Jan 2, 2012

What We Would Be

Yesterday, I heard a very wise woman share the following sentiment - "We should stop wasting our time bemoaning what we are not and use it to become what we would be."

It has been very interesting to watch at the conclusion of NaNoWriMo and with all the New Year's Resolution/Recap posts the difference in attitude in people.  There truly are some who are so disappointed by their inability to accomplish what they thought they could that they are almost unable to see the growth that took place, to celebrate what was accomplished. 

One of the hardest things about personal development, either bad/good habits, writing improvement, abilities, etc. is that we often cannot see the improvement as it is happening.  And sometimes, when we have the experience of being around people who have success, we feel frustration over our seemingly lack of success. 

That's when we have two choices. 

One, be frustrated and annoyed that X, Y and Z got a request for a full, an agent, a publishing deal, a best selling novel.  Because whatever they post online is clearly in indicator of who they really are and everything they went through and the positive attitude prevalent on their blog means life is all sunshine and lollipops. 

Two, recognize that the positive attitude on the blog is WHY X, Y and Z got what they got.  Did they have bad days?  ABSOLUTELY.  But what happened is that the successful people have a way to get rid of that, keeping their eyes on the prize - whatever that may be at that point - and keep working to become what they want to be. 

I think if you look at people's resolutions, all of them are in an effort to keep going in the direction of their dreams and the funny thing about life is there isn't a stagnant - we are either progressing or regressing.  So I'm going to keep working, keep going where I want to go in spite of the snarky comments from the people who should be supportive, in spite of not hitting the goals exactly in the time frame I wanted.  Just keep in mind one of my favorite sayings - the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. 

What are you doing to keep your eye on the prize?  How do you keep yourself positive when life makes it difficult?

17 comments :

Miranda Hardy said...

I think it's important to surround yourself with positive, uplifitng people. It truly does help.

Cassie Mae said...

This is great! Dude, we all have bad days. Whenever I feel insecurity lurk over me I'll shoot an email to one of my critique partners, or I'll actually go back and read something I've written that was positive when I was in a positive mood. Sometimes it helps to see it from yourself to make you believe in it again. :)

Rosalyn said...

A friend of mine posted this link on quitting on facebook--the most useful thing, for me, was the idea that it doesn't matter if we quit (sometimes)--it's what we do after that. I.e., we can't use quitting/failing once as an excuse to keep quitting/failing: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201101/why-we-quit

Emily R. King said...

I agree that not all improvement is noticeable. It can be frustrating, but that's why finishing what you start is so important. If you give up halfway, you'll never see how far you've come.
Best of wishes to you in 2012!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Our attitude is up to us!
I rely a lot on the positive influence of friends. That's why it's so important to choose our friends wisely.
And if you've grown as a person, then that IS success.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Great quote, and this is really what I tried to do for the year. Realize what I'd accomplished and hope to accomplish more things.

Clarissa Draper said...

I try not to compare myself with others if it's not going to make me push myself forward. For instant, I will compare myself to Agatha Christie. She wrote a lot of novels--great novels--before she died. I want to be like her so I push myself. However, I won't compare myself to an author if it makes me want to give up writing. If an author is doing well, I congratulate them and hope that it will be me someday.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Miranda is right, surrounding yourself with positive people is a real help.

It is easy to get sucked into negativity and chip away at your own progress and every success you have. Got a request for a full? Somebody else got an agent. Got an agent? Somebody else had their choice of three. Got a book deal? Somebody else got a 2-book-deal on auction.

If you let yourself, you can downgrade every single success you have, spiraling into a black hole of negativity. The only way to combat it is -- stay in the light.

Of course, I am also watching Doctor Who's episode "Silence in the Library" right this second, so I've got "staying in the light" on my mind! :D

Coleen Patrick said...

"we are either progressing or regressing."
I never thought about it as regressing, but that makes so much more sense. Thanks for the new perspective Tasha!
When I need to stay positive, I search out the positive, or at least something to make me laugh!
Happy new year :)

Laura Pauling said...

I love reading the end of the year post as people recap their years and what goals were met and why or why not. Very interesting. I just keep moving forward!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

What a great, great post. I love this. Thanks so much for sharing. It's so very true about keeping a happy outlook on your blog and not letting others make you jealous. No one has any idea what they went through to get where they are. You know? I hope 2012 brings so many awesome things your way! :)

Alison Miller said...

I have some of those moments and then I just try to put in God's hands and wait for His timing. And enjoy doing what I'm doing.

Great post! Happy New Year!

Angela Cothran said...

You really made me think Tasha :) Attitude is all we really have control over. And I agree with you--just keep going!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I always try to learn from the mistakes. I don't always, but I try. And, keep moving forward. I think 2012 can be a fun year. I'm looking forward to it.

Harmony said...

Here's a different take, but I thought you might appreciate it:

http://blog.brookesnow.com/2012/01/03/jealousy-productively/

Melissa Sugar said...

Happy New Year. I agree that we don't always recognize our progress. I know this is a cliche, but we often learn as much or more from our mistakes and failures as we do from our success. A good, happy and positive attitude is important and we make our own. I have lost a lot in my life, two children, three brothers, friends and I have been through some trying times.emotionally, finically and professionally. When you face serious issues it makes everything else trivial and not worth the time we spend regretting or wishing for a different outcome. Sorry, did not mean to get so deep.

I don't know who left you snarky remarks, but that is just wrong and tasteless. I admire your attitude and it is certain to see you through your ultimate goals.

I wish you the very best. I hope you have a very happy and productive 2012

Christine Danek said...

I think having a positive outlook is key. Also, realizing that hard work and your determination will pay off. Negative thoughts is something I've been battling with for years and I'm finally able to see things in a more positive light, which is priceless. It's amazing what you can achieve with a different mindset.
Great post and good luck in the new year!