So, today I was talking to one of my writing clients, who is a therapist and I was actually audacious enough to suggest a tool to help her get through her block about writing her query letter and synopsis, both part of a writer’s proposal package or submission package when they query agents in the quest to be traditionally published.
And this tool, basically comes from Mel Robbins, who is an author, podcaster, and speaker. And, um, apparently the #1 education podcast in the world even though, um, I had never heard of her.
Don’t judge, Shaun. She’s also very good at self marketing and is considered a self-publishing phenom and is pretty cute, which means she has a ton of photos of herself on her website.
So, basically the opposite of us except Shaun is cute.
Anyway, enough preamble, she suggests, no insists, that people have a morning routine. It can be five minutes. It can be an hour.
Within this morning routine, you want to focus on an actionable step and nothing else for 15 minutes. During this time, you want to write down your goals, but you actually have to do this big second step, which is imagining yourself taking the steps to get there. According to Robbins, you visualize the steps to get to that end goal and the third step is to imagine and feel the emotions that are connected to each step. Pride? Excitement? Joy? Get all of them in there.
This is similar to Simon Sinek’s who says to go after the things that you want, he tells the story of hiself and a friend going out for bagels.
See the thing that you want. Or see the thing that prevents you from getting what you want. When you go after what you want, he stresses, you don’t want to get in the way of other people’s wants.
Bas Korsten wrote for Harvard Business Review, “Think about it. Great athletes train their bodies for days, weeks, and years to whip them into peak performance. Why, then, wouldn’t a creator do the same with their brain?”
A.J. Adam writes about the science behind visualization for Psychology Today,
“For instance, in his study on everyday people, Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared results of those who did physical exercises to the results of those who carried out virtual workouts in their heads. In the physical exercise group, finger abduction strength increased by 53%. In the group that did “mental contractions”, their finger abduction strength increased by 35%. However, “the greatest gain (40%) was not achieved until 4 weeks after the training had ended” (Ranganathan et al., 2004). This demonstrates the mind’s incredible power over the body and its muscles.”
Ideas come. They come all the time, right? But the thing is that you have to imagine those ideas, practice what it feels like do them, and then have the energy to get off your bum, get out of bed, get out of your chair and actually do those ideas.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
For any change to happen, you have to activate your energy. Be like Pogie. Activate all the energy.
Yep. It’s Valentine’s Day so we are talking about how you need more than love to be happy and fulfilled. Or here, let’s rephrase it: It’s not necessarily love that makes you happy and fulfilled. And that’s what we talk about this podcast. Plus, giant pandas take each other hostage to court and giraffes have a lot of water sports.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Loving each other is way more important than fighting over who is alpha or blaming each other. Also, hug people when they come home and wag your tail as much as possible.
This podcast is about farting, worries, and fried chicken incense. What other self-improvement podcast can give you such smelly happiness? None, right?
Come hang out for a bit!
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
If it’s farts or love declarations or a loan application, don’t be afraid to let it out. Yeah, it might not go awesomely, but it’s better than not knowing. All movement matters. You don’t want to hold it in. Especially the farts.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “What the what?” Or maybe you’ve put some expletives in there. I’ve been posting about being brave week after week after week as I push against my social anxiety and post paintings.
Here is the thing: I grew up in a family full of fear. My older sister was allegedly afraid of grass when she was little. Grass! My mother was afraid of a litany of things: birds, closed-in spaces, wide-open spaces, high spaces, water over her head, bridges in a storm. My brother inherited the bird fear, or maybe he learned it. So did my sister.
And I grew up thinking that I didn’t want to be anything like that. No offense to my mom because she was wonderful, but she changed the channel if Donald Duck was on and he’s a cartoon. She wouldn’t go to parks with seagulls. She wouldn’t go near a feather pillow.
I grew up chanting “You have to face your fears” when my television turned on at night all by itself or when I had to take an algebra test or when I convinced twelve girls at a fourth grade birthday party to all hold hands and confront whatever the heck was making that groaning noise in the kitchen. Spoiler: it was the fridge and a snoring dog.
I faced my fears one after another. My voice? Check, make a podcast. Not scary enough. Make a live podcast. Art? Check, do some art. Post it online. People constantly telling me I made a mistake? Check, make a news blog without an editor.
A Friend’s Words
One night last month, a friend took me aside at a gathering and whispered, “You know, you don’t always have to be brave.”
She had a beer in her hand and a determined glow in her eye.
I gawped at her.
She nodded and twirled away back to the gathering. And I was left with her words.
You don’t always have to be brave.
It was shocking. It was the opposite of my mantra. I think our society (or a lot of us in it) believe that you always have to be brave. But life isn’t about always facing your fear, is it? If you’re afraid of sky diving, do you really have to sky dive? If you’re afraid of going bankrupt, do you really have to lose all your money? If you’re afraid of having a concussion, do you have to give yourself a concussion?
Facing all my fears has definitely expanded my world, but it’s okay for me to enjoy the world I’m in just as I’m in it, too. There can be balance.
You Don’t Always Have To Be Brave.
That’s the thing. There is sometimes a power to not pushing yourself into doing things that are really scary for you — like downhill skiing when you have no depth perception. Cough. Yes, cough. That is me.
It’s okay to sometimes hunker down, build up your reserves, and just be. That’s right. Just be. It’s okay to be who you are right in that moment. And that might not be the same who you are that you are in the very next moment. Humans get to change, to discover, to grow, to decide when and if they should be brave or not.
If you want to, you can come hang out with me at Living Happy. I’m much better about posting there. 🙂 No pressure though!
Share this if you want and also because it would be super nice of you!
So, over on our substack, LIVING HAPPY, I’ve been talking a lot about creating our own realities in relation to success and meaning. This is really just sort of diving deep to realize that maybe your perspective isn’t the one you want.
When you attain your goals, do they satisfy you? That’s really the question. Listen to us talk about this, losing your junk (and word choice) and finding success your own way.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Sometimes you just have to define your own success and if that’s flopping on the couch all the day in the living room? So be it, dog.