For anyone who has a mission, quest, or calling, a vision will likely follow. This vision will represent what the physical manifestation of this mission, quest, or calling might look like in the real world. To most, it will be a stunning, desirable vision, and this is good. If it weren’t, we might not feel compelled to pursue it, to fight through the adversity related to pursuing it, or to get back up when its pursuit knocks us on our ass from time to time.
And yet, this vision, as grand as it may be, will only be a fantasy until we add one main thing to it:
Huh? What the hell do numbers have to do with manifesting my extraordinary vision? you might be thinking. But it is true: To actually take an idea or aspiration from the intangible (a thought in your imagination) to the tangible (something in the physical world which can be objectively experienced by another), we'll need some numbers.
A schedule is built around numbers. A practice or training regimen is built around numbers. A budget is built around numbers. And, of course, our progress down that path can be measured in numbers.
Example: Interested in running a marathon? Cool. The vision of galloping across the finish line after 26.2 miles is a compelling one, indeed. Soak it in. You want to actually finish a marathon? Get ready for your life to become a balancing act of numbers:
- How many weeks will you train leading up to the race?
- How many days each week will you train?
- How many miles will you run each session?
- How many calories will you consume per day, over how many meals or snacks?
- How many ounces of water will you drink per day to stay consistently hydrated?
- What will this venture cost you in running gear (shoes, etc), training group or trainer fees (if you go that direction), race registration, training aids (electrolyte products, foam rollers, a Garmin-style watch (or similar device)? (Yes, dollars are numbers, too!)
- How many hours of sleep will you need every night for optimal recovery?
- How many cross-training sessions might you have each week, and what will those workouts look like in terms of duration, reps, sets, etc.
And we could go on. The point is, if you are looking for an optimal experience in running a marathon, these are all numbers you will get to know, while faithfully logging many of them in a journal of some kind.
Another example I covered in an earlier newsletter touched on the vision of authoring a book. For this, there are a series of numbers that will take your book from a fantasy in your head, to a physical thing in the real world that others can actually read. These numbers could include:
A hard deadline on the calendar for when your book will be finished (which, oddly, is often the first thing I recommend would-be authors decide on); A certain daily quota of words or pages to complete each day; A commitment to working on the project for x-number of minutes or hours per day as you record your progress with a stopwatch (or timer on your smartphone); A solid structure for the book via a detailed outline, and/or deciding on the number of chapters, page count, or any other “numerical” element of the work.
From there, you will have financial numbers either related to what a publisher might pay you in terms of an advance and royalties, up against all of their hard costs. Or, if you self-publish, say hello to a fair amount of editing, production, and marketing expenses, up against what you will have to sell to be profitable.
The point is, the mere thought of a book with your name on the cover is likely effortless and exhilarating to envision in your mind. But what I can tell you as a writer, co-writer, or ghostwriter of 10-plus books and counting, is this: the mathematics involved with actually getting that first “proof” copy sent to your house (a magical moment indeed!), is relentlessly dense.
So how do we stay on point with our "Numbers Game?"
What if you have your numbers in order, but are having trouble adhering to them? First, question the Vision:
Is this vision still important to you?
Is now the right time to pursue it?
Is another vision more important to you at the moment?
If all that checks out, then question the numbers (as applicable here):
Does this practice or training schedule fit in best with my current life situation, or do I need to rethink or postpone it?
Do I need to adjust my deadline (either sooner or later) to create better compliance with my numbers?
Do I really need this amount of capital to even begin, or are there actions I can take NOW to get things kick-started?
Remember, taking action, by its very definition, involves some kind of numbers… even if it’s just your time. Time can be tallied. Activities can be archived. Progress can be tracked. All of these things are quantified by numbers. And yes, your progress should be quantifiable, as well, although it might take a minute to see much of that in the beginning.
But don’t worry. You will know you’re making progress via one key attribute: discomfort. That’s right. Any time you add numbers to a process, you create a constraint: a necessary but often uncomfortable element to any process. In fact, numbers, by their very nature, create constraint, because now you can’t just wing it, or imagine it, or dream about it. You actually have to hit various numbers in your process that can be quantified. And as you add constraints to your life, it starts to get a bit uncomfortable. This is good. This is also why most people walk around with all of these glorious visions in their head about what they would like to achieve someday, yet are no closer to it today, than they were yesterday. (Yes, this includes yours truly sometimes, as well!)
Final Thought: The 1% Difference
When you do the math, it turns out that there are 1440 minutes in a 24-hour period…. and, I believe, one-percent of that is 14 minutes and 24 seconds. So let’s round it up and say that 15 minutes is roughly 1% of your day.
So, to simply make a 1% improvement—which will compound exponentially over time, by the way—can we simply commit to an initial 15 minutes (or an extra 15 minutes) of concentrated effort toward the vision that is most important to us?
I say, "Fuck Yes" to this...
+ + + + +
For more on the Visions and Digits concept:
For more on the “Fuck Yes” philosophy (and also the idea of calendaring a goal… which is a “numbers” concept):
To My favorite doggie in the world...
"It was a great run!"
My friends, I just wanted to acknowledge the magnificent life this sweet girl Mooshka has lived. I recently mentioned my BFF in Issue #81 two weeks ago. I was with her the day she adopted Mooshka as a puppy from a rough situation way back in the fall of 2007. Mooshka just celebrated her 15th birthday, which is “prehistoric” for a dog of this size/breed… and a testament to the kind of care she has received—and the quality of life she has had—living at the “animal nirvana” that is my BFF’s home.
However, predictably, age-related medical issues have finally caught up with her more recently, and today, as I was putting the finishing touches on this very Newsletter, my BFF called to say "it was time" for Mooshka to move on to her next adventure, and if I wanted to bid her a final farewell, I had better meet them at the vet hospital—pronto.
And so I dropped what I was doing and headed on over, then had the privilege of being among Mooshka's special inner-circle "peeps," as our girl peacefully transitioned to the other side. (And no, these transitions never get easier, even as we all know it's in our beloved's absolute best interest to move on.)
Mooshka... we will miss you terribly.
And if any of you have an animal companion (or two, or three, or more...) at home, give them an extra squeeze tonight. They are family… and we can never take their “being" for granted.
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