The Road Not Taken

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Sharing one of my favorite poems…

Prioritize Your Peace

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog posts. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email:

1. Prioritize your peace today. Some people will never understand, and it’s not your job to teach or change them. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying. Remember, learning to let go of certain expectations and detach from certain people, are two of the great paths to inner peace.

2. If you worry too much about what might be, or what might have been, you will miss what is. Truly, worrying is a misuse of your incredible present potential. So do your best to focus mindfully on what’s in front of you today. Allow yourself to grow from what you’re living through.

3. Breathe deep. Be present. Every day is a series of a million tiny miracles. Do your best to see them. Remind yourself that clarity comes with letting go of what you assume your journey is supposed to be like right now, and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is.

4. As you inch forward, remind yourself, it’s far better to be exhausted from tiny bits of progress, than it is to be tired of doing nothing. Every step counts. Just keep doing your best, and don’t force what’s not yet supposed to fit into your life. When it’s meant to be, it will be…

The bottom line is, a mind well-trained with thoughts like these is one step ahead of the inevitable negativity life challenges us with. And we all need practice—lots and lots of practice. Because truly, the biggest and most complex obstacle we have to personally overcome on a daily basis is our own mind. Let that sink in. You aren’t responsible for everything that happens, but you ARE responsible for gradually and consistently undoing the self-defeating thinking patterns these undesirable experiences create.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Living in the Moment

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from Heather Havrilesky’s best-selling book, How to Be a Person in the World:

Sometimes you have to let go of your shiny imaginary creations in order to give in to the magic of the real world, which is far more glorious and full of hope than it first appears. By filling our heads with fantasy worlds, we not only start to expect too much but we also become easily bored with the real world and its very real magic. Or, we imagine that we can only exist in the real world if we fill our heads with magical distractions. We create relationships that aren’t based on real compatibilities but on the crazy mixed-up tapestries that we ourselves constructed in our overactive minds.

Rich tapestries block out the magic of real moments. Rich tapestries block out real people—love interests, but also other people who matter. Rich tapestries compromise friendships, and they block us from our career goals, and they blot out the sun.

But controlling your brain is not exactly easy. You have to train yourself to romanticize a life outside of the fantasy and create a tapestry that’s just as rich. That requires a buoyant solitude that isn’t easy to achieve.

A few things that will make your alone time more buoyant: Inspiring music. A clean space. Regular, vigorous exercise. Great books. A nice bath. A wide range of beverages in your fridge. Friendly pets. Engrossing home projects. Your setting matters! You have to put a little energy into your surroundings when you live alone.

But this is also about living in the moment, isn’t it? That something we all have to learn to do, whether we’re alone or not. That requires powering down all of the fantastical imagined things few will have one day and just soaking in this moment instead.

Source: How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

Choose the Right Mindset

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email:

Sometimes changing your situation isn’t possible—or simply not possible soon enough. You can’t get a new job in an instant. You can’t make someone else change his or her will. And you certainly can’t erase the past. But…

You CAN always choose a mindset that moves you forward. And doing so will help you change things from the inside out, and ultimately allow you to grow beyond the struggles you can’t control at this moment.

Here’s a powerful question that will support you with a positive attitude adjustment when need it most:

Who would you be, and what else would you see, if you removed the thought that’s worrying you?

Think about it…

Identify a specific thought that’s been troubling your worried mind lately, and then visualize how your life would be different if you removed this thought.

How would it change your outlook on your present life situation?

What other possibilities and opportunities would you see?

What else would you be able to accomplish with this shift in your focus?

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

When the Writing Well Runs Dry

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In a recent blog post, bestselling author Sarah McCoy shared the following suggestions for filling our writing wells:

Books. It is our marrow. I’ll be honest, I read very little fiction during my dry phase. I was drawn instead to nonfiction: famous persons autobiographies, biographies, science-based books even. I read new releases and books published sixty years ago. I gobbled celebrity tell-alls, chef memoirs, and everything related to British aristocracy. I highly recommend going old-school: head to your local library and bring home a haul of books. The beauty with libraries is that you don’t have to empty your wallet and you don’t have to read them all. If one topic doesn’t stir the well waters, close it, and move on to the next. The possibilities are endless.

Docufilms. One of my hidden passions. I watch at least one documentary a week. They are the precursor to today’s reality TV craze and vastly better produced, in my humble opinion. I’m a proud donor of PBS and a faithful subscriber to the TCM channel. These are my top two screen resources for historical films. I don’t adhere to a particular genre. I watch a forensic docuseries with as much gobsmacked interest as a docufilm about Oklahoman cattle farmers. Rags-to-riches stories pertaining to all fields are a particular penchant of mine.

Travel. Now that quarantine sanctions have lifted and we’re all safely vaccinating, the world feels shiny new and welcoming again. Simply getting outside of my comfort zones does massive good for the imagination! It allows me to be an anonymous observer—a third-person narrator of a new cultural experience. After all, isn’t writing simply a means of transporting readers to places, times, ideas, and people we want them to understand alongside us?

People. Be a listener. We’ve come through years of masking, self-isolating, and maintaining a six-foot distance. It feels wonderful to be close to people again. I have renewed giddiness standing in line at the coffee shop listening to the conversation behind me. So perk up those ears. Be curious. Ask questions. If you know someone who is an expert on a topic, get in touch! Be willing to talk on the phone, schedule a video call, or walk over to meet them. More often than not, an idea will come through a voice, a character, or a person sharing his/her untold story… because it needs telling.

Read the rest of the post here.

Choose Your Attitude

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog posts. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email:

No matter what the specifics of your troubled times are, taking a moment to look inward at what you could have done differently and how could potentially avoid similar situations in the future can be a healthy exercise. This is not to blame yourself or to shame yourself, but simply to give you the opportunity to learn, on a higher level, from your experiences.

It’s about learning to choose the most effective response in a difficult, uncontrollable life situation.

It’s about learning to think better so you can ultimately live better, not matter what.

The key is to realize that no matter what happens, you can choose your attitude and inner dialog, which dictates pretty much everything that happens next. Truly, the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another—to train our minds to see the good in what we’ve got, even when it’s far less than we expected.

It’s about choosing: Will I allow this to upset me? Will I choose to make this bad or good? Will I choose to stay or walk away? Will I choose to yell or whisper? Will I choose to react or take the time to respond?

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

It All Depends on You

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s a motivating excerpt from Heather Havrilesky’s best-selling book, How to Be a Person in the World:

Make this your new religion: You are funny and talented, and you’re going to try something new. This is the exact right time for that. This is the most important year of your life, and for once you are NOT going to let yourself down. If you fall down and feel depressed, you will get back up. If you feel lethargic and scared, you will try something new: a new routine, a healthier diet.

You will work tirelessly and take pride in your tireless work. And you will take time every few hours to stop and say to yourself, “Look at me. I’m doing it. I’m chasing my dream. I am following my calling.”

It doesn’t matter if your dreams come true, if agents swoon and audiences cheer. Trust me on that: It truly doesn’t matter. What matters is the feeling that you’re doing it, every day.

What matters is the work—diving in, feeling your wary in the dark, finding the words, trusting yourself, embracing your weird voice, celebrating your quirks on the page, believing in all of it. What matters is the feeling that you’re not following someone else around, that you’re not waiting for something to happen, that you’re not waiting for your whole life to start.

Savor that precious space. That space will feel like purgatory at first, because you’ll realize that it all depends on you. That space will feel like salvation eventually, because you’ll realize that it all depends on you.

Source: How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

Water the Grass

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Each Sunday, I receive an inspirational email from Reid Tracy, the CEO of Hay House. I found this past Sunday’s message a thought-provoking one:

I heard a great quote on my way to the Hay House office last week: “The grass is greener where you water it.”

Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers football team, said this when he was asked about the possibility that he may be changing teams and whether he felt the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.

I really love the idea that you don’t have to go anywhere to make things better; you just have to put effort into making things better where you are.

It’s so easy to look at a situation from the outside and think, “that person has it better,” and the only solution is to move in the same direction and try to achieve or get what they have. But the truth is, their success is likely a result of their actions, not simply because they are in a different place.

I know I’ve done that before while working here at Hay House. For example, I’ve attributed the success of other companies to better circumstances, not because they worked hard to nourish it.

And of course, I have also done this on a personal level (as I think many of us have). I’ve found myself feeling envious of someone else’s situation, not realizing they probably put in a lot of effort to get to where they are. Again, they took the time to water the grass.

So this week, I challenge you to think of some things in your life that you want to improve, and take at least one small step towards achieving your goals. Of course, it may take more than a week to see the result you want, but hopefully you will see some progress this week.

Four Rules for Being YOU

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to receiving their emails. Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from a recent email:

1. Sometimes you have to try not to care, no matter how much you do. Because sometimes you can mean almost nothing to someone who means so much to you. It’s not pride, it’s self-respect. Don’t expect to see positive changes in your life if you constantly surround yourself with negative people. Don’t give part-time people a full-time position in your life. Know your value and what you have to offer.

2. Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU.

3. Perspective is everything. When faced with long check-out lines, traffic jams, or waiting an hour past your appointment time, you have two choices: You can get frustrated and enraged, or you can view it as life’s way of giving you a guilt-free breather from rushing, and spend that time daydreaming, conversing, or watching the clouds. The first choice will raise your blood pressure. The second choice will raise your consciousness.

4. Twenty years from now it won’t really matter what shoes you wore today, how your hair looked, or what brand of jeans you bought. What will matter is how you thought about yourself, how you lived, what you learned, and where you applied this knowledge.

The bottom line is, despite the real-world challenges you face, the biggest and most complex obstacle you will have to personally overcome on a daily basis is your own mind. In other words, you aren’t responsible for everything that happens to you in life, but you ARE responsible for undoing the self-defeating thinking patterns that these undesirable experiences create.

YES, YOU CAN THINK BETTER, which means you can ultimately live better.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.