Finding That Thing

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Yesterday I experienced something that I had been dreaming about, and visualizing for years.  I saw my own “author page” on Amazon.com.

My initial reaction was of excitement, I had a grin that I couldn’t wipe off my face.  It felt incredible to see something I had thought about, and dreamt about, and worked towards consistently, for so many days, actually come true.

I turned on “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and played it over and over, and acted silly with my kids.  They made me feel incredible.  I think kids are just naturally happy when they see their parents happy.  It is a special gift.

After my kids went to school, I had time to reflect, and my emotions changed.  I couldn’t celebrate because I realized that my journey had only begun.

When I looked at my Author Page I felt a great desire to get better.  It was unlike almost anything that I had ever felt.  I saw more books, and better, more inspiring work. 

I felt the fire burning within, it felt amazing, but it also caused me to be reverent because I knew that I couldn’t rest on my efforts of the past.

Even though I was experiencing something that I had dreamed about for years, I realized I was now at day 1, and that my best work was still inside of me.  This caused tremendous motivation to stir. 

I believe that everyone knows when they find “that thing” that is unique to them.

When you find it you feel a tremendous desire to improve.  You feel reverent, respectful, and humble.  You feel ever the student, ever the novice, but you are willing to act like a pro for as long as it takes to master the craft.

Your work is worthwhile for its own sake, independent of the “external” rewards that you may obtain from it.  The work becomes part of who you are, and what makes you unique.

I love sports, and I love hearing stories about champions.  I’ve heard enough stories in my life to know that many, many champions are back in the gym a very short time after their victory.  Some people will say this is obsessiveness, or extreme, even unhealthy competitiveness, or ambition.

I don’t think so.  I think they have found their “thing”, and it is sacred to them.  They want to perfect it. It gives their life purpose, and a sense of meaning.  They actually transcend the rewards of their behaviour, because their effort has become about something else.  It has become part of who they are.  I get it now. 

I hope that everyone can experience that “thing” that makes them burn within.  It is unfortunate to live your life without feeling it.  If you haven’t felt it, keep searching, be brave, don’t be afraid to experiment and even fail a little, and when you feel it, stick with it for all that you have because it will give back to you.

It may not reward you with money, fame, or fortune.  I have no idea how my book will do commercially.  I have no idea whether or not I’ll be able to publish more and more books, and make them successful.

But this is what I know:  you better believe that I’m going to try.

You see I’ve realized that the “thing” (in my case writing) is its own reward.  It is self-sustaining.  The more I do, the more it gives back to me, and it pays me in a way that money never could.

It gives me self-respect

Find it for yourself, and then give to it every single day.

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