Are You Honest?

A couple of weeks ago I'd met up with a friend I hadn't talked to for over a decade. He used to be an instructor at the martial arts school I'd taught at. Read about my opinions about that in my bio. bruce_lee_head

We're both writers and we'd talked about writing the story that calls to us. With all the vampiric stories that are being churned both in the publishing and film industry, I don't blame people for jumping on the band wagon.  But the point of being an artist is to express your soul.  And if your soul says write a vampire story, then write a vampire story.

When it comes to finding out what you want to do with your life, what story should be written, what path you should take, you need to be honest with yourself.  How do you be honest with yourself?

First of all, are you honest with other people? I'm not talking about being a saint, never telling lies, never doing anything wrong. Were human. But do you care about what other people say about you? Do care about what other people think about you? Do you put all your stock in your status in life?

Why is this important?

Because any of this, namely your ego, can block your true self.  You become motivated by the things that seem important--the size of your house, the German car in your massive garage, the name brand clothes you wear, the title of your job, bottled water.  Do these things matter?  That's for you to decide.  Do they matter when it comes toexpressing yourself honestly? No.

When I went to the San Francisco Writers Conference, Richard Paul Evans, one of the keynote speakers said something that really hit home. Especially since he's a New York Times bestselling author.  He said write your truth.  Don't hop on the bandwagon. Don't be a follower.  Lead by leading.

Bruce Lee said the same thing. Honestly express yourself.

Look at the things that you're drawn to.  Do you love music?  Any particular kind?  Try that out.  Do you love software programming?  Try that out.  Do you love selling?  If you have an affinity for houses, maybe you should be a real estate agent.  Or if you love helping people get healthier, maybe you should try physical therapy, personal training, nursing.

Is there a common theme that runs throughout your life?

For me, I've always loved stories.  And I always loved fantasizing, putting myself in action movie roles, imagining what it would be like to be betrayed by a close friend, finding myself in a fantasy land where I'm a warlord.  Since my sophomore year, I've tried to write novels.  But when it came to deciding a major in college, I never thought of majoring in English or creative writing.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Maybe the things I had to go through as a person lent itself to writing the series of novels that I'm writing now.

I'm not angry about it.  Nor do I judge it.  I realize that I have stories to be told, and I'm telling them.

Small Adjustments Make a Huge Difference

A couple of years ago I injured my shoulder.  I don't know how but assumed it happened at the gym.  My rotator cuff hurt severely when I did any type of chest exercise. It sucked.

I was used to benching a certain amount of weight, but had to cut it by more than 50%.  I can tell you my ego didn't like it one bit.  I still wanted to workout and knew how to rehab my shoulder.  Within a couple of weeks, my ego agreed to the necessary decreased weight.  But with every gym session I added 2.5 pounds to my bench.  Eventually, I lost track of how much weight I benched and focused on keeping healthy, writing, working, etc.

Several months later, I noticed I was benching a lot more weight than I'd had in my life.  And I workout by myself.  I can't find a training partner that has a similar schedule to mine.  This taught me something.

Small adjustments can add up.

Writing theEpisodeshasn't yielded the audience I was expecting.  That was my first mistake, expecting.  But the audience has grown little by little, even though not all vote.  Despite my desire to bring fame and fortune to my book, I realized something.  My disappointment always vanished when I sat down to write.  My heartbreak wilted when I went to the gym.  My love for story, my love for writing, my love and gratitude for the imagination given to me is precious.

Every day I take steps toward my wants and desires.  Every day I do my best to release my expectations by doing the things I love, andexpressing myself honestly.Every day I go to my day job knowing that I'm providing for my ability to live my night job (job is totally the wrong word here).  Every day small adjustments will be made because small adjustments make a huge difference towardsuccess.