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Focus, determination, and perseverance are essential to just about every aspect of your life. Each characteristic is unique and together create a synergy.
Focus is one’s ability to concentrate exclusively on a particular thing through effort or attention.
Determination is an unchanging intention to achieve a goal or desired end.
Perseverance takes determination a step beyond by using steady and ongoing actions over a long period of time to ensure its intention is accomplished. It continues on through ups and downs.
These elements combined with positive thinking and projection can be an unstoppable force.
I’m a huge fan of positive thinking and projection. I believe our mind has a great influence over our well being and the direction our life can take. Granted, it’s not always easy to harness that influence, but there is enough content out there, including The Secret, to at least strive to think positive and project.
For example, Jack Canfield and co-creator Mark Victor Hansen, of Chicken Soup for the Soul, were rejected 144 times from publishers. Finally, in 1993, their book was accepted. Since they were in debt and couldn’t afford a publicist, they did their own promotion. In 1995, they won the Abby Award and the Southern California Publicist Award.
In a teleconference I attended with Jack Canfield as the speaker, he said he and his co-author created vision boards of what they wanted. They even took a copy of the New York Times Best Selling Page, whited out the #1 spot, and replaced it with Chicken Soup for the Soul. They put copies of it everywhere, even in the toilet. They had focus, determination, perseverance, and they envisioned and projected success. The rest is history.
On a much smaller scale, my daughter and co-author of Day’s End Lullaby, Robyn, practices the philosophy of The Secret. For ten years she dreamed of being in the audience of the Oprah show. She actually got tickets twice, but for one reason or another she was unable to attend. It didn’t stop her though; she persevered and kept trying. She knew one day she’d accomplish her goal and she did.
So, what has this to do with you and me as writers? Plenty.
The elements for obtaining your goals are the same whether for business, pleasure, or writing. Just about every writer has heard the adage: it’s not necessarily the best writers who succeed, it’s the writers who persevere.
Be focused and determined on your writing goals. Have a ‘success’ mindset. This means to project success, along with taking all the necessary steps to becoming a successful and effective writer. And, don’t let rejection stop you – persevere.
...Yeah, isn't it? I could say I am convalescing if I had been sick. But writer's block hasn't been grouped under any diseases or disorders so far. But, this is something I am saying to convince myself that I will get back to writing soon. But this has been pretty bad. Let me put it out frankly. I haven't been writing the novels at all. Today, I wrote a paragraph of the new novel I had begun. But, how huge a thing is that? Not really much work. But it took some effort. Because may be, convalescence is tougher than the illness.
Anyway, I have been promising myself to be good to myself and yesterday, just out of the blue, I took out a new plan. Positive Thinking Days. Starting from yesterday, I would update my status with a positive thought about myself, my life or situation or whatever that comes to my mind (That's what they want anyway).
So yesterday, I wrote:
Positive Thinking : Day 1:
I Love Being A Writer. And A Promising One At That. :)
And today, I updated:
Positive Thinking : Day 2:
I Pray For Those Who Left Me To Have A Great Life That Was Worth Leaving Me.
Because, A Great Life Is What My Freedom Gave Me. ;) :)
I didn't realize just how many of my daily thoughts are crap. Seriously. Unless you're a positive person by nature, I think you'll agree that our thinking tends to lead us down a negative road. Want to abolish those crappy thoughts forever? Then grab a copy of, Happy Crap - 8 Tools to Choose Your Thoughts for Prosperity, Productivity and Peace by Erika Oliver.
This book isn't just another 'self-help-find-the-golden-path-to-life' read. It's laid out in a simple, easy-to-follow and practical format that truly will open your eyes to how much negativity our brains can conjure up; most of it needless.
Oliver offers short exercises that point out areas where negative thinking creeps in and 8 easy tools we can use to combat it.
We all want to be happy and lead productive lives, so don't waste another moment letting your brain rule with crappy thoughts, get your copy of Happy Crap today.
As American as______? What would you fill the blank in with? Ronald McDonald, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, Betty Crocker or someone we didn’t mention? Who do you think is the quintessential culinary icon that never lived? Below Andrew Smith, editor of The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink gives us some history behind these American icons. Please let us know in the comments who you favorite is! Be sure to check back on Thursdays throughout May for more great posts by Andrew Smith who teaches culinary history and professional food writing at The New School University, serves as Chair of the Culinary Trust and as a consultant to several food television productions.
In 1963 a Washington, DC McDonald’s franchise invented the Ronald McDonald icon. Ronald McDonald appeared on national advertisements beginning in 1965 and the following year, Ronald McDonald became McDonald’s official spokesman. (more…)
I'm starting off the new year right with this lovely calendar book personally signed by Delsie Chambon that I picked it up while at Silver Bella in November. It's so beautiful inside and has large areas in which to write in. I think I will use the areas to write at least 3 different things I am thankful for each day (with none being the same) for the entire year. This will really help me to focus on the positive this year. If you are struggling in life and cannot see the good in your day, try this process, it really works! Did you know that a person thinks an average of 79% negative thoughts and only 21% positive thoughts in a single day? That alone gives me reason to continually look on the positive side of things!
Unfortunately, the bug in my computer is not a positive thing. I am still struggling with this unknown bug even though my husband reformatted my entire computer right before Christmas. We think it came in an email so I spent the better part of 3 hours today deleting all emails and sent files in my Outlook today. Tonight I am still getting error messages. Because my computer is partitioned into so many sections reformatting is a huge process not to mention loading all the programs again. If I am away for a while again, you'll know why. If you are sending emails, please send them to my hotmail account; that will keep them from invading my home email again.
I'd like to thank all of you who have been so supportive of me in your positive notes, emails and comments on my blog, it really has meant so much to me and has inspired me to continue to grow creatively. I've also been able to get to know some of you on a personal basis as well which has been very special. To all of you, I wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
If I were one to make New Year's resolutions, I'd be a week behind. As it is, I'm one to make any-time-of-year resolutions, with certain restrictions:
I won't make outcome-based resolutions ("I will lose weight"—a commonly made and almost as commonly broken New Year's resolution), only behavioral ones ("I will bike several times per week").
I cut myself a lot of slack. ("If I bike five times per week, that's great. But if the weather's bad or my knees flare up, less is okay.")
Whenever possible, they should be things I can enact immediately. ("The bike's sitting there. I can use it today!")
I won't make resolutions based on "I shoulds," only "I needs" or "I wants." ("I feel better about myself, mentally and physically, when I exercise! I want to do that more often.")
I won't make lists of resolutions. If I enact a resolution right away, there's no reason to write it down. And if it's important to me, I won't forget it.
I made a personal resolution, in December of 2005, to write at least one page in my notebook every day—something strictly behavioral and within my control. If I missed a day, I forgave myself but got back on the wagon immediately. I made the resolution not because of any external pressure but rather because I was unhappy with my lack of writing routine and lack of follow-through in my writing projects. I didn't wait for January 1 to arrive; I started right away. A year later, I had a novel manuscript to send out.
In the two years since, I've signed with an agent and finished another novel (not to mention worked on a lot of projects that will probably go nowhere). Finding a publisher, at this point, is largely out of my control. If there's any writing resolution to be made, it's to continue writing one page a day in that notebook of mine. Some days I can do much, much more. But even at my most uninspired, most depressed, and most busy times, I know I can write one notebook page. It's my anchor.
I really enjoyed Carol Grannick's column in this winter's Prairie Wind, "New Year’s Resolutions, Optimistically." She has many great things to say about making positive resolutions and coping with the emotions that accompany life's changes.
I appreciate Carol's talk of "normalizing" one's journey and feelings. This isn't a term I was familiar with, but I very much like the idea and know it's something I would like to work on. I tend to be very hard on myself in a lot of ways, force issues into black-and-white when they're not, and assign positive/negative values to my emotions. Carol says:
Moving forward is always full of obstacles and detours. Greet those obstacles and detours gently, with curiousity for the information they hold.
Feelings are simply clues to your internal movement as a human being. You may have lots of different feelings as you move toward your goals. They are not good or bad. Greet them with interest (literally: “This is interesting. I am feeling ______”) instead of judgment, and they will come and go more easily.
Based on my own criteria, I can't resolve "to feel better about myself" (that's an outcome), but I'm resolving to change the way I approach obstacles and bad feelings. And I'm enacting it immediately. So mote it be.
Life is also very insistent when it needs attending to and easily distracts one from creative pursuits no matter how much one procrastinates ... :) I've had so much to attend to lately that I find myself slightly (or hugely depending on how I want to view it) blocked where art is concerned at the moment. So I've been fiddling around more with typography lately and this is one of the results.
I hand-draw into my sketchbook first now, as my tablet PC seems to have given up on me, and then scan the drawing in and polish it up in photoshop. After which I transfer it into Illustrator to fine tune the lines as it's the smoothest way of changing the colours on the letters if I wish to do so.
I'm considering opening up a new store on zazzle devoted entirely to my play with fonts and type design, as they seem to be getting increasingly popular. It's also fun and almost as therapeutic as drawing, so I won't be giving up on it anytime soon. Cheers!
I write. I write music. I write music and lyrics, heartfelt poetry in journals and silly stories on wrinkly paper airplanes. Writing is a wonderful expression of creativity. It calms and invigorates, challenges and rewards. And, most importantly, writing craves inspiration.
Being inspired can be a mystical thing. We find the word “Inspiration” on coffee mugs, greeting cards, and “Go get ‘em!” wall posters. We see inspiration in Nike commercials and Rocky parodies. We mock inspiration as goofy fashion designs made of duck feathers and oil paintings of bizarrely posed, overweight disrobed women.
So what is inspiration, really?
Inspiration is the very thing that moves us forward. It sets our pulse racing and dares us to set the bar higher than we ever dreamed possible. Inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. To feel inspired, a person must dismiss the stresses of life and simply observe life. What does nature do? What do inorganic things—buildings, clothing, machines—do?
When I write songs, I draw my inspiration from other people’s stories and personal emotions. The words are a part of the natural flow of an experience. The tempo of the music matches the feeling a person would have if the lyrics were happening to him.
If you desire inspiration, you can find it anywhere. Everywhere. You don’t need a coach shouting encouragement. Just notice the craftsmanship of the bird’s nest outside your window. You don’t need a great revelation, complete with dramatic music and fireworks, to create a wonderful story. Just witness the lovely, small moments an elderly couple shares sitting side-by-side on a park bench.
Finding your own creative inspiration is the first step toward inspiring others. By expressing our true selves through music, art, and literature, we become more unique and more understanding of others. We learn to respect ourselves and the wonderful things we have accomplished. And, in turn, we learn to respect and appreciate others’ accomplishments.
Finding inspiration can be incredibly valuable. Finding inspiration can set off a chain reaction which can change the course of our lives.
And all we have to do is open our eyes and let it find us.
Your mind effects the universe, and it also creates it. Your thoughts absolutely determine your reality. How you generally feel inside and what thoughts you generally carry in your head is what's going to keep coming at you.
David Horvath, creator of Ugly Dolls, on achieving goals.
Let's do this exercise (I stole from a podcast :). Be in a relaxed space & state of mind. Close your eyes & focus on your breath. Now quietly repeat the word "trouble" to yourself. Do it a few times. Feel the word & the sensations it causes. Ok, now repeat the word "compassion" and "love." Feel the sensations those words cause. Do you sense that subtle difference in weight? I did when I did the exercise and if you did too... well, that is the power of positivity!
Imagine being in a state where you feel the word "trouble" constantly as opposed to one where your mantra is "love." If that weight was replaced by lightness, how different your entire world would be! You are the universe you create for yourself. And if it's gloomy, sad or bitter, then you'll see it all around you. You have to be open to the loveliness of the world to receive its loveliness. You have to believe in it first to let it into your life.