Did you know I’m offering a free 30-minute session to help you suss out your Unbreakables? Those are the rules that define and shape your Pursuit, the ones that make it consistent in the places it most needs to be.
I’m a big believer in those Unbreakables. They are an immensely powerful tool in helping your work to be as powerful and resonant and unmediocre as it can possibly be.
Well, they are if you actually fucking use them.
Hands up all of you who have gone through a worksheet or a course or a deep reflective process, come out the other side with insights, and then locked those insights into a drawer never to be seen again?
Yeesh. That’s a lot of you.
So the name of the game is to take your understanding and send it out to get shit done.
How do you do it?
I know how I do it. (Here, and at Cash and Joy.)
Whatever your Pursuit is (Lego model of Minas Tirith, personal training biz, miniature oils?) the work has a structure.
If you’re building the model Minas Tirith, let’s pretend one of your Unbreakables is that you’re striving to build as closely as possible to Ted Nasmith’s illustrations. Therefore, you add a step to the work where you regularly move back from it with a copy of his illustration in one hand, and look from one to the other to make sure they’re aligned. That’s structuring how you do the work to incorporate your standards.
Or say you’re the personal trainer, and your guideline is “Exercise isn’t a chore”. You might add notes to your client sessions to make sure they aren’t repeating their workouts, and think up a dozen different silly routines to get them laughing while they lift, and carefully put together playlists that create the right mood. All these things make your rule real.
And if you paint oils and your rule is “Small brushstrokes add realism”, then you might throw out all of your bigger brushes so it isn’t possible to cheat.
In every case, you can shape your reality to make it easier to follow the rule, or even impossible not to. You won’t have to deliberate about it, you’ll just follow the structure and do the right thing automagically.
Checklists and processes and all things like them are beautiful when used well (and a terrible nightmare when used badly, but that’s a tale for another day).
You can insert your Unbreakables into your checklists, whether they’re physical ticky-box ones or mental reminders. I have a mental checklist I run through before I publish an article that includes boring things like basic SEO, but it also includes rules like, “Does this article serve both the biz and the reader?”. If it doesn’t, I need to do some major edits before I publish. Again, it keeps the rule real.
Line of sight
- Write out your rules.
- Put them somewhere relevant.
- Move them any time they become invisible.
Commit to your rules
In articles, in artist’s statements, in conversations with peers, in interviews, in social media, in your bio, on your business card, in your reports, in short any place you talk about your Pursuit.
Once they’re in your bones, you prob’ly won’t break them even when in the depths of depression (trust me on that one), when you’re panicking about money (trust me on that one, too) or under most any other circumstance except you deliberately choosing to break the rule for an important reason.
Whatever your planning process, your Unbreakables should be an explicit part of them. Feel free to read them aloud before you begin.
The important caveat
Revisit your Unbreakables regularly. Make sure they still provide useful insight. Change them when they no longer serve you.
As long as you do that, they should continue to be a blessing in your Pursuit for a long, long time.
It’s your turn.
Do you have any thoughts about Unbreakables? Care to share any of yours and how you implement them? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
And don’t forget, if you want to visit or revisit your Unbreakables, sign up for the free session today!
Love and peanuts,Catherine