Today is that day: be inspired

Today is that day: be inspired

Today determine to live on purpose live_I

Write and silence the voices within

Write and silence the voices within

The only way to get it finished is to start it…

fire inside me

Thinking is not writing.

L'amour_Louis

Live on Purpose

Today determine to live on purpose live_I

Why Inspiration may be the biggest enemy to your success

The thing about success is that it is elusive to most of us. It is a risky thing to work at something for weeks, months or even years before seeing results. In the beginning everyone is your biggest supporter. Everyone likes a good success story; more than that, people just like new, including you. That fresh, clean smell of a brand, spanking new project is like euphoria unleashed. The air feels cleaner, your back’s a little straighter and you have a positive word for everyone who crosses your path.

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Even if you haven’t quite done anything yet; you’ve thought it through, talked about it, prayed over it, read as much as you could take on it. You’ve inspired yourself into a type of: Tony Robbins/T.D Jakes/Joel Olsteen fit. You and your parents, mentors, sisters, brothers and closest friends all agree that this is the perfect time to do it.

So there it is. Grinning like a guy in an ad for a Colgate commercial, you give your sleeves the proverbial roll-up, turn from the inspiration to the task it takes to get there and…sigh.

 

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It is then you remember the errand you have to run, that phone call to what’s-his-name that has to be made now because you haven’t spoken to him in forever. You find everything to do but work. I could call this procrastination, but this really wouldn’t be digging deep enough.

Hardest decisions

It is that fear of, I am not enough that creeps in after the dust clears and all you can see is labor. Let’s face it inspiration doesn’t last forever. It’s like falling in love. At some point in the relationship, your stomach doesn’t do that, ‘thing’ when you see him, down the line you won’t think of him every hour or giggle to yourself when you do. Nope. It’s doesn’t mean that the love is gone. It simply means that you have settled into something more sustainable. The energy of love is still there but it has been redirected to the needful things…nursing him back to health when he or she is sick, washing her clothes, remembering to order the Chinese food without shrimp because he’s allergic.

Likewise, with projects the energy of shouting it to the mountaintop has to be redirected to actually developing the business plan, making the cold calls and perhaps hearing a 101 ‘nos’ before you hear a ‘yes’. Writers know this all too well. We spend months, even years creating our masterpiece hoping that someone will connect with our story without even a glimmer of indication that they will. It can be both exhilarating and debilitating at the same time

The thing with inspiration is that it is a great starter, a springboard. But too often we keep returning to that starting point instead of trudging ahead. Tremble in the face of fear, but move forward anyway. There is always the fear that you will invest time and money in this and your project will mock you and then kneel over and die. A tiny dark voice will whisper that you are not enough; no one will ever read, invest or believe in this thing and that they will all stare at you with glazed eyes in the middle of your presentation. Your books will sit in an unused corner of your basement. There will be that sickly feeling inside that all those who are on board with you will be embarrassed and disappointed by this fantastic dream of yours. And yet you will have to tell yourself that this will work and it is meant to be. When you stop believing it, you will have to say it again and again until you believe it again. Eventually you will have to find that place inside that will sustain you through this task. It is not always inspiration. It is will. It is God. It is this fine line that separates the winners from those that just like winners–we all do.

This thing of yours is not for any prize or accolade but it is because something has weld up inside of you and won’t go away until it is realized. It is the God inside of you telling you that this is His plan, His will, His way. But it won’t work itself. When inspiration kicks rocks, work it still.

The Relevancy of your Faith

The Relevancy of your Faith

disappointments

Note: This post was originally posted in December of 2013, but I felt impressed to repost. Feel free to share!

I’ve watched one or two of those reality shows that gather some of the brightest and gifted minds in the entertainment industry for a game of show; those who have fallen by fame’s wayside for one reason or another and are now attempting to make their second or third resurgence via reality TV. (The genre is a forgiving haven for those cast from the spotlight.) We are always asking, whatever happened to…

After a few painful episodes of this show and that one, I came to this realization: mere talent is not the main variable to success. Being the smartest or most gifted person in the room is become less and less a deciding indication of your escalation to fame. Do such things give you an advantage? Yes, sometimes. But often they are the greatest hindrance.

Those people that believe they are particularly bright, gifted or beautiful or have some kind of peculiar and intriguing talent usually rest in that very talent. They rely on it like an eagle does its wings. And when it fails, the fear settles in as they flutter around seeking Plan B. And no I’m not seething with jealousy or any kind of envy. I am just an observer.

Most of us have to confess our fears and insecurities upfront before we experience any kind of success. Our fears are daunting and undeniable and have to be dealt with head on. For that group of exceptional they can hide it for years behind the glossy beauty of talent and gifts. This is not to say that the rest of do not possess some kind of gift. I believe we all do. But for the majority no one hears us flawlessly playing Beethoven’s Fifth at six years of age, most of us aren’t 6’2 at 12, dunking shots off of grown men. No, for most of us we have to seek and find that place where we fit.  We have to work hard and face so much failure we threaten to quit every day.

It is here that our faith becomes the most relevant factor. It becomes the single most undeniable force; this is the fulcrum for our success. It is the Plan B for the most talented but necessary for us all.

Consider this: more than 300,000 books are published in the U.S. each year; and that is not including e-books. To sit for days, weeks, months and sometimes years at a keyboard with the sincere hope and belief that within that haystack someone besides our parents, siblings and spouse will find us takes some kind of faith. There will be many times where this feeling of ridiculousness will overwhelm you and you will question the validity of your project. And you will press through. Writer’s block will leave you stumped and confused. And you will not give up. Sometimes, you will count time vested as time wasted. You will blow this off.

And when the work is done, they will tell you that the real work hasn’t even begun. You’ve got to market that baby, they will say. You will sigh and roll your eyes and huff. Then you will get to work. You will read; how to publish a book in 30 days; 21 ways to double your Twitter followers in a week; Five thousand Fabulous Facebook Followers. A tiny voice will whisper that it is all gibberish and worthless. And you will initially be convinced to believe it (some of it will be), but quickly realize that doing nothing will result in eminent death of your project. And then your faith will push you, prod and demand from you.

And finally when you have done all that you can do your faith will compel you to release the reins. It is then you will see it clearer. Your marketing will make sense. Those who are needful to you will become more apparent. And most importantly, your faith has moved the hand of God. And He my friend is the most relevant factor of all.