Why Not You?

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My daughter, Kelsi, and I spent some time at dinner looking up famous authors and their net worth. We started with some of our favorites:

  • Elizabeth Gilbert — $25 Million
  • Veronica Roth — $30 Million
  • Nick Hornby — $22 Million
  • John Green — $5 Million
  • Nicholas Sparks — $30 Million

Then we decided to look up the net worth of some of the richest authors we knew of:

  • J.K. Rowling — $1 Billion
  • Paulo Coelho — $500 Million
  • James Patterson — $430 Million
  • Stephen King — $400 Million
  • John Grisham — $275 Million
  • Stephanie Meyer — $125 Million

I suggested to Kelsi these authors are no different than her or me. They took ideas in their heads and put them into a story. People bought their stories, loved them, then their stories were made into movies.

It all started with some simple idea that floated around in their heads until they wrote them down. Oh sure, they had to catch a break and have their first book fall on the right agent’s desk; but if they never finished their first book where would they be?

Along those lines, Kelsi said a quote that stood out to her in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert was: “Done is better than good.”  So we talked about getting our first books out of the way and moving on to what our Muse has for us next. Then I asked Kelsi:

“Why Not You?”

She has five chapters of her story, Finding Me, online with more than 2,300 views and a ton of positive comments. The first chapter alone generated over 1,500 views in just the first couple days.

As Kelsi continues to work on her first book (of many) and as I continue to work on mine, it’s important to remember that every author I mentioned earlier started with a first book. Which reminds me of another favorite quote from Elizabeth Gilbert:

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner–continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you–is a fine art, in and of itself.”

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Do you have any “fine jewels that are hidden within you” to share with the world? Could you be one of the success stories I mention in a future post?

 

Why Not You?

 

Peace my Friends!

 

~Travis

 

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Life is Heavy. Life is Sheer Joy.

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“Friends eventually forgive and come back together because people need people more than they need pride.”  Hugh Prather said that and I believe it to be true.

I have realized this in my own life.  I have allowed my pride to keep me from people who were very important to me.  Eventually, I realized my pride (ego) needed to sit in the back seat and my heart needed to take the wheel.

Relationships are messy business.  Sometimes we make mistakes.  Sometimes our friends or loved ones make mistakes.  Sometimes we get wrapped up in the choices and business of our friends and loved ones.  We think we know for certain all the ways they’re doing it all wrong.

Assuming I know what’s best for someone else means I am out of my own business.  And, trust me, keeping my nose squarely in my own business is a full time job.  Interestingly, it always seems easier to focus on other people’s shortcomings than it is to deal with my own shit.  I feel so much smarter when I know exactly the way someone else should live their life.  If I simply focus on my own life, though, I remember that decision making and this-thing-called-life aren’t near as easy when approached genuinely and honestly.  Focusing on my own life means I stay out of your business and stay in my own business.  I trust that you are an expert on you and I stay unattached to the outcome of your life.

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I talk to various people almost daily about the burdens they carry with them.  I have days when I assume I know what’s best for them.  Those are the days my pride sneaks into the driver’s seat when I’m not looking.  When I get my ego out of the soup and put my pride back in check, that’s when I am the most use for my friends and loved ones.

How can I possibly help someone if I already assume I know what’s best for them?

Putting myself in another’s business means I’m out of my own business; and the results certainly won’t be pretty.

I have people close to me who are dealing with some real heavy stuff!  Some of you know a few of the stories I know and you’re aware of just how heavy they are.  I have heard many other stories of heavy stuff that most would never fathom.  People carry burdens that are deeper, darker, heavier, and uglier than we could imagine.

What good does it possibly do to pass judgment on someone else?

It would seem easy to get down on the world with so much pain and heartache around every corner.  Trust me; I get it.  I understand why people get depressed, use drugs, become alcoholics, or escape to their favorite vice.  It’s so much easier to cheer on your favorite team or yell at the politicians on TV that need to get a clue.  Running away from the pain and resigning to the heaviness of life is completely understandable.

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We are all afforded this one opportunity to make the best life possible.  Why do we let our pride get in the way of having a great life?  Why do we allow people to continue to hurt us time and time again without putting a stop to it?

What would it take for you to believe you are completely worthy of the best life possible?

Even though life can be difficult and ugly, it can be simply amazing and beautiful at the same time.  When we can strip away all the negativity and stress of our day-to-day lives, we are able to see the absolute gift that is our lives.

Last week my beautiful niece, Lyla, was brought into the world.  There is NOTHING more precious than the gift of life.  Sometimes it takes looking into the face of an innocent newborn to remind our adult brains that life is nothing short of a miracle and a gift.  When we start to view our life as a miracle, it’s amazing how fast our judgments and problems disappear.

People need people more than they need pride.  I agree!  Don’t you?

 

Peace my Friends!

 

~Travis

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Baby Lyla with big brother Jackson   🙂