One of my favorite aspects of life is familiarity. You know- going to the same barber every month, taking the dogs for a walk every morning and evening, and even the annual visit to the dentist’s office. It’s comforting to know that the same thing will happen over and over again. We don’t have to think about it. We don’t have to make decisions. We get to mindlessly act.
But there are problems that can breed from familiarity. Complacency, discontent, or just a lower level of living. We follow the road we have paved all the way to boredom and an unfulfilled life.
I realized that I was doing this with the Holy Spirit. I complained that life doesn’t change the way I expect it to, but yet I found myself doing the same thing over and over again. The Holy Spirit would speak to me through my wife or a gentle nudge, and yet I often ignored this for the familiarity of the paved road.
Then, completely out of my control, the Holy Spirit decided that enough was enough. He put up a detour in my life, causing me to blaze off the path I had become familiar with and travel along a dirt road toward a different direction.
I began to learn three lessons: Let go, show up, and have grit.
It was difficult having to address the new surroundings I found myself in. I was supposed to be a published author by now, but here I am going to work on a daily basis to paint houses. Sure, I love the people I am working with- but this isn’t what I wanted.
I had certain expectations for myself by this point in life. I should have become a successful writer. I at least expected to find myself in the position of paying other people to paint my house– not leaving my apartment at 6:30 in the morning to do this for someone else.
But I had to let go of my own expectations and specific hopes for what I wanted to happen. This simple idea allowed me to be more open to my circumstances. I knew that I was on a different path than I had planned and that in order to succeed I needed to let go of my own expectations and…
So how exactly was I supposed to show up? I was listening to an interview on Dave Asprey’s podcast, bulletproof radio (Interview with Jim Kwik), where Jim Kwik mentions the presence of former President Bill Clinton. Jim said that Clinton maintained a powerful presence wherever he went and to whoever he spoke with. Clinton often remembered people’s names, as well as focused on each person he spoke with in that moment– instead of thinking about other conversations or people in the room. Jim Kwik ultimately decided that Bill Clinton’s ability to have a powerful presence came from his ability to be powerfully present.
So, I needed to let go- then be powerfully present. That’s all. How hard could that possibly be?
For those who know me, I have a tendency to sometimes interrupt (even my own train of thought). This is the exact opposite of being powerfully present.
But I sometimes get it right, and when I get it right I am able to display the only one of these three characteristics that I have consistently exhibited…
Over the course of three separate books which I have attempted to submit to literary agents, I have received over 400 rejections (that doesn’t even include those who just didn’t respond). But I’m still here, attempting once again to submit my newest book to literary agents.
Why? Because if I didn’t show grit in this area, I would have given up long ago. This blog wouldn’t exist and my novels would never reach the public eye. My personal determination is easy, despite all of the times that I have been rejected. The all too famous line from Edison comes to mind, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” To me, each rejection is one closer to the person who will decide to take a chance on me.
I have also discovered that my personal grit has stood out in crowds, and this has benefited the need for networking. Thanks to persevering, I bought the book Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins. This early purchase allowed me to join a Facebook Group he had started, which in turn got me in contact with some amazing people. The Tribe Builders Network is an amazing group led by a kind-hearted man named Frank. His guidance, as well as many others in the group, have proven to be a huge asset in this whole field of networking.
But I would have never found this group if I had lost my grit.
So here I am on my journey, attempting to listen to the Holy Spirit as I am reminded to let go, show up, and have grit. I’m blazing a new trail, currently just a dirt road, and I am going to try and enjoy this new journey.
But I need to be ready because eventually this dirt road will be well traveled- and I might find myself in a place of being stagnant due to familiarity.
One more thing, before I go. I mentioned the awesome Tribe Builder’s Network, but I also want to give a specific shout out. Danielle Bernock has just written a new ebook which she is giving away for free, Love’s Manifesto. A quick description from her, “Love’s Manifesto is a small eBook about becoming your true self through the power of love.” Please click on the link and take a chance to support this wonderful author.
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