Setting new goals. Putting plans into action, reaching our dreams.

Putting plans into action, reaching new dreams. Setting new goals.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. Unknown

September seems to me to be the time to set new goals. Is September more the time for new starts than January? I wonder if people who start new things in September when school is starting, summer is over, and harvest is coming are more successful at sticking to those changes. I’m beginning to think of what spring bulbs to plant because we have our son’s wedding next spring. We can’t expect a lovely spring garden in the spring if we don’t plan and plant it in the fall. We can’t harvest in the fall if we don’t plant in the spring.

There is no reaping without planting and planning what to plant is part of the process. Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds we can reap flowers or we can reap weeds. Where that quote originated is unknown to me. Is it true just by thinking different thoughts and looking at things in different ways we can change our life? By teaching our children to think different thoughts we can change the trajectory of their life?

If we have more control of our lives than we think we do, what would exercising that control look like? The flowers under the crabapple tree will be there only if I plant them. There are years I thought about planting bulbs and never got around to buying them, and years I bought them and never got around to planting them. Nothing happens if we don’t actually take action. We must implement our plans to create something. If we have no follow-through all the plans in the world will come to naught.

Without visions and written goals, what direction are we going to head? Lailah Gifty Akita

I planned on going for a walk this weekend. I haven’t done it yet. It’s a long weekend so I have an extra day to make it happen.

Setting goals and following through is how we make things happen in our life. With no plans, no goals, or no follow-through nothing happens. If it is true failing to plan is planning to fail. Why have I been so hesitant to make plans in my life to accomplish the things I want to accomplish?

When is that trip to Europe happening my kids ask? It is still in the land of someday, but I am running out of somedays. I need to start making goals and implementing them if things are going to happen.

Write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day. Brian Tracy

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

If you are serious about your goals and you truly desire to achieve your dreams, you must write them down. John Patrick Hickey

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to all those who read my books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the pictures below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Setting goals and have a timeline to reach them. When we reach them, set a new goal.

Setting goals and have a timeline to reach them. Set a new goal, when we reach them.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. Andrew Carnegie

Setting goals gives us something to shoot for. Without goals, we are going aimlessly through life.

Parkinson’s Law tells us that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This term comes from Cyril Northcote Parkinson who wrote a humorous essay for “The Economist” in 1955. In his essay, he shares the story of a woman who has one task to do. She is to send one postcard, and it takes her all day to do it.

Haven’t we all had days like that? We have to find our glasses, we have to find the right card, we may have to go to the store to buy the card. We need a stamp, and we may have to buy that too. We have to walk or drive to the mailbox where we drop it in with a feeling of satisfaction. Chances are if it took all day, we had all day.

If we want to streamline our life and have time for other things we have to pare down the time we are willing to allot to given activities. I’m doing a little video on zoom for Culture Days through the Brampton Library because we can’t do it in person. I’m going to read my children’s story, “When Can We Get A Puppy.” Last night I did several recordings trying to figure out what to say, should I stand or sit. I didn’t think of displaying my book on the screen which is what I will try today. I want this finished today and I need to write a speech I am giving to the Mississauga Writers Group next Saturday, and of course, I have to fit work in.

I know I won’t be satisfied with the video, but I still won’t be satisfied with the 100’th take. The same with my book. I’ve changed a verse this morning as I sat down to write this blog. If I allow myself I can edit, and edit, and edit some more – forever. This is why I love that we can pre-release our books and give a hard publish date.

This is what I’ve done. My goal was to write my second novel by September 5, 2021, and a children’s book. It was a stretch goal in my own mind but the funny thing with goals is they give us something to hit. By pre-releasing my children’s book, “When Can We Get A Puppy” to be published on October 5, 2021, and pre-releasing my second novel, “Secrets and Sorrow” to be published February 5, 2022, I have hit my goal. With a hard publish date it means I have to work hard to get it edited, formatted and uploaded to publish. I am only committed to publishing the e-book by those dates but my goal is to have the e-book and print book published at the same time.

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach. Benjamin E. Mays

By setting small goals of plotting a certain number of chapters per week. I met my first goal of having the first draft done by Christmas which is how I could push myself to meet the second goal. I had hoped to have it edited in that year, but I feel that was too much. Jerry Jenkins tells us we must embrace procrastination because it is part of life, but we shouldn’t let it derail us from our goals.

If my schedule is so tight I can’t go out for coffee with my husband that won’t work. If people drop by and I can’t take time out to visit, that won’t work. My plan was I would go visit Mom in September after I met my goal. I’m glad I went when I did and still met my goal. Pre-releasing is a way of extending the deadline for sure but it is also a way to promote the books.

Now I know I can write a novel in a year, but I need extra time to edit it. I didn’t know when I set the goal if it was attainable for me when it took me from 2012 to 2020 to write the first one. I might find I can accomplish more in less time as I go along. We don’t know if we can meet a goal unless we set one. The children’s book is more about illustrations and I find when I am too tired to edit I can paint and the creativity of painting gives me a boost. Working on the two projects at the same time worked really well.

I’ve learned a lot this year. The biggest lesson was to set goals and break them down into smaller goals. When we meet the small goals we end up meeting the big goal. The biggest thing is to always set a new goal.

My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but to be better than I used to be. Wayne Dyer

Goals, there’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them. Jim Rohn

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Serendipity, luck, chance, or destiny? Finding something good without looking for it is a blessing in our life.

Finding something good without looking for it is a blessing in our lives. Serendipity is it luck, chance, or destiny?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. Lawrence Block

What a lovely weekend it has been. On Canada Day I went walking with a friend and the plan was for my husband to join us on a patio. When I called him it was just starting to rain so he declined. We stood under an alcove as a deluge of rain forced the patrons off the patio to find cover. The rain didn’t last long and we walked to a bakery and bought croissants and lemon blueberry scones to fuel our adventure.

We took pictures beside a large moose statue surrounded by wolves. We walked by the water and looked at beautiful gardens. We had a lovely day and if the rain hadn’t come down in torrents we would have enjoyed a late lunch on a patio.

As we were walking we saw a little Scottish terrier. He was friendly and came up to me and I petted him. I haven’t petted a Scotty since ours died. He lived to be fifteen and was our first family dog. I’m working on a children’s book “When Can We Get A Puppy?” and in it stars Krypto our Scotty.

Reading about how children’s storybooks come to be is interesting. The illustrator of Goodnight Moon said he couldn’t draw people as well as he could draw bunnies, so that is why the character is a bunny. Pete the Cat is based on a cat owned by the original creator and illustrator James Dean.

Sometimes the story behind the story is as interesting as the story. The Pete the Cat stories were first published by Harper Collins in 2010.  James Dean and his wife tried to write a children’s book in 2004 but her stories and his art didn’t seem to work.

Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises. Rita Gelman

James Dean met the author of “I Love My White Shoes” when idling at a stoplight with Pete the Cat painted on the door of his old Chevy. His paintings of Pete the Cat were selling for $500.00 at art fairs. A stranger walked up to him and said, “I just recorded a song for you, and I want to send it to you.”

When James Dean got home, “I Love My White Shoes” was waiting in his inbox. James Dean and Eric Litwin self-published that book in 2007. They got a publishing contract with Harper Collins on James’s 51st birthday in 2008. They published three more Pete books and then parted ways. In October of 2013 James and his wife, Kim published their first collaborative book, “Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses.”

Serendipity works in our lives. What if Eric Litwin didn’t tell James Dean he wrote the song, “I Love My White Shoes?” What if James Dean wasn’t painting Pete the Cat paintings and selling them at fairs?

Dr. Seuss wrote “The Cat in the Hat” published in 1957, and “Green Eggs and Ham” published in 1960 on a dare he couldn’t write a book using a limited number of words. His first book, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” was rejected 27 times. He was walking down the street and ran into an old classmate that worked for Vanguard Press – and that book was published in 1937. He said, “If I’d been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I would be in the dry-cleaning business.” Note the twenty-year time span between his first published book and the ones he is known for.

Is serendipity working in our lives? Many of us are alive because serendipity brought our parents together.

 Crazy as it sounds, I’m a believer in destiny and serendipity, and I have had cosmic experiences all my life. Something told me I was meant for greater stuff. And look, I’ve had a baby! And I’ve written an opera. Rufus Wainwright

Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure – do it well, enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next. Condoleeza Rice

I’m thankful for serendipitous moments in my life, where things could’ve gone the other way. Rick Springfield

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe. comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture, and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

Telling our story, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are not responsible for what was done to us but for what we do.

We are not responsible for what was done to us but for what we do. Telling our story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

With great power comes great responsibility. Voltaire

The course through the Art Gallery of Mississauga is almost over. Last night we were asked if we would like to continue to meet, network, and discuss what we learned and how we are taking it back to our communities. The answer was yes, once a month, Wednesday evenings on zoom.

Telling our stories through art, song, dance, writing, and listening to, reading, and experiencing other people’s stories through art, dance, and song helps us know who we are, and who others are. No one has the exact same experience and sees things exactly the same way.

This is not the year we will be able to experience festivals but when we can I am looking forward to visiting some festivals, ceremonies, and celebrations I have never visited before. Sometimes we need to meet someone who has gone to one before or is interested in attending. It is easy to stay in our own comfort zone go to the same restaurants, order the same food, listen to the same music, and read the same books.

When we bring other people’s experiences into our lives we begin to morph and grow. Book clubs are great for introducing us to new writers. Community groups introduce us to new people. If we work and live in one place for long periods of time we may need to step outside of our normal life to meet new people and experience new things.

Remember when we were kids and we had boxes of crayons. I always wanted the biggest box of crayons with the most colors. As an artist I know we can paint with red, yellow, blue, white, and black, but I do not limit my palette to only those colors even if I should.

The only true freedom each of us has in life is the freedom to choose, but once we choose, we become the servant of our choices. John C. Maxwell

This course is widening my horizons and I am meeting people I can’t see meeting any other way and in this setting, we are learning about each other because we are telling each other our stories. Telling our stories affects our lives in deep and profound ways.

When we are willing to tell our story we can take back power. Britney Spears is telling her story about the conservatorship she is under. She may win or she may lose but by telling her story, she will probably make it better for herself and for others people want to get conservatorship of.

We always need to remember when we tell our story it is our story and there are other sides to the story. When we hear someone’s story it is not the only side of the story even if it is the only one we will hear.

Sometimes we hear things and think well something had to be done. Children had to be removed from homes, children had to be educated, older adults can’t live on their own anymore. Just because something needs to be done doesn’t mean the people who do it are doing the best they can. Children are not always better off because Children’s Aid steps in.    

My mother always tells me a poor home, a dirty home, even a home where the children do more taking care of the parents than the parents do of the children may be filled with love, and be better for the children than removing them from a dysfunctional but loving home.

Knowing what is best for someone else is a huge responsibility, we often don’t even know what is best for ourselves. Most of us get to live our lives muddling along as best we can and when we know better we do better. How much scrutiny is too much, how much looking the other way is too much? Caregiving may call for us to lean into love we didn’t know was possible, but what if we don’t, and do what is best for us instead of who we are caring for?

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life. Hal Elrod

You are where you are because of who you were but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be. Hal Elrod

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. Peter Marshall

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

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The Goldilocks rule of setting goals. Are our goals “just right” not too hard and not too easy?

Are our goals "just right" not too hard and not too easy? The Goldilocks rule of setting goals.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A goal properly set is halfway reached. Zig Ziglar

On Saturday I started a course through the Mississauga Art Gallery. The theme of the course is “How can we use stories and art to convey our experiences of border crossings, both literal and metaphorical?”

We had an after meeting on zoom which was very interesting and I look forward to getting to know some very interesting people over the course of five weeks. The course is quite intensive. We have Asynchronous learning (on our own) and two zoom sessions per week. In the course I don’t have to set goals, everything is set up for me and if I attend every session I will remain on track.  It will be a very interesting course, and it only lasts five weeks

When we are not involved with something as structured as this is when we have to set goals. Not being a goal-setting person I wondered is there a downside to setting goals and it seems there is.

One of the problems with goals is they can bring about tunnel vision. We can abandon other important things to focus on “one big thing.” When goals are too big or the cost of not hitting them too high people can resort to unethical behavior to reach their goals.

Setting too big of goals can backfire. If only ten percent of “stretch goals” ever get hit is it worth making them? We may feel like a failure if our goals are so big we can hardly or never reach them. Sometimes our goals don’t inspire us because deep down they aren’t what we want. My son told me about the author Mark Manson who was studying to be a musician and when he realized he had to practice six hours a day he thought this isn’t for me.

He spoke to one of his fellow students and asked him, “How do you manage to practice six hours a day?” The student looked at him blankly. Years later Mark Manson was a blogger and someone came up to him and asked him how he could write so much and he looked at the questioner blankly. He realized there is a difference between feeling like you have to do something and wanting to do something.

Had I set strict goals for my writing when I first started writing, I think I would have made myself feel like a failure. 2012 to 200 would not have been the timeline I would have set to complete my first novel. The goal I did set was to write. The goal is still to write, although I am setting milestones I hope to meet and the stretch goal is to write and publish my second novel in one year.

People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them. Tony Robbins.

I am embracing Bill Gate’s quote, “We overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten years.” Moving forward in a slow and steady way may not seem exciting. We may think we need “big goals” but progress, steady progress may get us somewhere that a “big goal” would have left us feeling pressured resulting in us giving up completely.

I’ve set goals when I’ve been involved in multi-level marketing and it has never worked out for me. I always told myself I got in too late, but of course, that isn’t true. The truth is I heard about big audacious goals but I didn’t persevere and perhaps didn’t believe in the products or program and work as hard at it as those who became successful. Eventually, I quit. I know a few people who stayed with multi-level programs – they haven’t made it “big” but they also haven’t quit and they love what they are doing, the people they meet, and the difference they make in other people’s lives.

Making it big is not a goal we have control over. We can set a goal to write a book, we can set milestones, we can look for a publisher or self-publish. But, we can’t control what books are going to fly off the shelf. We can’t know what song will be the hit this year. What toy everyone will be looking for at Christmas?

It seems there is a Goldilocks Rule of setting goals. The human brain loves a challenge, but only if it is within an optimal zone of difficulty. If we work on challenges at an optimal level of difficulty they have been found to not only be motivating but also to be a major source of happiness. Regardless of how it is measured, the human brain needs some way to visualize our progress if we are to maintain motivation.

Do our goals fit into the Goldilocks rule of setting goals? Is what we are setting out to do within our ability but be a bit of a challenge?  Can we see the results of our progress?

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. Andrew Carnegie

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach. Benjamin E. Mays

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Henry David Thoreau

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

Fundamental choices are what we build our life on. Are we happy with the direction our life is going? Do we need to make a fundamental choice to change it?

Are we happy with the direction our life is going? Do we need to make a fundamental choice to change it? Fundamental choices are what we build our life on.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. John C. Maxwell

How do we make fundamental choices that change our lives? We know people who make fundamental choices they quit smoking and this time it worked. What is the difference between when it works and when it doesn’t? According to Robert Fritz in The Path of Least Resistance, there are ways we avoid making effective choices.

Choice by possibilities – choosing only what seems possible or reasonable.

Choice by indirectness – choosing the process instead of the result.

Choice by elimination – eliminating all other possibilities so that only one choice remains.

Choice by default – the “Choice” not to make a choice, so that whatever results happen seem to occur without choices.

Conditional choice – imposing preconditions on choices.

Choice by reaction – choices designed to overcome a conflict.

Choice by consensus – choosing by finding out what everyone else is willing to recommend and following the results of that poll.

Choice by adverse possession – choice based on a hazy metaphysical notion about the nature of the universe.

We can choose results we want to see manifested or we can make choices based on what we want to avoid. If we can have a clear vision of what we want to create and then actually say the words, “I choose to have…

We have different kinds of choices to make. We have primary choices which are choices about major results. A primary choice is about some result we want in itself and for itself. It is not a step to something else it is the thing itself. It is the ultimate goal it might be something like a superb relationship, a beautiful home, or a wonderful vacation.

Secondary choices help us take a step toward our primary choice. Booking the tickets for the vacation, going on date nights, and going to the gym.

Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision. Tony Robbins

A fundamental choice is a choice upon which primary and secondary choices rest.  A fundamental choice is a choice in which we commit ourselves to a basic life orientation or state of being. When we have made a fundamental choice about the way we want our life to be all other choices support that choice.

When I made the primary choice to be a writer something changed from when I was just hoping, wishing, and thinking I would write someday. I can’t put my finger on it but reading this book has crystallized that being a writer is a primary choice for me. Getting married was a primary choice and having children was a primary choice. Going into business for ourselves was a primary choice.

The more we are willing to make fundamental choices in our lives about the direction we want our lives to take the more control we have in our life. We can’t control the outcome of many things but we can control the direction. If we are in a reactive response we are waiting for circumstances to make us happy. If we are creating our own lives we are creating our own satisfaction and we are happy from the inside out. When we make fundamental choices to be true to ourselves we may deal with the circumstances differently to remain true to ourselves regardless of what the circumstances are.

The four fundamental choices Robert Fritz offers in his book The Path of Least Resistance are:

To be the predominant creative force in our life.

To be true to ourselves.

Health (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual).

Freedom

He says we should not assume that we automatically want to make these fundamental choices. He says if we make the choice for these four fundamental choices circumstances may change slowly or quickly as the structural tendencies of our life work to fulfill these choices.

What choices do we need to make? Are they fundamental choices, primary choices, or secondary choices?

You have a choice. A single choice, whatever that choice may be, you have to live with the consequences it brings. That’s all. A Choice. G. Gutierrez

One of the most important things that I have learned… is that life is all about choices.  On every journey you take, you face choices. At every fork in the road, you make a choice. And it is those decisions that shape our lives. Mike DeWine

We’re making decision right now that shape our lives. Even indecision is a decision. What’s going on today is a result of the choices we’ve made in the past. Toni Sorenson

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

Planting what we want to reap. Making things better. Bringing the worst out in people.

Bringing the worst out in people. Making things better. Planting what we want to reap.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut. Stephen Covey

Yesterday was a day of April showers. The spring bulbs are up and the Star Magnolias are blooming in all their glory. This is my favorite time of year and my cousin who lives in California was telling Mom her spring starts in January. That sounds perfect, but spring whenever it comes is welcome.

I was reading about a word for green called “Dog Barking Green” because even the dogs are happy to see the new shoots that come with spring. Don’t our hearts lighten in spring? Wasn’t it terrifying when we watched Game of Thrones and winter was always coming and they didn’t know how long it would last? Years went by without winter and then when winter came they didn’t know how long they had to be prepared for and it seemed they were never prepared enough. How could we prepare for a winter we didn’t know when would end?

It is easy to think things should be different. It is not easy to know what is the difference that makes things better instead of worse. In our hubris, we think we know. Some of us think it would be better if we got back to normal. We think decisions being made are not the right ones. Some of us think the cure is worse than what we are being saved from.

The load some are being asked to bear is more than is reasonable. No matter what happens in life there are always some who do well and some who do worse. As they say, there is never an ill wind that doesn’t do somebody some good. It is easy to get sucked into rhetoric on either side. The middle view is so much less attractive it seems and yet when we live our lives in the middle isn’t that when life works the best.

When you act within the darkness of lies and untruth you attract experiences towards yourself that are equally as disturbing. Unknown

I digress, what about spring because spring is what we need. New beginnings, new expectations, and new directions always seem so great but we don’t always like where new directions lead us. Who do we trust for our information, who do we trust for news? We think we don’t know the whole story about anything and those who want us to believe their side, tell us what they think will convince us they are right.

What seeds are we planting? What germinates will grow. What we tend will flourish but is what flourishes what we want to harvest? My son put it succinctly last night: when we are individualists we take the power and control we have and we can live our lives in a way to bring about the best results. When we are waiting for someone else to fix things we have given up our power and even if they do fix things, will they fix things to our satisfaction? Isn’t it better to use our own power to build our own lives?

People looking to profit off of others, is real, but can we live our lives in a way to keep ourselves out of the clutches of such people? We may do our best and still come into the clutches of some, but if we take control of our lives we can often overcome mistakes and missteps. Expecting society to change so there are never people looking to take advantage of, step on, or just be mean and nasty doesn’t seem reasonable.

How do we make routine traffic stops not turn into fatalities? Most of them do not and we need to remember this even though too many that do are in the news. I think of my dog when we are out for a walk. She reacts to very few dogs, but some of them elicit a response I don’t understand. My little twelve-pound cock-a-poo is agitated and snarling, sometimes at a dog that with one bite would snap her in half. What brings this on? Does the same thing happen to people?

Is there a way to plant what we want to reap and ensure a peaceful outcome to routine events that scare us?

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. Thomas Paine

The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become. Unknown

The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel the evil with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. (Quran, 41:34)

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts please click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

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Books help us overcome the hurdles of life. Read something inspiring every day.

Read something inspiring every day. Books help us overcome the hurdles of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Every challenge that we face is the opportunity to become more than we’ve been before. Lyena Strlkoff

This morning when the alarm rang at 6:00 I didn’t dare put my head back on the pillow, it’s really 5:00 to me. Does it make sense to go through this time change every spring and fall? Of course, it isn’t the biggest thing we are thinking about this year. It has never been the biggest thing except for those places that have said we aren’t changing anymore. The rest of us have continued to go along with the program because unless someone else doesn’t change it doesn’t make sense for us not to change too.

Sometimes we make big decisions in our lives because we are sick of waiting for other people to tell us if we can do something. Many people start their own businesses because no one wants to give them a job, or the kind of job they know they are capable of doing. Many business owners are not as educated as the people they hire are. It’s one of the reasons they are a business owner. It was the only way to accomplish what they wanted to accomplish in life.

Self-publishing is like that. Some people self-publish after years of rejection. Some of us decide we’ll skip the gatekeeper altogether. I didn’t even send my book out to a publisher or try to find an agent. I went straight to Amazon and published my book for free. I started writing the next one instead of wasting years flogging the first one to agents and publishers.

I’ve wondered if facing adversity isn’t a blessing many times? We overcome challenges and build better lives. Where is the point where too much adversity and too much challenge are a detriment? When is it just enough to push people to be masters of their own fate? What is the difference? A big part of the difference has to be the environment we live in. Does our environment reward the risk-takers?

Being our own boss is tough because if we aren’t a tough enough boss we won’t achieve anything. If we have all day to do something but we don’t push ourselves, nothing gets done. If we are not self-motivated meaning we don’t get up and get to whatever it is we need to do then being our own boss might not work for us.

Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before. Shelby Steele

Mindset is a big deal. It isn’t new even if the term “growth mindset” was coined by Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset” in 2007. How we think, and what we think has always been important. This is what many of the proverbs, cultural sayings, and religious texts from all cultures have been telling us. “Our thinking makes it so.” What else are we but the thoughts we think and the actions we take? That’s it, that’s all there is and we build our lives thinking and doing, doing and thinking. What is the difference between those who really master life and those who don’t? Is it just thinking better thoughts and doing better deeds?

We can look at anyone we see as a role model and find out what books they read and who has been an influence in their lives. We have access to the greatest books that have impacted the most people. It is one thing that gives me pause. Should anyone spend time with my book when there are so many truly great books to read that will make a difference in their lives? It isn’t just books of wisdom that impact people’s lives. Novels where we get to know characters, their motivations their challenges, and the way they struggle and overcome adversity affect us and may help us look at our struggles and adversity in new ways.

We learn a lot from other people’s stories. Often we get these stories from TV and movies instead of books. They impact us when we see them on screen, but not as much as when we read about them. We connect with characters in books at a deeper level than on screen. In a book, we can know their thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, fears, and challenges that are harder to depict on screen. We are transported to another time and place in a book more so than in a movie. We also spend more time with the characters in a book. We often think about the characters as we go about our daily business waiting for a chance to immerse ourselves in the book again for a few stolen moments.

I don’t have the book club pick read for our meeting tomorrow night. It’s been a busy month of preparing speeches. I will give my regrets for not reading the book but I will show up on zoom for our meeting. The books bring up themes we end up talking about. If we haven’t read the book we missed out on the book but usually, the discussion is about themes that affect us all.

Jordan Peterson’s new book “Beyond Order” is out and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve never figured out what the controversy he stirs up is all about. Isn’t getting our own life in order what we are supposed to do? Why would anyone encouraging people to clean their own house before complaining about someone else’s be a problem? I might be missing something. The power we have is to make our lives the best they can be regardless of the circumstances we are in. When we do this we may find we have more opportunities than we originally thought. When we make order out of chaos, challenge ourselves to be better people instead of just expecting everyone else to be better we become masters of our own fate. When we become better we may make it better for everyone around us.

Jordan Peterson’s message of taking charge of our own life is a message resonating with young people. I find it hard to believe how anyone following his advice would find it negative when they look back at the changes they made in their lives. He doesn’t support wallowing in victimhood and that might be scary for those who prey on those who see themselves as victims. It is empowering for those who thought they were victims, to take back their power, turn their lives around, and start seeing the opportunities instead of only problems.

Have you read a good book lately? Has it impacted your life?

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. Sun Tzu

Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life. Joni Eareckson Tada

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. C.S. Lewis

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you read my book Secrets and Silence I hope you will leave a review on Amazon. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Thank you for reading my book and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture below and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.J

The call to adventure. You’ve got to read this.

You've got to read this. The call to adventure.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss

If we are on the Heroes’ journey or want to be on the heroes’ journey we get a call to adventure and we have to accept it. We say yes to reading the book, taking the job, getting married, having children, starting a business, joining Toastmasters, writing a book, taking a class, or moving somewhere to start anew. Every new thing in our life has a catalyst – a call to adventure. Come and see where this leads.

Isn’t every book we buy like that? We go to the book store or look on Amazon and we have an array to choose from. Maybe we have the gift card from Christmas in our pocket. We aren’t even worried about the price. We want a worthy book.

Just the other day Mom asks me if I’ve read “The Nightingale” a book set in 1941. She tells me it is a book everyone should read because we should understand how fortunate we are, and be grateful. Mom lived through 1941 in Canada, 1941 in France would have been an entirely different story. We don’t know how hard things were for people in Europe during World War ll. How could we, most of us were not born?

One of the things that amaze me is the books Mom reads. How does she happen to be reading the book everyone else is reading? The answer of course is because she’s a reader, someone whispers to someone who whispers to someone else you should read that book, and the whispers reach Mom. When everyone was reading “The Help,” Mom was reading it. “The Nightingale” is showing up in Good reads in the “What are you reading posts.” It’s also showing up on a book lovers Facebook group.

Anybody who creates any product or business hopes someone whispers to someone “Have you,” and then their company, book title, or product is said next.

Word of mouth is still the best advertising. It is what you can’t buy with Facebook ads, TV spots, or by being on a radio show. We can all afford word of mouth because all we need is a “Worthy” product that some people will talk about. We don’t need everyone; we need a few people willing to invest time and money into our book or product for the experience and pleasure of consuming it.

Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once. Stephen King

My husband’s cousin, a teacher in The Bahamas reads Danielle Steele books. I read Danielle Steele books too but I think my husband’s cousin is a very loyal fan. Obviously, to become the author Danielle Steele has become she has hordes of loyal fans. It all probably started with “Have you read,” whispered to someone who whispered to someone, and the whispering never stopped.

A book is a call to adventure, what characters will we meet, where will we go, and what will we learn? We will spend our time in a world created by an author. It is an investment in time and money. Time is more important than money. We can only read so many books. We only have so much time. We may not know how we decide what book it is we excitedly pay for, can’t wait to get home or be delivered and start. We can order the Ebook and start immediately. Somehow, out of the array we had to choose from we made a choice.

If many people make the same choice we have a best seller. It isn’t advertising that makes a best seller, its readers choosing to buy, and whisper to someone “You’ve got to read this book.”

Have you read a good book and whispered the magic words, “You’ve got to read this?” Are you heeding the call to adventure when someone whispers them to you?

If you want to read about love and marriage, you’ve got to buy two separate books.

When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. Nora Ephron

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t yet been written, then you must write it. Toni Morrison

Thank you to everyone that reads my novel Secrets and Silence and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Dreams can come true. Multi-millionaire Canadian Author.

Multi-millionaire Canadian Author. Dreams can come true.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Start by doing what’s necessary. Then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Saint Francis of Assisi

We have a new rising Canadian Author who got a multimillion-dollar deal for her debut novel, “The Push.” It is a story that makes my heart sing. She isn’t a celebrity author, she’s an author whose deal is based on the worth of her novel with a two-book deal and movie rights. She wrote the novel while on maternity leave. The Push, by Ashley Audrain, was released on January 5, 2021. 

It might be a great time to be a Canadian author. Agents and publishers might be looking for other authors to sign. It might also be a time to watch for scams. I got an email from an author that connected with me on LinkedIn. He thought he was offered a deal with a traditional publisher. They offered an advance, they would look after the editing, they would set the price, etc.

He got his 50 cent advance in a cheque they sent to him after he’d signed the contract giving them exclusive rights to all books he published for seven years. This publisher, is I believe no longer in business. They didn’t edit his book, they just published it as he sent it in, and priced his book extremely high. After the seven years went by and he got out of that deal he decided to go with another publisher, this time an independent publisher and felt he got ripped off again.

There are a few things we need to know as authors, or just generally in life. There is no free lunch. No one wants to do something for us for nothing. When it works we are doing something for them and they are doing something for us. In a traditional publishing deal, the publisher takes all the risk, invests all the money, pays an advance and the author gets no royalties until the advance is paid off. When we deal with a publisher the deal was they “bought” our book. This means we don’t own it anymore. Whether a deal is good or bad may not be evident until someone becomes a star. Could they have become a star without that deal?

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. Stephen King

As an independent author, we pay all the costs, we hire the editor and pay them, we make our own cover or pay someone to do it. We do the work to get it published, we publicize it. We get paid royalties right from the start on every book we sell and we can buy copies we don’t get royalties on to sell personally.

There are many companies offering to help us become Indy authors. We need to know what we are signing up for when we make a deal with anyone for anything. What are they expecting from us, and what are we expecting from them?

Once we sign a contract, it’s a contract and we have to abide by it. If we independently publish on Amazon we are not tied to them, they get a cut of what we sell on Amazon and we get a royalty. We can sell our EBook exclusively on Kindle unlimited and get the added readership that gives us, or we can publish our EBook on other platforms. We can leave at any time. We need to make sure we know what we are signing, what we are expecting, and what is expected of us.

Most of us can’t afford the services of a publicist in the beginning and many of us won’t be good at being our own publicist. We may find being an Indy author is a hard job, and keeping all our balls in the air is challenging. There are people willing to do every job that needs doing, but every one of them needs to be paid. Many successful artists are part of a well-oiled machine that makes them successful. It is hard to do this on our own.  There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

I was reading that there is a word for friend in some language that means, “I like you, but I wouldn’t want to hunt with you.” Who we choose to work with and work for will impact our lives. When we choose to only work with ourselves it will also impact our life. Choices are all around us. Do we want to go alone or go together, and who are we choosing for the trip?

Dreams can come true, life is a series of choices, and every choice has its consequence.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

I am thankful for all of those who said no to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself. Albert Einstein

Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece. Ralph Charell

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my novel Secrets and Silence and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

S