On Drifting and Outwitting the Devil
I've never been great at making decisions. It's something I've struggled with most of my life. I think it's part perfectionism - trying to always make the best choice, and part fear - making a bad call and regretting it.
This has caused me to drift more than I'd like in my life.
Drifting, to me, is that feeling of being stuck and over-encumbered and something I've been working on over the last year. Quarantine, if nothing else, has been valuable for taking stock.
When we drift we are essentially waiting for something to happen or a sign that says "this is the right thing", which rarely comes and is open to misinterpretation. OR we're not trying to change, improve, advance, etc. Maybe not even cognizant or tuned into our life path. Everyone's journey is different.
I don't know what's going to happen with my life, my writing, or my career. I could spontaneously combust tonight in my sleep. It's hard to say. What I can do is commit to creating the things that I want to create and being mindful of what my heart is telling me.
Let's take a look at a few bullet points I adopted from some of the overarching lessons in Napoleon Hill's "Outwitting the Devil" - written in 1938 and then buried out of fear of controversy and finally published in 2011. I think it's a great read. I am not religious. The "Devil", in this case, is YOU not living your best life.
SO... You want to DO SOMETHING / BE SOMETHING / HAVE SOMETHING?
Create a plan to achieve your goal.
Learn from your failures and adapt.
Organize your life to make better use of your time.
Understand the role that fear plays in your life. (It may be subconsciously blocking you)
Establish healthy boundaries for what you want and don't want.
Remember that your focus determines what you attract into your life.
I have fucked these up a lot, which is why I'm writing this blog and not sitting on a beach earning a screenwriter's salary.
Keep in mind that these are universal truths! HOWEVER, if you want to write a book for example, (this is a writing blog after all), make a plan. Do you have a story? Do you have an outline? Have you started writing? Have you done the research? Find the steps you need to take and map them out.
Maybe you're stuck in your story. Maybe you're having trouble finding a publisher. Look at what you've done to this point and change it up. The key is thinking outside the box to get different results. Try writing at different times of the day or meditating on your story, or look at your approach to contacting publishers and ask what else you could be doing to get where you want to go.
If you find you don't have time to write, see if there are things in your schedule that could be adjusted to make more time. It's important to have downtime, but if you're spending more time playing video games or surfing social media than you are writing, are you sure you want to be a writer? You do have to write to be a writer and making time for it should be a priority.
Maybe you're playing video games because subconsciously you don't want to write. What?! This is the ultimate DRIFT. Why would anyone who wanted to be a writer not be writing? How about the idea that you're scared of failure? You can't fail if you don't write. Pretty simple. Those distractions can reach a lot further than you think. Take a look at what may be sabotaging your dream - whatever it is - and work to overcome it. We all need to take breaks and that's perfectly okay. LIFE HAPPENS. But don't sink into them if you can help it and if you are, dig a little deeper and take a look around.
Alright, you finally got a publisher on board! BUT, after some research you can see that you don't exactly align with the way they run their business. These could be political, social or personal reasons. You want your big break, but are you sure you want your work associated with this company? It's important for you to establish your own boundaries around what's acceptable to you and where you draw the line. This isn't just relegated to business - it's true in all facets of life.
And lastly, where are you focusing? Take things a step at a time. If you're focused on finding a publisher and you haven't even written your book, (or at least enough to show to a publisher), you won't get very far. No one wants to hear your idea - they want to see that you can do the work.
Now, there's a second layer to the focus point that touches on the fear topic we covered up above and that's the idea that if you tell yourself you can't do something - YOU WON'T. Your focus on failure will 100% attract failure. Get straight on what you want, go for it and believe in yourself.
I hope this has been helpful. It helps me to review these things from time to time and keep them fresh.
I've spent too much time in my life focused in the wrong areas and it's brought me a lot of grief. I've had projects fall apart after hundreds of hours of work and thousands of dollars spent. It's tough to not harbor some resentment when you're invested and you believe in something just to watch it crumble. I've had personal issues in my life that left me distant and unable to focus. I've dealt with fear of failure, set my focus on telling myself that I wasn't good enough and then proceeded to fail again and again. (I'm working on this.)
Subconsciously we want to prove ourselves right. If you play into a victim mentality, you will be a victim and even sabotage yourself to keep that story true for YOU. If you're holding onto resentment, you will lose your entire life to misery and pain. I know because I've done it. A LOT. It's generally terrible and not a great way to live. I don't recommend it.
We're all raised differently and conditioned differently in our families or through our friends, but if you do have a history of bad circumstances and things going wrong, you owe it to yourself to do the work of understanding it, finding out why and clearing it out. Your life CAN change and you will make room for the things you want and focus in the right places. You can't control much in life, but you can control your behaviors and reactions to the situations that come your way.
The blog is called "HOW TO DIE TRYING". That means I don't quit - I adapt.
I hope you're staying safe and taking care of yourself, your family and your friends. ❤
Thanks for reading,