Randal Hits a Setback


Hello again, my readers (aka Ginny, Matt, Sam, and maybe Dan),

I’m back, and I’m hungry. Or at least, I’m hungry for hunger.

I started this year with a commitment to writing 24 posts over the year. And I actually did pretty well for a while before suddenly stopping. I didn’t even leave a “Dear John” letter. How inconsiderate am I?

Well, I was working on a book. The focus was first on how to build skill, then it changed to how to improve yourself post-mistakes, then how to bring your A-Game to the table. I did quite a bit of research, made quite a few detailed outlines. And then when it came time to actually start writing…I didn’t actually feel like I had something worth saying.

I’m back here at the drawing board, trying to find a topic and something to say that I’m deeply excited about. I want a cause. Something to be proud of proclaiming as loudly as I can because the world will be so much richer, powerful, and happier for it.

I’m a little discouraged about the setback, but I do think that setbacks are normal. The best things in my life are the things that had the bumpiest roads. I don’t think it’s the difficulty that makes them great–that just speaks to the height and rarity of the goal. But the difficulty makes me feel like I deserve the prize. One of my favorite quotes is from Randy Pausch: “The brick walls aren’t there to stop you. The brick walls are there to show you how much you want something.”

I also think that I did make progress in the interim. I did a lot of solid thinking and research over the last few months, and I’m excited about sharing that work with others. Expect posts on risk, focus, priorities, worst case scenarios, all of which I believe have merit. I’d be surprised if my ultimate point weren’t directly related to one of these topics.

More importantly, I think I’m returning to the blog with a stronger goal. Where before my intention was to explore my field in a meandering way, I am now specifically looking for something I need to say. What’s worth the one/three/ten years of my life that a book would require?

My intention now is to explore the field of motivation deeply and personally. What has already been said that’s worthwhile? What do I have to add? I’m trying not to put too much pressure on the process. If there’s value, I’ll say it. But I always want to be moving forward. I think that if I can keep moving in the general direction of things that kinda sorta have value, then eventually I will have what I want, something with dramatic value. Though probably not without a few more setbacks.



  1. Yay

  2. I second the ‘yay’. I think that most books fall into two categories: those that say something, and those that don’t. The former get talked about (positively or negatively) and the latter, well, wind up in the bargain bin.

  3. Yeah, bring on the ignorant criticism!

  4. Glad to see you back in the blogosphere! Look forward to new posts.

    • Er, a little awkward. Many (all?) of my posts were resent when I was tweaking the website as a calling card in preparation for doing seminars. So I AM hungry, but that hunger is not primarily for blogging. (Though I may get back to writing an additional post here or there.)

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