Step Into the Future

Imagine you’re trying to lose some weight and you’re about to forget what you were trying because your primal senses have picked up the scent of a Snickers bar, hiding from you behind a closed cupboard. The beast in you roars and your body is making happy hormones because it knows it’s getting sugary/fatty food.

What do you do?

A. Attack the cupboard. Rip paper from bar. Swallow whole (some chewing allowed). FEEL BAD AFTERWARDS

B. Ignore primal need for Snickers. Drink water instead. Eat a healthy cracker. FEEL GOOD AFTERWARDS.

Most of the time A. is what happens. Call it lack of discipline, call it sugar addiction. Call it weakness.

You’d be right.

Because if you go for B, you feel good afterwards. And if you go for B often enough it will become your default setting, and opting for A. isn’t so bad when it happens, because it’s an exception.

It’s a matter of self-discipline. And self-discipline is a muscle that can be trained. The only thing you need to focus on is the AFTERWARDS FEELING.

To do this we must learn to stretch our imagination into the near future and focus on the feeling yet to come.

Having trouble starting your story/drawing/whatever?

Imagine how you’d feel when it is finished. Got that feeling? Yes? Try to keep focusing on that.

Cut the goals in easy pieces. Want to lose weight? Then you only have to make sure you eat healthy today. Make choice B and forget about the Snickers (well, to be on the safe side, don’t buy Snickers, because Snickers ARE NOT EASY TO RESIST).

Want to write a story?

Write a page today, or scene today.

Want to exercise more?

Skip the elevator today. Walk around your block today.

Want to think about the environment more?

Recycle something today.

Everyday you self- discipline will grow, it will get easier to make decisions and you will become more confident.  Step into the future of today and focus on the feeling you want to end up with.

Today is all you have.

 

 

 

 

The Perks of Having a Day Job

I always had the idea I was going to be a writer. When daydreaming instead of writing I still picture myself sitting at a wooden table, with a window overseeing a secret garden, cat near the laptop, dog at my feet, words coming from everywhere.

This, however, is not reality (not mine anyway).

I have a day job and a ton of other obligations (a relationship, a house, kids, friends and so on) and I used to believe this was the reason I wasn’t writing. But waiting for the perfect circumstances is giving yourself an excuse for not doing what you want to do. And this was exactly what I was doing: making excuses.

The real reason I wasn’t writing is fear. I’m afraid that if I try, I fail.

This is kind of stupid. Because if I don’t try, I’ve failed already. Fear shows me what I’m most passionate about. I don’t fear my day job, because I don’t care about it enough. Fear is showing me exactly which path I’m supposed to take. Not the obvious one with zero obstacles, but the one with the looming shadows and whispers in the dark.

I know which one will make a better story.

The conclusion is that if I want to be a writer I’ll have to:

A. Write

B. Survive day job

Point A speaks for itself but the second might need some explanation. I don’t like my job, I won’t go as far as to say I hate it, but still. The point is that I need to stop wasting time and energy worrying about it and I’ll have to put it in a more positive light.

So I listed the perks of having a day job. Here goes:

  • A monthly pay-check, for basic life needs but also for doing fun things, eating good stuff and going places (I’m a big fan of having fun/eating/travel).
  • A work schedule which forces me to create more of a schedule to write.
  • An answer to the most common of questions without having to mumble something about wanting to write novels. The dreaded“So wat do you do for a living?”.
  • Seeing people in everyday life (better known as: stealing parts of their life for fictional use).

The best thing about my day job?

It reminds me of what I should be doing instead.