Every moment of everyday, we choose our reactions, where we focus our attention, how we feel, and what we do. Whether we realize it or not (Or even want to admit), we are constantly making choices.
A choice is what we have complete control over. However, we often muddle it with excuses and outside forces. We allow others to make our choices for us. We trap ourselves in boundaries and limitations. We rationalize and justify our own bullshit.
Depending on the stories we tell ourselves, and the realities we believe in, our choices are being made second by second within those beliefs.
So, what is it you are telling yourself everyday?
What is your story?
I’m 38 years old, and depending on who you ask, I could be considered young, middle aged, or old. Haha!
I just consider myself lucky, though.
However, I still have yet to write a book, which is something I have talked about pretty much all of my life. I love writing and reading. They have always been a passion and favorite pass-time of mine.
So, why haven’t I written a book yet?!
Because of the bullshit story I keep telling myself.
Somewhere along the way, a few people told me I couldn’t do it, or it would be too hard, too frustrating, too impossible. Despite the majority encouraging me, I believed the few, and have since talked myself out of writing my book for decades.
Here is MY reality – I have a deep-seeded fear of trying and working hard on my dreams, because I have been destroyed in the past. My most recent devastation was a few years ago when I ambitiously went back to school to become a Chiropractor. It was the first time in too many years that I went for greatness. And, not even three months into my new adventure, it was all ripped out of my arms by people I trusted and loved.
Life has a shitty way of teaching us lessons sometimes. But, within those painful experiences, there are always beautiful outcomes if we look for them.
Had I not been forced into that difficult situation, and had not left Chiropractic school, I would not have my second daughter today, nor my third that is on the way!
Despite all of my gratitude, though, I still keep telling myself the same story about writing a book – “It’s too hard. I’ll get rejected too many times. It will take too long. It will never be a best-seller. I’m too busy with the girls. I need a real job. Why put all that work into something that won’t pay off?!”
What is even worse is that I am completely aware of the bullshit story, and what I can do to change it, yet I continue to soak in the same dirty water.
It’s time to drain the water, scrub the tub, and start a new bubble bath!
There is a disturbing truth in mediocrity – It’s safe, comfortable, and predictable. Sitting in the same dirty bath water, I know exactly what to expect.
We find comfort in knowing. It’s why as children, we love patterns and re-reading the same picture books. It’s why as teenagers, we repeat our mistakes and date the same losers. And, it’s why as adults, we stay in our shitty jobs and drink our deep feelings away.
Never writing my book, I can safely continue to talk about it and dream. The act of NOT writing my book (Because even inaction is in and of itself an act of choice) allows me the comforts of security, while pretending to seek out greatness.
I can make everyone else think that I am trying, even myself.
It is a ridiculous truth that so many of us play. Admit it.
C’mon, tell me your dreams. Your real ambitions. What do you really want to do? What have you thought about for years and years, and have just kept pushing into the background?
What scares and excites you at the same time?
Write down your bullshit story, from beginning to end, and then burn it.
Decide to work for it.
Just start, and adjust the sails as the winds change.
I’m going to start to write my book.
I might die before I finish it. It may never get published. I might get rejected hundreds of times. There will probably be days when I write a ton, and then weeks when I can’t think of a single word to write. Nothing may come from my book. Or, maybe everything will. Maybe it will become a national best-seller. Maybe someday, I will see my book in the public library and bookstore.
The one and only thing I know for sure, though, is that the process itself – The actual writing of the book, is what I will enjoy most.
All too often, we worry more about the outcome, when really, it’s the process, the journey that matters most.
We can’t know how it will end. We have no control over that. We can certainly give ourselves better odds, but never a guarantee. So, we might as well enjoy the journey itself along the way to whatever is going to happen.
If we don’t enjoy the journey, then there is even more pressure for a positive outcome, and an even bigger setup for disappointment. Everything starts to rely on that one outcome we seek.
We start to believe that the outcome is going to give it all meaning, when really it’s the PROCESS that gives it meaning. No matter the outcome, the act of working on your passion and dream is what living your life is all about.
I am going to write a book because I love to write and share it with others. NOT because I want to become a best-seller and make millions. Obviously, those would be incredible outcomes, however, those are not my reasons. Those are not meaningful to me. I am not passionate about fame and fortune. I am passionate about writing and connecting with other human beings through my writing.
So, here we go.
Let’s start writing a book!
The bubble bath is starting, and I’m soaking my feet in new water. Ahhhhh! 🙂