I lurked again. And on forums where a person like me has no business lurking. Why?, you might ask, Why don't you stay away from the negative side, Diana? It will bring you no good! And I DO stay on the positive blogs and forum threads mostly. I will not be seduced by the dark side, otherwise you know what will happen. I'll have to fight a small green guy and I am really non-confrontational. But this isn't Star Wars wisdom, it's Karate Wisdom. I should be talking about wax-on, wax-off or other overused karate analogies. Thanks to a little seminar by my kids' new karate sensai, however, I have some easy tricks to following the path to success and I don't even have to do sunrise kicks on the beach with Mr. Miyagi.
This knowledge I pass to you from the wisdom of Karate-Dude. While at the new karate place listening to the first-day-of-class intro, Karate-Dude tells the bouncy, energetic four-to-eight year olds that every single one of them can become a black belt. (Really? Some of them are digging for gold or lost in space, but I'm listening). Yes, all of them can, he says, because the path to success is as simple as A-B-C.
I'll pause here to say that Karate-dude is completely awesome. He has a second degree black belt and five thousand patches all over his karate suit. AND he has, by this point, somehow snagged the attention of about a dozen hyper-jazzed children who have been promised an hour a week of fighting barefoot in what appear to be pajamas. This would scare me, especially watching one crazed boy who keeps standing and sitting like he's ready to bust something, and who eventually yells, "Kiiii-yaaaaaaaah!!!!" right in the middle of Karate-Dude's speech for no reason at all. But Karate-Dude doesn't lose his cool. He tells them that they will all learn to be focus-masters, even crazy-boy. I want to be a focus-master too!
Yes, attitude is everything. Successful people don't keep saying that to trick everyone. Have a positive attitude, even when it's hard, because it makes the hard times easier to handle and because it'll make it easier to see when good opportunities come your way. Plus, if we have to go through the difficult to attain our goals, we may as well seek out and enjoy whatever positives we find along the way. And here's an interesting point Karate-Dude brought up: sometimes people with negative attitudes feel better about themselves when they bring others down. Surround yourself with positive people and learn to tune out the negative.
Believe in yourself. Sounds simple, but karate-dude said it's one of the hardest things a person can do. It's easier to think, "I doubt I'll ever get such-and-such goal accomplished," than to risk the disappointment of really believing in yourself and your goals. We try to protect ourselves from that yucky feeling of being let-down, but if we don't fully believe in ourselves and in our writing, how can we expect an agent, editor, and ultimately the public to believe in what we write?
Whoa, I totally thought he was going to say Confidence. But concentration, he said, is the final key to success. Because the right attitude and believing in yourself will not help if you don't focus on your goals and work hard. Set small, attainable goals and stay focused, making sure each small goal you've set leads to your ultimate goal (and once you achieve that ultimate goal, that is the time to set a new ultimate goal and the small attainables that go along with it). For now, concentrate on your writing, even if all you have is an hour a day or an hour a week, that time is about the goal you have set out: to write your story. I also translate that into the old acronym BICHOK, (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard). It's the only way things can keep moving forward.
Karate dude finished with the "I-Can Blast," a tool to help us stay on the path to success. First, visualize your ultimate goal: to become a real black-belt in karate, (yours can be something different). Then say, "I can!" five times with all the power in your heart.
Say it every morning, think it throughout the day, follow the A-B-C's and you will be on the path to success.