Monday, January 09, 2017

Marching Forward With A Great Big NO

I've now extricated myself from two "seemed like a good idea at the time" courses that proved over the past four months to be distracting and disappointing. As much as I hate quitting, I hate being unhappy even more. After writing the second email this morning without feeling any regret, or guilt, I'm glad to free to be 100 percent FOCUSed on writing.

If the door doesn't open, it's not your door. I'm tired of scuffing up my Blundstones kicking a door that won't budge.

After several years of saying Yes to everything, I've reached that point where I must start saying No to most things. I think this is a natural progression of this process of figuring one's shit out; now that I have a book published and it's been enthusiastically received by readers, I'm fairly confident I can keep going at this whole book thing.

These opening weeks of 2017 see me trawling through five years' worth of notebooks and journals slapping sticky notes on ideas for a new collection of essays, and this morning, as I sat on the couch in the morning sunshine, drinking coffee and flipping pages, I found this quote by Stephen R. Covey in one of the notebooks:
"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage -- pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically -- to say 'No' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'Yes' burning inside."

I'm a big believer in signs; one of the essays in my new collection will be on this very subject because it is huge for me. It's my version of "answered prayer": I know I have an email to write and as I'm gearing up to do that, I find a quote that confirms what my gut is telling me to do.

It's like chickens. They lay eggs. That's what they do and they do it well. You can hang a kid's xylophone toy on the coop wall and they will peck at it, make some sounds, it'll be cute and the video will get a couple of thousand views on YouTube, but that's not what chickens do best. They lay eggs.

That what it means to be true to yourself: Be fearless and be chicken.

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