Writers Tips on Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted
We often think of success as something that happens to us.
Most people waste the best years of their life waiting for their purpose to come to them. They succumb to the status quo and dream of life being different some day. They wait, unsure of the right path to follow, and as they wait, they miss an opportunity.
Jeff Goins, author and blogger, is always willing to lean in and help aspiring writers engage their opportunities. He told me during a phone interview how he discovered that success is not something you do, but someone you become.
He compiled a few perspectives from writers on how to live the life you’ve always wanted.
Jeff Goins (author of The Art Of Work, finding your calling) — “I had no idea what my dream was or how I ought to be spending my life. I just knew I didn’t want to succeed at the wrong thing. The speaker at a conference Jeff attended challenged the group: ‘The truth is you do know what your dream is … You’re just afraid to admit it.’
“My heart sank. As soon as he said those words, one word popped into my mind and immediately made its way onto my notebook: writer. Suddenly, I was without excuse. I was no longer afraid of failing. Instead, I was afraid of not trying.”
Allison Verterfelt (author of Packing Light, learning to live with less) — “There’s a difference between faking it till you make it and being realistic about the person you already are. And being honest about who we are—that might just be the bravest, most brilliant, most compelling thing we’ve ever done. That just might catapult us into our future.”
Michael Hyatt (helping leaders leverage their influence) — “Early in my career, I thought successful people had more ability, education, or resources than the rest of us. I even wondered if it was just luck. But now I believe those items have very little to do with it. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that success boils down to one thing: responsiveness.”
Bob Goff (author of Love Does) — “Most of the people I’ve met who thought they were a success were confused; most of the people I’ve met who were humble were a success.”
Jon Gordon (author of The Carpenter) — “I used to think that belief was the first step to success. While belief is important, now I know that the first step is to take the first step. You have to act even when you don’t fully believe. You need to have the courage to move forward in spite of your self-doubt and fears. When I started writing and speaking over ten years ago I had no confidence, no experience and lacked belief… yet I was willing to take the first step because I knew my purpose was bigger than my fear.”
James Clear (author of Atomic Habits) — “Really successful people feel the same boredom and the same lack of motivation that everyone else feels. They don’t have some magic pill that makes them feel ready and inspired every day. But the difference is that the people who stick with their goals don’t let their emotions determine their actions. Top performers still find a way to show up, to work through the boredom, and to embrace the daily practice that is required to achieve their goals.”
Emily Freeman (author of The Next Right Thing) — “I can say with a fair amount of confidence that I’m living in step with my calling. Still, as much as I love what I do, it helps to remember that it’s still work. The great writers I admire don’t wake up feeling inspired or breathing out sparkly dust of wisdom and talent.
They wake up needing coffee and a shower just like I do. And then they get to work. Often their process looks like a lot of hair twirling, window staring, and procrastinating. But they don’t give up. They persevere through the boredom, the discouragement, and the distractions to create work that matters.”
The path to your life’s work is both difficult and mysterious. Success is starting the journey, following your passion, and not giving up.
Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
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