I am a Cat was written the late 1800s by Japanese novelist Soseki Natsume. A first-person novel from the perspective of a cat—as you might expect that cat’s got a lot of opinions. I’m not that far into it but it stopped me short in the beginning

The cat/kitten’s story starts with his earliest memory. He is alone and trying to find a way to survive. He is carried into a house and given some milk. He is almost immediately kicked out again.

This cat was sure that inside that house was food and warmth. Inside that house was life. His whole kitten self was targeted on getting into that house.

A determined cat. An irresistibly demanding cat. I can see it. I can feel it.

I have been that kitten. Single focus on the one thing. All the world whittled down to one thing.

You know what happens to that kitten? He gets what he’s set out to get.

Not every goal has that kind of clarity. I’ve had other goals that were more like fantasies. Things I would want when I remembered I wanted them.

Goals like that have less of a chance of coming true. Commonly, it’s only after they get promoted to the need-like-life status that they got real.

Life or death focus is hard to maintain. That kind of intensity can only last for a little while.

However, I might need the life-of-death focus to get it started. I might need to fuel the momentum of getting the lift.

For me, that means getting the idea organized. I will need to shape my desire into something I can get a handle on.

Long term goals require a system. When I’m fired up, I can shape it and break it to little pieces that I can actually do.

I can feed the hunger with those little bites. I can make it real.

I can be that cat.