What Deadlines, Pumpkin Spice In Summer, And Ambitions Have In Common

“Do you believe they have pumpkin-flavored everything already?! It’s still summer!” – people (worrying about mostly pointless things)

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein (but he didn’t really say this, h/t Laurie H. and then Quote Investigator)

“Two necessities in doing a great and important work: a definite plan and limited time.” – Elbert Hubbard (who, let’s face it, needed this quote cleaned up a bit, so thanks internet)

I’m struggling with some deadlines lately. There’s a lot on my plate.

But without the deadlines, without the constraints, without the reasons for the seasons, what ever gets done?

The best deadline respect some people pull off is when they’re complaining about how pumpkin spice shows up before back to school at their favorite caffeinated sugarwater dealer.

They can do better. We can do better. OK, I can do better too.

Find a deadline worth worrying over. Pick something you want to accomplish. Draft a definite plan, and then start sweating its ever encroaching end date while you put in the work to make it happen.

Doing work that matters requires doing some form of work. Not just talking about it. Not just putting pumpkin spice on top and thinking the lines will form any minute now.

[self-talk next, but aimed at you too if you need to hear it] The greatness you’re after, no matter the scale, needs a plan and a timeline. Whether it’s for the best career ever or how to get a few things done this afternoon. A plan [check] and limited time [check] are the ingredients to the magic “achieve greatness” formula, so let’s go.

ps. And if you find yourself with a pumpkin spice latte on an 85-degree day and you’re happy about it? Praise the gods from the top of mount capitalism.