Life is full of challenges, yet it is the obstacles that we overcome that make us better individuals. Some days I want to sleep in late, such as today, and some days I have more thoughts running through my head, such as today, that I just need to put pen to paper or more likely thumbs to iPhone screen. While many people may look at my real and anonymous life as being chaotic, I’d have to disagree as chaos usually involves a lack of order. Order, objectives and tasks are a central tenet to what makes me, well me, yet I’ve learned to be malleable and have to be able to balance family life, work life and time for me to write. If you follow me on Twitter (not so subtle hint: follow me here) you would observe that I mainly interact in rhyme or haiku. It’s my schtick, it’s what I do. Darn it, there I go again.

For the first 18 months of my Twitter existence, a follower could not tell if I was male or female and my logo (the one on the top left of this page) was very feminine. This was all by design. Then one day in October 2013, I decided send out a tweet that was short and sweet: “Ask me anything.”

To some of my followers, they didn’t know what to do but then some questions started rolling in and I answered everyone, including “When is the right time to lose your virginity?” Of course my response was something like, “There is a right time for everyone and I “lost” mine when I was 17.”. It was also during this Q&A session where I disclosed that I am man. There had been hints along the way, but this simply prompt facilitated a different level of dialogue. Even to this day, I still receive tweets saying people had no idea I was a male. That makes me chuckle and smile.

But yesterday I was in an off-site Vistage executive meeting for my day job and our topic was about strategic planning. Our speaker was talking about tasks, accountability and goal setting for organizations. I slightly modified one of the quotes he mentioned, which really struck a chord with me: “If we do everything mediocre, we will be a successful failure.”

This really got me thinking about my life and the things I have and have not accomplished and writing down personal goals and challenges. If we don’t challenge ourselves we tend to live in a world of complacency and mediocrity. So that half-written book I haven’t finished, that’s mediocrity. I need to set a goal to get that finished. That call I need to make to a contractor. Until I set a firm date to do it, I’m settling for complacency.

For me, not writing is also a form of complacency. I was asked yesterday how it is that I could have just completed 30 article posts on the last 30 days and I was explaining to the other executives, that while the time I finish this bike ride (yes, Tony I’m writing this while on my indoor bike trainer) this article will be penned.

The Product Poet on his Bike

I further explained that I set out a goal of finishing this challenge and in fact, this was the second sort of challenge I completed this year. My first was a 30-Day Plank Challenge which motivated me to exercise more. So far I’ve lost seven pounds in the past eight weeks. The second challenge was my 30-Day Blogging Challenge.

So what’s next for me is National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo, which is in April. The challenge is to write “30 Poems in 30 Days.” I’ve completed this challenge the last two years and the discipline to write “30 Poems in 30 Days” has made me a better husband, father, boss, brother, poet and elevetes me out of mediocrity. There are many great websites for poetry prompts, but I’ve used.

I’m be soon starting a 30 Poems in 30-Days Challenge where I will be able to email you a daily prompt for 30 days. So if you don’t think you can write poetry, here is an article I wrote that might be helpful, Easy Peasy Poetry: How to Become a Poet.

Read: How To Become A Poet

And don’t worry. If you don’t know how to write poetry, you can of course “Ask Me Anything.”