The Writing Life Is An Adventure. Set Goals!

“If asked whether I ever knew among the intellectual, a happy man, Blake would be the only one who would immediately occur to me.”

-Some guy who knew William Blake

I hope that when you reach your deathbed you will have the opportunity to look back at a life lived to the full.

Not merely a successful life or one that had some good times, but one that you can be sure you really showed up for.

To me, that means challenge and awakening and depth. I want to make an impact, be a beloved friend, a trusted mentor.

What light you up? Travel? Friendship? The thrill of creation?

We all have growing to do. No one alive has reached their full potential.

Paradoxically, what stops many people (me included) is that they don’t believe that they are good enough. We might say that their inner critic is judging them negatively.

Make friends with your inner critic

Your critic is a big part of what gives your writing punch. It can be an asset to have a strong inner critic and lots of intellectual know-how. It can also be an obstacle.

If you prioritize the magic of life, you’re likely to find magic. If you insist on looking at things in a reduced way then you’re likely to get that.

We are creators. First, we create, and later we can reduce, criticize, and revise. It’s kind of working at cross purpose if you are trying to both generate and reduce at the same time. It’s like standing there waiting for something to grow because you are worried about it getting out of hand.

People keep that pattern of self-defeat going for years. Not much happens, and then they die.

I don’t want that kind of life for anyone. No matter who you are or what you have or haven’t done, it’s always possible to make a change towards yourself. Your depth. Your inner wisdom

Look out at the stars. So much unexplored territory. So much potential.

And yet we hold on to the limited views of our inner critic. Things need to be a certain way.

You might say that reductionism is a left brained skill whereas what I am highlighting is a holistic view, or something like the magic of emergence.

Just go out into the field, be mad, and see what comes of it. Grow like a vine yourself. For a time, no more thinking.

A story is a whole whose essence is greater than the sum of its parts. A story has life.

Deep inside — maybe not even very far beneath the surface — everyone knows they are capable of becoming more.

What stops writers from realizing their potential?

Most writers share dreams of penning a bestseller.

What happens when an author finishes the book, then sells a few copies, then more, and then gains bestseller status?

New goals emerge. Life adjusts. New problems emerge.

Was it ever really about that goal, or is there a more durable goal that you can keep in mind for the sake of saving yourself a lot of trouble shifting from one ambition to another?

Maybe the goal was really to “be an impactful author.” Based on that goal, there are lots of potential action steps for getting there.

Your inner critic can help you set goals and live life to the full. Click To Tweet

Here is a way to apply some beautiful reductionist know-how for becoming the best version of yourself, manifesting what you want in this life. It’s so simple you’d think everyone would do it. I would like to help make that true.

Deep goals, long term vision

  • Write down the three (or so) central goals of your life.
  • For each of those goals, break it down into five year goals, then yearly goals, then monthly targets, and finally weekly tasks to complete.

That sounds like a ton of work, but this is your whole life we are talking about here.

With this approach, you have the best of both worlds — clarity from the long view and remarkable flexibility with how you actually live each day. A part of you can really rest knowing that your long term vision is there.

Of course, it’s important to review these goals periodically. Experience changes us. It would be a shame to persist toward goals that no longer feel true to you.

Who is to say that the world is here to achieve things and that’s it? What about personal change, transformation, taking actions that culminate in greater awakening?

That means a lot more uncertainty in your future. It’s good to have a strategy that embraces that and feels akin to it. Not something to be controlled, but danced with.

I want writers to have clarity about the most important driving forces in their life. And I want them to feel empowered to move towards them. To be themselves and offer their uniqueness to the world.

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