Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mountain Guides

I've been listening to Seth Godin's Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us on CD during my dr on CD during my morning drive in to work.

Seth has made a name for himself as an innovative thinker and marketer. I suspect they'll erect a bronze statue of him at the soon-to-come SEO hall of fame. While I don't intend on becoming a leader among internet marketing circles, there is value for a writer to listen or read guys like Seth. He ranks up there with Zig Ziglar and Stephen Covey as the great motivational writers of our time.

I'll save my marketing speech for another day. For now, I'd like to talk about this little habit I've gotten into of starting my day with positive input. I'm a lot of things--husband, father, Christian, engineer, writer, blogger--and each of those jobs requires a certain amount of motivation to get me going. It's easy to become discouraged by the negative impulses of the world, making our dreams and goals seem insurmountable, to the point where we become just like the other millions of Americans who drag themselves in and out of work five days a week, nothing to look forward to in their lives other than the weekend and two weeks of vacation.

I have been there. I shall not return.

Am I living the dream yet? No. But I would argue that living the dream and pursuing the dream are not too far apart on the "satisfaction scale." I like what Joyce Meyer says: "If you can't be happy where you're at, you're not going to be happy with where you want to go."

We have to find peace in our current situation, or the weight of our frustration will never allow us to move forward.

Which brings me back to Seth. Writers and speakers like Seth Godin stir us to think beyond the four walls we've built around our minds. But few of us have the discipline to get up each day and say, "I will overcome and achieve great things!" For one thing, my wife would make me sleep on the couch if I woke her up with that little speech at 5am.

Because few can be self-motivating, we rely on the great thinkers to give us a jolt of confidence. To me, it's better than a cup of coffee. I need my spirit stimulated more than my heart.

So I shut off the morning news (after I get the traffic report), and plug into a devotional, a uplifting blog on my Feedly reader, and a book on tape in the car, or at least the Christian FM station. I know the bad news is out there. If it's important, it will catch up to me eventually during the day. But I refuse to start my day without hope or encouragement.

While Seth and Zig are not writers by trade, they do wonders for writers like me who see a mountain of rejection in our future. The good news is that mountains are made for climbing. Guys like Seth Godin are always behind us shouting "Just one more step!"

Thanks, Seth. And Zig. And Stephen. I'm glad you're there. It makes those mountains look less like an obstacle and more like an adventure.

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