Showing posts with label plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plan. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

By Douglas Clark
-Head Writer - The Inspiration Engine


There's so much to be thankful for, even if you don't realize it. Set a goal for 2016 and do your best to meet it. For me, my goal is to get as much writing done as I can. Also, my other goal is to get something published.


Make a plan, stick to it and you should hit your mark. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish what you set out to do.


Good luck.


2016


Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Committing to the Dream


There’s an old cliché that says “Dreams really do come true”. And if you talk to some of the people closest to me, they’ll tell you they hate it when I use clichés and generalities. I understand why they say such things, but in this case the cliché works to touch off a discussion about an issue I have been thinking about for quite some time. My thought is simple: What does it take to make a dream come true? Let me first start off by telling you that I don’t have the definitive answer to that question for you. The details of each dream dictate the course of action necessary for success and if I knew how to make every one come true, I’d be rich, famous, powerful, and living the easy life on a tropical island paradise.

Okay, so I don’t have minute specifics for you but I think I can come up with a few basics. Knowing what you really want, having a plan, a support structure, and effective guidance all sound like good elements to include in your master plan. Sprinkle in determination, persistence, resolve, and of course commitment… Oh that word Commitment. It’s the bane of many a person’s existence; the fear of it, talking about it, actually doing it. It’s enough to make any boyfriend go running for the hills (oops, I’ve fallen into a cliché again). Really though, committing to the dream is at the top of the list of things required to making a dream come true. But why?

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. A couple of years back, my brother and I started a very small business. We tried to sell t-shirts with whimsical, funny, and irreverent sayings and designs on them. We lacked practical business experience and knowledge as neither of us studied it in college, but we had a dream. We set out to educate ourselves on all the necessary business aspects needed to make our project a success. I even started this blog to get more attention for our website. To make a long story short, I tried to make the business work, but my effort proved insufficient. I gave it my all and still failed. Or did I give it my all? You see the most valuable lesson I learned about the whole endeavor was about commitment, although I learned the lesson far too late. At the time I didn’t recognize how uncommitted I was to the project. You know how some people live, breath, and eat totally focused on their goals? Well that wasn’t me and it negatively affected my performance in making things successful. So why couldn’t I commit? The short answer is I followed the wrong dream. You see I didn’t really know what I wanted out of my t-shirt company, so it blurred my perspective.

I guess it might be fair to say that if you can’t commit to a dream, really pour your talent, time, energy, and thought into it, that thing probably isn’t really your dream. It’s not a pleasant thing to fail, but in a way all of that might have been necessary. That experience taught me two valuable things. First, I realized I really wanted to commit to writing, something that would fulfill me professionally and creatively. Second, l learned truly committing to something meant that all my actions should reflect my efforts in achieving my goal. To put this into a different perspective, I refer back to the conversation where my brother curtly stated that I was not a writer. And what did I do in response to that statement? I wrote a novel. See that’s commitment. I know, and knew then, writing was part of my identity. I just needed a push (some might say violent shove) to solidify that perspective in my own mind. I’m not a businessman, but I am a writer.

Can you think of anything you want or wanted that ultimately proved out of reach? What kind of commitment did you devote to it? Was it really worth it? I’d say for a dream to be worthy of your total commitment it really must excite your passion, almost to the point of obsession. Don’t go crazy mind you, just let that commitment really fuel your drive for success. So, it comes down to a simple choice: are you willing to commit to your dream?



Thanks for reading.

Questions and comments are welcome. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It Always Comes Down to Focus



How Did This Happen?

A few months ago I found myself stuck in a malaise.  Every day was a repeat; not much happened except the same old same old.  In December of 2011, I finished my master’s degree, three years of classes, including three and a half semesters of thesis writing.  It was an incredible effort, but I finished.  Mentally and intellectually I need some time off, so that’s what I did.  Before I knew it, I got stuck in a rut and felt mired in the bland boringness of doing nothing.  For a while I wasn’t sure what to do.  I mean I knew that I wanted to start writing again and make some headway on my novel.  But the thing was, I wasn’t writing, not one word.  Well, my one saving grace was this blog.  Other than that, I had abandoned my passion.  And that needed to change. 

I also remember thinking that it was about time I started learning how to play my saxophone.  See, I played for a little while back in grade school.  I really liked it but had absolutely no discipline to practice. So about two years ago I bought one with the intention of taking lessons.  Sadly, no money ever materialized for said lessons and the sax sat in my closet unused.  Fast forward to March 2012.  Here I was with time on my hands, desire to challenge myself, but still I wasn’t doing anything.  How did that happen?  Simple, I got caught in a fallacy.  I had convinced myself I need outside influences and resources to achieve my goals and follow my mission… but I was wrong.

During a conversation with my brother it came to the point where he said to me, “Maybe you’re not really a writer.  I mean, you aren’t writing.”  And you know what?  I took offense to that, without knowing why.  And then it hit me, he was right.  Damn him but I wasn’t writing, I was making excuses.  And then he said it, the line that resonated through my brain.  If indeed I was a writer, “every day you don’t write, is a failure.”  Harsh?  Yes, but necessary.  It was then I decided that I WAS a writer and I WOULD write every day, or at least make the attempt.  I also decided that I was going to teach myself how to play the sax, I mean really, what was stopping me except me?

Having a Plan Helps 

My plan was simple:  Write 500 words a day and practice the sax for 10 minutes every day after work.  For one whole month I adamantly followed the routine, without fail.  I focused on my goals; I prioritized my time, and constantly reminded myself of the failure I did not want to cause.  Now I stay focused, and even though I don’t write or practice Every day (schedules and responsibilities do change) I am constantly reminding myself of the price of failure, and refocusing my efforts to maintain as much consistency as possible.  Do I fail?  Sadly yes, Do I continually fail by not refocusing on my passion?  Not a chance. 

Every day I don’t write is a failure.  Now reword it for yourself: “Every day I don’t ____ is a failure.”

Thanks for reading.  Your comments and questions are always welcome!


This wonderful picture came from sitebits. Check them out.  The sculpture is The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin.

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