It is still your life to live

60463-cupplants7-21-2013
I finished another journal today. Tomorrow morning I’ll be reaching for another bound book of blank pages waiting to be filled with fragments of thought and bursts of creativity.

I got curious as to how the last journal ended, so I grabbed it off the shelf and remembered that I used the last page and a half to write a new preface for my book Refuse to be Afraid, which I was re-releasing last summer.

Much has changed since I finished that last journal. But I still believe this with all my heart and soul: Continue reading It is still your life to live

Fleas, monkeys, and the box

fleas, monkeys and the box

Zig Ziglar told the story of how to train a flea. If you put a bunch of fleas in a glass jar with a lid on it, Zig said, the little critters will jump as high as they can, which usually involves banging against the lid.

Naturally banging against the lid is not a pleasant experience, so the fleas eventually will jump only as high as they can without slamming the ceiling. After a while you can remove the lid but the fleas will not escape the jar, because they have learned from experience not to jump as high as they can. Continue reading Fleas, monkeys, and the box

Conquer the fear of finishing

finish.JPG

Unfinished symphonies – novels left hanging – at least the famous ones had death as an excuse.

What’s keeping you from finishing? Fear of completion? Is that a thing? It may just be, given how many people never finish their Great American Novel or The Big Project or … fill in your blank.

Fear that when this is done, you’ll have exhausted all your ideas? Fear that if it’s as good as you think it could be, more will be expected of you? Well. of course it will be.

Life is a series of encounters where the first question is, “What have you been up to lately?” It’s useful to have an answer.

Your dreams and wishes can come true

a dream does not work unless you do

“A dream does not work unless you do,” said the sign. It’s true.

“I can only write when the inspiration strikes,” said the author. “Fortunately it strikes at precisely 9 a.m. every day.”

“God helps those who help themselves” may not be a biblical quote, but it makes a good point. “A person makes his own luck through hard work.”

You can wish on as many stars as you like, but the key to making your dreams come true is to make your dreams come true. Make. Your dreams come true.

Oh, wishing is not a bad thing. The power of “I wish” is that the words that come next define what you want. But simply wishing doesn’t make it happen.

Set your mind. Do the work. And then the dreams start coming true.

It isn’t enough to know who and what you want to be – you need to get down to the business of becoming. You need to earn the rest at the end of the day.

You have to intentionally dive in and roll up sleeves and grab the tools and do the work. Not a flurry of activity and movement and no purpose; you have to know the why and the when and the where.

I worry about you

willow-worried

I worry about you sometimes, old friend. I sign onto Facebook or Twitter and you seem so angry.

From the links you link and the comments you post, you seem to believe the most vile and hateful stuff about your fellow human beings, especially people who hold a different political belief than yours.

You seem so agitated and out of sorts that I almost hope you are just being a cynical player of the game, repeating your favorite party’s most hostile talking points to fulfill H.L. Mencken’s description of the practical politician’s mission.

I would much rather believe that you are just playing that game, because the alternative explanation is that you have entered a twilight zone of paranoia and fear and hatred where only you and your fellow travelers hold the key to enlightenment and everyone else is lost under the spell of an evil darkness.

Do you really believe some of the things you say? Do you really believe those things about me, a person who disagrees with your political philosophy? I know for certain that you are wrong about me, and therefore I wonder how wrong you might be about the people we don’t know whom you describe as villains.

And I worry about your health. All that bile coursing through your veins is bound to take its toll at some point.

So I think about you, and when I remember I pray for you, in hopes that you are not as unhappy and angry and hateful as you seem; that you spend most of your time enjoying this precious, wonderful life we have been given; and that what we see on social media are only representations of brief moments of hatred and despair that fade into the background when you log out and reflect on the big picture.

Because if you really are this angry and this blinded by hatred, I worry about you.

Living free is harder than anything, except for not

Writing

There are folks out there who believe they know better than you what would make your life complete – not even that, they believer they know better than you about everything, and so they set themselves up as your ruler.

“No, no,” you say, “in America we choose our rulers.”

Actually, that’s not true: The system was set up so that we would choose the people who oversee the institutions created to serve us. They just decided that made them our rulers. Some folks never did quite understand the paradigm shift of 1776.

We rule ourselves here. We are responsible for ourselves. It’s harder that way – but hard has its rewards. It’s how freedom works – hard, but ultimately satisfying. Not necessarily comfortable – sometimes not comfortable at all – but satisfying.