Imagine What’s Ahead for You. It Might Be Beyond Belief.

I’m listening to the audio book “A Personal Odyssey” about the life of economist Thomas Sowell. It’s fabulous, by the way, and I highly recommend it. (On Amazon)

I’ve long been an admirer of Mr. Sowell, and it is absolutely fascinating to hear his story of growing up in the south, moving to New York, struggling with issues of family, schooling, societal racism and the constant struggles of a teenager and young black man trying to make a living by juggling various stints of employment trying to make ends meet. It’s a gripping and vivid story already, and I’ve only made it up to 1952 when he was a photographer in the Marine corps.

What struck me this morning, as I was listening during my walk, is the young marine, in his early twenties, has no idea whom he will one day become – one of the most respected researchers, writers, and economists in American history. All of the accolades that he has achieved in his breath-taking career were not even remotely on the radar in the young life of Thomas Sowell.

By 1952, he had not even finished high school. How would he have ever guessed the academic career which was to come?  graduate of Harvard,  Doctorate at the University of Chicago, professor at Cornell and many other institutions, a Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford, syndicated columnist and author, etc…

How could have a high school dropout ever had hoped as much? It’s remarkable, really, and the truth that comes out it is this: We cannot, ever, foresee the future. This fact is both a great encouragement, but it is also a warning.

This is encouragement for those stuck in the life they don’t want to be in. You never know what’s right around the bend. You never know what how much that extra little effort will pay off. Grit may have its reward far beyond what you could have imagined.

On the flip side, this is also a warning shot for those who are riding high in life: don’t take the good times for granted. Enjoy them for what they are. And be thankful. You never know when the good times will end.

(Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Sowell. Now back to listening. I can’t wait to find out how you repudiated your communist leanings.)

 

 

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The Door is Open. Walk through it.

The door is open. Walk through it.

door open

No one is going to do it for you. You have to walk through it yourself.

What’s holding you back? Doubt?

Success isn’t guaranteed. You might be staring at that open door for the rest of your life, but there is one thing that’s for certain. You’ll never walk through it if you don’t move yourself in that direction.

What’s holding you back? Failure?

There will be many missteps along the way. They may be painful. They may be discouraging. They may make you think that the door was never meant for you in the first place; that you’ll never be good enough.

But before you will ever be good enough, you have to be strong enough. Strong enough to shake off the critical glances from others, gleaning from the results that will make your incremental movement slightly better next time. Strong enough that there are others who may enter the through the door before you. Strong enough to be okay with that.

If the door is really important to you, if the passion is real, if you have built the proper foundation for the door to be feasible, if you’re going to keep going whether the door ever becomes a reality, then this is for you.

Move towards it.

Strive.

Keep your eyes on the bright light, the goal, the magnet pulling you in. Give in to it. Fixate upon it.

The door is open. Walk through it.

It’s yours and only yours. Stand up and fulfill your call.

I scream UNCLE! Okay, Back to Marketing

I recently posted how I really don’t care about marketing.

I do however care about my writing.

I also would love to be able to “retire” someday and write full-time.

I guess that means that I need to start caring about marketing. So I’ve decided to come back from my little anti-marketing hiatus for a couple of reasons:

  1. Grit. I should display it since I talk about it a lot. I’m in this writing thing for the long-haul, not for some quick get-rich scheme. (which certainly isn’t working if that was my plan)
  2. I can’t hide behind my busy-ness forever. Yes, I’m always busy. I teach full-time. I direct drama. I write and produce drama. I have a family. I have a writing routine. I have endless writing projects on the horizon. Yes, I am busy. I always will be, but that in itself cannot be my excuse for not marketing. I have to move forward.
  3. I’d like to find some new readers.
  4. I’d like to sell some new books.
  5. I’d like to get exposure for my new release, which I really like.

So here’s my commitment to myself – set a date and get started!

So I’m going to be organizing my first big push for my new release sometime in September. It will probably be a 99 cent Kindle sale for “A Love Story for a Nation.” Let’s do multiple days. Let’s go ahead and buy a bunch of advertising and see what happens!

I’ll also be hitting the blog circuit and asking for additional reviews. If anyone is interested in reviewing my latest, let me know. I’ll also be looking to do some guest posts and other promotional ideas as the opportunities beacon.

I have always believed that success comes from the commitment to the long-haul. It’s time to get back to doing it.

Much more on this promotion in the coming weeks.

Thanks to all who have continually supported my writing endeavors.

 

Grit & Motivation & Volition

I read a summary of an article today discussing the essence of student achievement. A Penn University PHD student did research to determine what makes a student successful – is it God-given talent (IQ) or is it motivation?

Interestingly enough, the results were, perhaps, counter-intuitive. It was not IQ which predicted academic success but nor was it merely motivation. The researcher discovered that it was a combination of motivation and volition.

It’s easy to be motivated at the beginning of something, but how many times do we start our New Year’s Resolution just to give it up when a cherry pie crash-lands in our face? It’s the volition, the doing, the stick-to-it-ness that makes the difference. Those students who are highly motivated and continue ‘to do’ are the ones who achieve success according to her study. This, I suppose, is where grit comes in. Having grit ensures that you won’t give it, even if it doesn’t look like you are moving forward. Having grit ensures that roadblocks are temporary and that the motivation won’t wane to stop the ‘doing.’ Remember, it wasn’t intelligence or IQ which was the predictor of success. It was barreling through it when ‘the going gets tough.’

This PHD student, unfortunately, was not conducting her study on Indie authors, so I’m not sure how well this translates into my field. But I’ve decided that I’m going to be one of those ‘doers’.

I don’t have Milton’s vocabulary or Shakespeare’s wit. I don’t have Dickens’ long sentences or Hemingway’s brevity of moment (I just made that up). There are writers who are far more intelligent than I, but I do have a desire to succeed as a writer. I don’t have the desire to write a novel as an accomplishment. I have the desire to write 20 novels as a passion. I’ve completed three in two years. I have two more waiting for me on the back-burners. I am not about to let a bad review get in my way. Review rejections are a mere blip on my radar. I’m striving to be the very best writer I can become.

And I’ll eat grit for breakfast everyday if I have to. Even hold the milk, if you like. Bring it on. This writer is not going anywhere.