Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What We Often Forget

Copyright 2008 Soderman Consulting

I read a great post today over on on some of the things we forget while we rush through our busy lives. The post covers such things as:

  • Take Joy Where You Find It
  • Free Yourself By Forgiving Your Rivals
  • Do Not Take Yourself Seriously
  • Enjoy Friendship and Companionship
  • Give to Others

The point made by the post is that by observing some easy-to-follow, yet easily forgotten steps, we can liberate ourselves from the stresses we feel each day, and in turn, lead a more joyful life.

Why do we forget such simple lessons as "take joy where you find it". Children know this lesson instinctively. They can find the pleasure of splashing in a puddle, playing with mud pies, or just a big hug, and each creates just as much joy as the next.

But as we grow older, as we become grownups, we gradually lose the sense of wonder that a child thrives on. We become cynical, and "reality" intrudes. It doesn't have to, of course. We just get wrapped up in the trappings of life - the bling, the bills, the relationships - and we start to forget what is important: the joy.

Take some time, maybe even now, to think about the last time you felt joy. Was it today? Yesterday? Last week? Can you recall it at all?

Without joy, life is just a stumble from one event to another. Don't waste another minute. Find what it is that brings you joy, and strive for it, revel in it. Then share it with those around you. It will multiply, and you won't forget it.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Don't Take No For An Answer - Even From Yourself

Statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Courtesy dbking

Claire over at Bebo Author asked the question "What Is A Writer Anyway?"

While she addresses this on the level of a writer, the more general question is "What's holding you back?"

As she notes in her blog entry, many folks hold themselves back. Whether fear of rejection, procrastination, or just a lack of confidence, many folks give up their dreams, leaving the lingering thought in the back of their minds - what if?

In the end, there really is only one obstacle to reaching your dreams. And that obstacle is you. As Claire points out, the only way to be a better writer is to write. You can apply that to pretty much anything. Want to be a better singer? Sing. Want to be a better bricklayer? Lay brick. Do the work.

Now some may say "I want to be successful NY Times bestselling author!", to which I respond with a simple question - Why?

When I hear folks say something like that, I don't hear that they want to be a great author, to excel in writing. I hear that they want the fame and/or the cash that goes with being on the bestseller list. But if that's what they want, there are much easier, much more lucrative ways to do it. If the money is the goal, go do what you do best and find a way to make it pay. If what you really want to do is write, then do it for the love of the process, the art. The money will resolve itself.

More often than not, it's those nagging doubts inside that get the better of us. Those little voices that say "I can't" are the real obstacles. My advice to you is - don't take "no" for an answer, especially yourself. Figure out what you really want, set some goals, and put your best foot forward. Break it into small steps, and achieve each one. What once seemed impossible will suddenly develop into a possibility, then a probability, and finally reality. You just need to forge ahead, with those goals in your sights.

Stop telling yourself you can't, start telling yourself you will.