Posts tagged ‘Success’


It’s the day after a holiday, so my whole work week timing is off.  I’m still mellow from the weekend and getting a lot done, both fun and practical, but my 5a.m. dream keeps niggling at me to pay attention.  I was drving on a road that disappeared, landing me in an interesting, but very dark woods, with a construction guy pointing to the side, saying, “there’s a couple jobs over there.”  That should be my wake-up call, literally, the clarion call of Get Going, but still, I feel myself just sauntering along with an it-will-work-out attitude that is somewhere between faith and denial. 

So while I’m reading about how great it is when plans come together and that you can’t live a dream without having a dream, and all the other wonderful advice out there, I’m making a list in my head. 

1. Do one thing to wrap up my job.

2. Do one thing to work towards a new job/career.

3. I learned one new word: flense.

4. I found an old word I had used once in an essay: moldering. 

So this isn’t the greatest list in the world, since I went from an action check-off list to things that made me happy.  That’s just how my brain works.  For you organized folks, I should really make #3 Learn a new word – read something interesting, and then I could put Flense and Moldering under there with nice little checkmarks. 

And maybe on tuesdaywednesday, I will start my list in the morning, and it will be organized and I will check things off and it will be another good day.


July 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm 7 comments

Idling in Inertia

I’ve been thinking about inertia way too much recently, letting several days go by where I have done precious little with my Plan B as I watch the time trickle away from my current job.  Not that I haven’t done anything, but it all feels like avoidance.  Nothing like cleaning the office refrigerator and microwave to get me back to my desk and paperwork!   So while the former is helpful and gave me the mental break and impetus to go back to a more tedious task, it seems to be a too common pattern in my life.

With inertia, we stay the same until a force propels us another way.   Whether it’s in a job, a relationship, or our health, it’s easier to stay the course than act.   And what force then moves us?  A job ending, a heart attack, a major loss…wouldn’t it be so much better to have that Plan B, or to change or stop what we can.  There are so many things we can’t control, that it’s important to deal with the things we can. 

One good thing, and I am all for rewarding baby steps, is that I’m noticing this inertia sooner than I used to.  The brain chatter picks up, saying, Look out, look out, rut ahead.  You should, you should.   It’s mostly negative chatter and while I know it’s not good, I am getting to where I can reframe it into something positive.  Yes, I should do something different, take some kind of step towards my new future, but instead of mulling that over and over, I will act.  I will create a force to get moving.  Even something as little as putting a goal on a list.  At least it is there to check off. 

We all need motivators, no matter how small or idiosyncratic.  For me right now, flabby arms and my blog stats are my biggest motivators.  Yes, of course, there’s also  the branching out into a new career, but I want to be doing that with tight arms and an active, popular blog.  I know that these seemingly minor things will make a difference – as I do anything positive, that movement will continue and I will do something in another part of my life that needs a little shove.   There is no judgement in inertia, it is what it is, so when we humans take on its significance in our lives, one of the directions feels better than the other.  For me right now, the body staying at rest is a rut and the body in motion is my future, and I just hope that I can keep that inertia, and my Plan B, rolling.

July 2, 2010 at 6:47 am 10 comments

Bobble-Heading Through Life

It worked again, those three journal pages in the early morning before anyone else, including the coffee pot, is awake.  Okay, the cat was up, but she loves the morning pages, too.  All my journals and pens have been permanently scent marked by her, not to mention the addition of jagged lines from her rubbing on the pen at inopportune times.

I had been writing and thinking about several things that had come up in the last two days, one about self-respect, the other about dreaming vs goal setting, and then bobble-heading through life  showed up and Poof! that was it.  That’s what it’s all about – whether we go through life nodding and agreeing with all that comes our way, or do we take life by the hand and say, What a great adventure!  Let’s go!

I always thought I was a good dreamer – I can while away vast amounts of time in my head, lost in thought, oblivious to others who are wondering if I am dead, asleep, boring, or what.  Nope, just thinking and trying to work that Law of Attraction, picturing the book signings, the articles in glossy magazines, even Terri Gross wanting to talk to me.  I just didn’t realize I wasn’t a very effective dreamer, and that while dreaming is good, without action, it’s like the northern lights, magic while there but then gone.   I had always wondered why, with such good ideas, such positive thoughts, that I still seemed to be in the same place.

Action!  Even the most novice director knows to say that at the beginning of filming, but I seem to have missed that part.  My father was not an action oriented man, more the let’s see if something bad happens first before we do anything, so I am awed and amazed at people who think something and then do it.  Who knew!  Action people assume action follows thought, that if they think or say they want to do something, they do it.  The dreamers  just keep on dreaming and thinking and sometimes need to be reminded that something must be done before something can happen.  Action people have lists with things checked off and at the end of the day, they’re done and I’m still thinking.  I am so envious!

Part of this, I realize, is tied with self-esteem and whether we deserve those dreams or not.  I used to think that flabby self-esteem was invisible, a nasty, hidden secret we could keep from others, but no, it’s as plain as day.  Horse’s know it, kids know it, students in class know it and they can make your day hell.  I wish I had a magic wand that would cure poor self-esteem, but just like any bad habit that is ingrained, it takes work to overcome it.  And whine, whine, whine, no one likes to work on those kinds of things.  Fun things, yes, painful things, not so much.

So this Reluctant Success has steeled herself towards action, to setting a goal and actually doing it rather than thinking about it, and creating new habits.  I still haven’t figured out why some things are so easy, they just get done with no thought, but then there are those rascally ideas, the better job, the newer car, and all of a sudden it’s oh, it’s okay, it doesn’t matter.  But honey, it does.

June 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm 6 comments

The Reluctant Success

In following with the current popularity of the Law of Attraction I am writing this as if I am a success, not the halting, undisciplined writer that I am.  I mean was. 

I had the worst possible childhood for a writer…a reasonably idyllic Midwestern childhood of riding bikes on country roads, Kids’ Day with parades, ferris wheels (yes, I could see my house from the top), and painted store windows, a popcorn stand on the corner, and yes, fresh sweetcorn from my grandmother’s farm and tomatoes from the garden.   Did I mention scaring pigs and watching their cute little back-ends race across a field?

If you’re looking for a dark side to this, it would be my brother providing most of the entertainment, throwing up strawberry shortcake from the top of the Octopus, that stomach churning up-down-swing you around amusement ride, or splitting open his knuckles on his rusty bike fender, or knocking himself silly when the metal seat of the swing whacked him on the back of the head.  That one got me out of my piano lesson and straight to the doctor’s waiting room.  The biggest suspense in my life was what was going to happen to him next.

Life was pretty easy…school was fun and I got good grades without trying too hard, learned the piano despite doing it my way instead of my teacher’s way, got into the college I wanted, didn’t die from being stupid, my periods were easy, childbirth was easy (well at least I forgot the worst parts), and now what?  What did I learn?  Well, it certainly wasn’t  how to push myself through the boring parts of life, to struggle to get ahead, to really work for a dream.  I mean, why?  I could be pretty happy and content mosey-ing through life, accomplishing a certain amount, a little travel, good jobs more meaningful than well paid, living in a pretty home in a pretty town.  But.

But now what?  I’m at the age where easy isn’t good enough, I get to put my dreams first rather than those of my kids or my husband, or anyone.  I have a small window of time before I need to start putting priorities to my parents needs, so I need to get going.  But how? 

Being an avid collector of quotes from Bartlett’s to The Portable Curmudgeon and every self-help book on a shelf, I have a million bits of good advice, inspiring, cajoling, sassy, wise, and not one of them will kick me in the rear and get me going.  Not long term at least. Only I can do that, and I’m not very good at it.  I know how many times Edison tried to invent the lightbulb, how many rejections William Kennedy recieved before getting Ironweed published, and that failure is mandatory (What! No one told me that when I was growing up!). 

And so my research begins, corraling the resources and supports around me, to believe my friends when they say, “I’d read that” about my book idea, gather my books and advice givers, and yes, you’re right, Karen Lamb, ” a year from now you may wish you had started today.”  I know, I know.

May 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm 6 comments

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