Inner Voices and Celebrating Wins

In today’s Quick Bites for writing success in a minute, I focus on self-development, mindset, and motivation in two short lessons.

The first stresses the importance of listening to your inner voice. Have the courage to dream, and when ideas supporting your dream present themselves, act on them.

In the second article, I remind you to stop and smell the flowers. As high achievers, we always push ourselves to new levels of writing success. Celebrate your successes and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Listen to Your Inner Voice

That’s my wife Terri and me from 2018 at Skaneateles Lake in NY. At the time, I was reading a book by LT Vargus and Tim McBain called “Dead End Girl”, and there was an FBI profiler named Scarlett Bell living in my head and trying to break out.

We love the Finger Lakes, but it seemed next to impossible that we could live there. The lakes seemed like a cool place to visit. Look but don’t touch.

I listened to Scarlett and wrote her story. Four months after this picture, the “Mind of a Killer” hit Amazon. A year later, there were 10 Scarlett Bell novellas, two box sets, and Darkwater Cove was set for release.
Fast forward to 2023, and LT and Tim are friends I correspond with. Terri and I just closed on a house in a beautiful community near the inlet of Cayuga Lake. We can walk out our future door and launch our paddleboards.

When a dream pops into your head, LISTEN. Whether you believe in a higher power, universal energy, or the infinite intelligence of your subconscious mind, these are critical moments. The path is laid out for us. It’s up to us to follow.

Celebrate Your Wins

I took this selfie on 9/27/21 while biking outside Ithaca, NY, 16 days after I retired from NOAA. This isn’t the first time I’ve posted this image, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Being free to set my own hours, enjoy a beautiful day, and earn a very generous salary writing books I loved filled me with joy. I felt like a kid on the first day of summer vacation.

I need this reminder. How did I get to this point in my life? Through ambition, goal setting, and an undying belief that I could reach new heights.

But goals can be double-edged swords if you don’t respect how deep they cut. Because I’m always striving to improve and break records, it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of not taking pride and finding joy in my current successes.

Indeed, it’s possible to see my current self as not being in a good place if I’m always conditioning my mind to believe I need to achieve a new goal.

That’s why James Clear in “Atomic Habits” stresses daily practices over goal setting. Focus on the process, and the results will take care of themselves. Plus, you never allow goal setting to make you feel like you’re not good enough.

I see Clear’s point and love his book. But the power of goal setting is undeniable, studies back it up, and incredibly successful people from all walks of life swear by goal setting.
So there’s a happy medium.

Be ambitious, but also take the time to smell the flowers and celebrate every accomplishment. That’s what I was doing on 9/27/21. It makes life so enjoyable.

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