Monday, April 30, 2012

The best way to reach your goals

I'm sure we've all wondered about this before. It doesn't matter if your goals are personal or professional, or a mixture of both. Everyone has wondered how to get there faster.

How am I qualified to answer such a question? Well, I've reached several of my own personal goals. I'm a multi-published author. I've got books with 3 different publishing houses (one of them is Ellora's Cave, that has recently gotten some very good press). I'm not rich by any means, but I'm earning more on royalties each year. (I've been published for almost 5 years now.) I've also started to self-publish some books recently. Yes, I do plan to continue working with a traditional publishing house, as well as self-publishing.

As for personal goals, I will share one of my biggest and most important (to me). I've lost 34 pounds since this time last year! I am so excited about that. It didn't happen fast and there was a lot of hard work involved. I'm still working toward where I want to be. Just like my writing career, my body is a work in progress.

My point isn't to brag, not at all. I've worked hard to be where I am. I may not be on top yet, but I'm getting there. I am proud, sure. But I'm not full of myself.

So, how have I come so far and what has this got to do with reaching your goals?

The very best answer I can give is this: Help others to reach their goals and congratulate them when they do.

Long before I was a published author, I was excited about the prospect of one day writing my own books. I didn't read popular authors and scoff, "Oh, I'm so much better than them. Their writing sucks. Blah, blah, blah." I didn't write scathing reviews online because I felt they were competition or out of flat out jealousy. (Or any other reason.) I've certainly read more than a few books that I didn't like. However, I never felt the need to bash them in public. There are plenty of people who I'm sure loved them.

I approached the task of writing my first book (and signing my first publishing contract) with humility. I am honored that people would take the time to read my books and I am so far beyond thrilled to hear when someone enjoys one of them.

I am happy for my fellow writers when they get a new contract, or a great review. It is exciting to see so many movies based on books too! That gives me hope. Ha. Ha. Ha. I don't sit there wondering, "How the crap did that happen?" I think how awesome it is that there's a chance it could happen to me too! My odds are no different than anyone else's, and neither are yours.

When I was at my highest weight, I was happy for my cousin who started running and losing weight. It hurt to look in the mirror and see an image I was less than proud of, but I never envied her. I was proud of her. I cheered her on and I still do. She's a marathon runner now and I'm so happy for her! I'm training to be able to run a 5k and someday soon, I'll be right there with her.

My point is, whatever your goals are, don't belittle other people who might get there ahead of you. I assure you, the climb isn't easy. No one is ever handed anything, even if it may look as if they are. None of us knows what goes on behind the scenes in someone else's life. You have no way of knowing how hard they worked to get where they are and it may not even be that far ahead of you anyways.

We all have our own battles. Everyone who reads this post is fighting for something. Maybe you want your voice to be heard, like having your book published, or you're struggling to get into better shape. Maybe you are fighting for some cause that is deeply personal to you. My point is, everyone is fighting for something.

In light of sounding like the biggest hippie in the world, we should stop fighting each other and offer support instead. (This applies to personal and professional goals, not world domination. That's bad.) If someone accomplishes something you would dearly love to do, congratulate them. Do it sincerely, not out of spite or with a snide remark. You'll be surprised how great it will make you feel.

What goes around really does come around, whether you believe in karma or not. I put out what I hope to get back one day.

I support those I admire, and those in my field. I don't belittle my fellow author and I don't begrudge all the miles my cousin has ran that I haven't. Ha. Ha. I'll get there soon enough.

1 comment:

The Book Snoop said...

Great post and so true. And I don't think you're a hippie.