Think Before You Stop, or stinking thinking leaving you sinking?

“Stinking thinking”. A cute little saying, isn’t it? But it traps many lot of us and prevents us from achieving the goals we have for ourselves.

Devil on a shoulderWe envision it as a little devil on our shoulder whispering in our ear. And he is so subtle. We get an opportunity to do something, something we have been longing to do, maybe even training to do. Continue reading “Think Before You Stop, or stinking thinking leaving you sinking?”

Facing the Giants

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I’ve started reading Les Parrott’s 3 Seconds. One of the early points that resonated with me was to embrace the challenges that confront us. I’ve found that this is rarely my first reaction. I usually want to leave, or find a way out. But that was rarely the way to success.

Parrott gave a great illustration of what it takes to make us strong.

Jack Badal, a zookeeper, invited his friend Gary Richmond to watch an amazing phenomenon: an Angola giraffe giving birth. He stood next to Jack, watching this elegant creature as she stood to her feet. That’s when the calf’s front hooves and head became visible.

“When is she going to lie down?” Gary asked Jack.

“She won’t.” he answered.

“But her hindquarters are nearly ten feet off the ground!” he exclaimed. “Isn’t anyone going to catch the calf?”

“Try catching it if you want,” Jack responded, “But its mother has enough strength in her hind legs to kick your head off.”

Soon the calf hurled forth, landing on his back. His mother waited for about a minute, then kicked her baby, sending it sprawling head over hooves.

“Why’d she do that?” he asked.

“She wants it to get up.”

Whenever the baby ceased struggling to rise, the mother prodded it with a hearty kick. Finally, the calf stood— wobbly, but upright. The mother kicked it off its feet again!

“She wants it to remember how it got up,” Jack offered. “In the wild, if it didn’t quickly follow the herd, predators would pick it off. (3 Seconds, pages 61-62)

Continue reading “Facing the Giants”

Becoming An Overnight Success

I recently spoke to several friends about what we are getting out of our writing. It’s easy to look back on our blogs, or our unpublished writings, and wonder is it worth it?

Especially when it’s the week the mortgage arrives in the mailbox. Writing is work, so why do we do it? And are all the hours at the keyboard getting me any where?

We are all eager to find a quick route to success. You can tell this by all the schemes, nonfiction books, and online courses to show you how you can become successful.

One author who seems to have succeeded quickly was recently written about in the paper. (Yes, I still read the local paper.) Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, whose debut novel, The Nest, was purchased for what the paper called seven figures. It came out on March 22, after two years of working with the publisher. Already, there are talks of it becoming a movie.

Did you notice it was her first novel? Don’t you wish you could have success so quickly?

But it wasn’t quick. She had been writing advertising copies for twenty years and has non-fiction articles published in The New York Times. Six years ago she decided to make writing fiction a priority.

And for you who think you are too old to start. She is 55. (Just happens to be my age also.)

For most writers, seeing any success takes time. You have to learn the craft and meet people. And then it will depend on your definition of success. Is it a dollar amount, being able to maintain a certain size and type of house, or reaching people?

Jesus has a parable about this, The Rich Young Farmer (Luke 12: 16-21). I don’t think it was ever on the NY Times Best Sellers List. He was so rich he wanted to build extra barns to keep all his crops. But God was going to call him later that day for a different accounting.

Does that change your view of success? Our pastor this week gave an illustration using an extension cord to represent eternity and the plug was our lifespan. We worry so much about the plug, the now, we don’t see the much larger picture.

Maybe for us it’s too soon to quit. Maybe you’re still just getting started. Even if, like Ms Sweeney, it’s been twenty years.

(Here is a good interview with Ms Sweeney. It’s amazing how close she was to not writing her big seller.)

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