Yesterday's post kicked a little butt in the areas of instant success, short cuts, and easy answers. Hey, it's not that I don't believe in short cuts, easy answers, and faster paths to success. If I don't have to beat my head against the wall, I'd just as soon do it another way.
It's just that when we buy into the hype of "instant" this, quick that, we act surprised (and pout perhaps, or even worse, quit) when the way takes longer and becomes difficult. We wimp out. As I quoted Fr. Kelty yesterday, there are those dark days when we taste defeat, failure, and just can't seem to see any tangible reward at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Some things take a long time to develop or achieve, like the virtuosity of an Ihtzak Perlman, or the wizened experience of a parent who's been through years of child rearing. Some things take a whole mortal lifespan. Like learning how to love unconditionally.
Then we come to self-development. Lasts a lifetime, I hear. We're never done til that last breath. You wouldn't necessarily know it for all the self-help books and seminars out there promising the one answer. Heck, I even wrote a self-help book (no flash, fluff or hype, I promise!).
I love books, and have stacks of them on my bookshelves in the personal development area. I've facilitated personal growth seminars, and participated in many of them over the years. I believe we need to invest in our own development.
Here's the deal. Books and seminars don't work magic in our lives. You and I each work the magic in our respective lives. We do this when we take an idea in a book that resonates for us, and we try it out. Or we act upon new self-awareness gained from a seminar. It's all in the application of what we hear, see, read about, or experience that makes the difference.
Here's the crux. It's not usually a one-time application. It's the day in, day out discipline of behaving in new and different ways that ultimately leads to change. Like the time I learned in an experiential seminar over 11 years ago that I created most of the stress I experienced because of the way I projected thoughts onto my co-workers (If they would just act differently, my life would be so easy).
Amazing how much better I felt when I stopped projecting. I acted differently around my co-workers, and they became more positive. It's that chicken and egg thing again. Which came first? That's what you want to make sure you ask yourself.
I promised in yesterday's post to tell you the current (or I should admit, recurrent) lesson I'm learning from splashing around in the blogosphere pond.
Last week I was drowning in self-doubt. You see, I fell into that "hype" stuff and actually believed that six weeks (from the date I launched my blog) was long enough to be attracting hordes of fellow bloggers and other curious visitors to my blog. And it didn't happen. I had a pity party and felt like a total failure.
I know, I know, that in the light of day saying that out loud sounds absurd. But when you are not coming from a centered place, as I was not, and you are beholden to ego-based fears, it feels OH SO REAL.
Synchronistically, a colleague from a few years back, and my unofficial blogging mentor, Dick Richards, emailed me to both inform and congratulate me for having my blog listed on Don Blohowiak's Self-Development Network Blog, stressing that it is a reflection of the quality of my writing. Good timing for an endorsement.
Dick and I had an "email heart-to-heart" conversation. I confessed my self-doubt, and Dick gave me a reality check. He explained how he slowly built his subscriber base to his blog, Come Gather Round, (on genius), over a period of nine months, and gave me specific suggestions.
This email conversation with Dick reminded me to nurture my blog. It doesn't have to be a race. Make time to discover other blogs, and cultivate a community of individuals who share related interests. Most telling, in Dick's words, is that building and growing a blog "takes a village." Ah . . .another big sigh of relief just escaped me.
Thanks, Dick, for consistently supporting me, for introducing me to your blog community, and for giving me an opportunity to write a guest column last month. Stay tuned, Dick will be writing a guest post soon related to his work with finding one's genius (and guess what, it doesn't necessarily happen in an instant!) But you already knew that.