My beloved mama made another trip to the Emergency Room today; that’s the Bad and the Not-So-Great. The Good is, she’s back at home. I’ll be checking in on her first thing tomorrow morning, before the weekly Weight Watchers meeting. (The Bad.) I had a routine appointment with my doctor this morning, so I know my weight has gone up. Drat! On the other hand, there’s something very empowering about knowing where you are and what you need to do to get to a better place—if that’s in the Big Guy’s plan, that is.
This morning, I listened to a TED talk, one of my favorite things to do, and I found a real nugget of information: Invest in the process, not the outcome. The desired outcome, the goal, is only valuable insofar as it helps one to set a direction.
How many of us really do that, as a matter of course? Just do our best, I mean, and let things shake out? Not this cowgirl, I’m sad to say. I look at the goal, the end result, and if it doesn’t happen just the way I envisioned it, I (not always but too often) believe I’m a failure. And yet, truthfully, the thing I love most about writing is…writing! Royalty checks, bestseller lists and good reviews are all very well, don’t get me wrong. But I agree with the TED speaker: we have only limited control over our actions and absolutely none over the way things turn out. Now, I’m asking myself why I fret over things that I can’t control. It’s the process I really love–creating characters, coming up with a setting, making up a whole world as I go along. For me and, I think, for most writers, that’s where the rubber meets the road. Seems like a good idea to focus my energies and talents on the stories themselves, not the prizes I may or may not win. This is another of those things I thought I already knew–and didn’t. ( PLUG INTO YOUR HARD-WIRED HAPPINESS, Srikumar Rao. Look on Audible.com’s ‘channels’ for TED talks and you’ll find it.)
I found another jewel in Marianne Williamson’s book, TEARS TO TRIUMPH, previously mentioned, a prayer: Make my mind an open channel for right thinking. I love that so much! Since I hit a wrong key, you’re probably going to get a mixed-up version if you subscribe. Check out www.lindalaelmiller.com for the corrected one.
In closing, another question. What inspires you?