Catch the trade winds in your sails

Brian Clark at Copyblogger has a very interesting post titled The Nasty Four-Letter Word That Keeps You From Writing that hooked me because I am in a situation where I have a chance to really change what I do for a living. Brian writes:

based on my personal experience, there’s a nasty demon hiding behind the excuses we make. This four-letter word represents a condition we don’t like to admit to ourselves, much less utter in polite conversation.

Yep, it’s the “F” word.

Fear.

Fear affects us all more than we care to admit

Brian’s article is about fear in connection with writing but his post is valid in many areas of life. He mentions five different fears, the key ones (to me) are fear of failure and fear of risk.

Under fear of failure Brian writes:

Countless psychological studies have shown that the fear of failure is the number one barrier to personal success. We fear failure because we don’t separate tasks from ourselves, and therefore our self-esteem is at risk every time we attempt to do anything we really want to achieve.

If we try and fail then we can get up and try again. But if we do not even try then we lock ourselves in where we are now.

This is a quote worth remembering:
Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.

In the part about fear of risk Brian writes:

Is it really better to be safe than sorry? Sometimes, yes. But when it comes to your writing dreams and goals, being safe is a fate worse than death. Not only do your dreams die, but you get to live the rest of your life knowing it.

Remove the word ‘writing’ before dreams and this statement goes anywhere. Dreams are nice but until they turn into actions they remain dreams.

A while back I came across a quote that says a lot:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. (Mark Twain)

The feeling of safety makes us often hesitate and take the easy way out (stay in the harbor, no risk, no failure) and not take the exciting way (leave for the high sea, take risks). I think I shall go and check my sails…

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Vision, Commitment and Action

The first step in The Hunger Project’s strategies worldwide is to awaken people to a new possibility. This is achieved through the Vision, Commitment and Action Workshop. These three steps are crucial in any process to achieve something.

Vision is “the long-term desired future state of an organization (or person)”. Visions should inspire and motivate.

Commitment is “a pledge, promise or affirmation of agreement”. Tell others about your vision and above all, commit to it yourself.

Action, well we all know what that is. Without action nothing will happen.

Visualizing without commitment and action is usually called dreaming.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Zen Habits

Zen Habits is one of my favourite blogs. The topics covered are mostly things I am interested in, writing is great and often personal. The About-text says:

Zen Habits will cover: achieving goals, productivity, being organized, GTD, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, getting a flat stomach, eating healthy, simplifying, living frugal, parenting, happiness, and successfully implementing good habits.

Some interesting posts are How NOT to Multitask – Work Simpler and Saner, Are Your Days Crazy? Take Control and a series that starts with Edit Your Life, Part 1: Commitments.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Going With The Flow

This text, Following The Current, came today and goes well with Walking Through When Doors Open that came the other day.

The expression going with the flow is a metaphor that applies to navigating a river. When we go with the flow, we follow the current of the river rather than push against it. People who go with the flow may be interpreted as lazy or passive, but to truly go with the flow requires awareness, presence, and the ability to blend one’s own energy with the prevailing energy. Going with the flow doesn’t mean we toss our oars into the water and kick back in the boat, hoping for the best. Going with the flow means we let go of our individual agenda and notice the play of energy all around us. We tap into that energy and flow with it, which gets us going where we need to go a whole lot faster than resistance will.

Going with the flow doesn’t mean that we don’t know where we’re going; it means that we are open to multiple ways of getting there. We are also open to changing our destination, clinging more to the essence of our goal than to the particulars. We acknowledge that letting go and modifying our plans is part of the process. Going with the flow means that we are aware of an energy that is larger than our small selves and we are open to working with it, not against it.

Many of us are afraid of going with the flow because we don’t trust that we will get where we want to go if we do. This causes us to cling to plans that aren’t working, stick to routes that are obstructed, and obsess over relationships that aren’t fulfilling. When you find yourself stuck in these kinds of patterns, do yourself a favor and open to the flow of what is rather than resisting it. Trust that the big river of your life has a plan for you and let it carry you onward. Throw overboard those things that are weighing you down. Be open to revising your maps. Take a deep breath and move into the current.

Source: DailyOM

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