"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." Milton Berle.
So often we wait for opportunities to come to us. Opportunity will present itself, we think. When the time is right, we tell ourselves.
As an author, I know I've thought that myself.
When I began to pursue writing very seriously, I made myself a name. What does that mean? I pressed my nose up against some windows. I went to conferences and walked the walk and did the talk. I met people that became excited for me. I became an author.
I got shot down with my pitches and editors thumbed their noses at me. What a great lesson in humility. Then opportunity knocked.
One day, in my email, came a shiny and brilliant email asking me to submit my work to a publisher because they wanted to publish me. (And they say it never works to put yourself out there. Look at that!) Being the eager author that I am (you know, the kind that is about to take over the world) I jumped in with both feet. Does it surprise you that it all crashed and burned around me? (I didn't think you'd be surprised.)
There is a process, and I'd done right by pushing my nose up against the glass, because my head was still above water, even if all my dreams were drowning.
I had a future here, but it wasn't going to be at the hands of someone else. So I built a door. I built a platform that others soon wanted to stand on as well. When I opened that door of opportunity I had built, in the shape of a publishing company, all my dreams came true. Once my feet were in a stable position, I helped others achieve their dreams and then some of them built their own doors to opportunity.
I think, sometimes, opportunity got tired of knocking on doors and began to hide behind the raw wood of doors yet to be built. Build your own door, stand on your own platform. Seriously, push your nose up against the glass and look in. Whatever you want can happen for you.
It's human nature to want to make everyone around you happy. I mean, who doesn't want to do their best as not to disappoint anyone. However, how often have you been disappointed in yourself?
I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't look in the mirror and find something to critizie myself over. Usually, for me, it's the way my jeans fit or something along those lines. I begin to beat myself up quietly for what I've eaten or for not getting to the gym the day before.
If it were someone else's happiness that depended on me feeding them the right foods or getting them to the gym, I'd do that. I'd make sure they were taken care of, and they wouldn't be disappointed in my effort. But when it comes to me, it's different.
Why do we do that, I wonder? Why would I not want myself to succeed? I want to succeed, but isn't it funny that I can't tell myself that, and it be enough.
It's not just in the area of physical appearance that we beat ourselves up. It's about our career choices, the raising of our children, our political views.
I'm a list maker and an alarm setter. I find that keeps me focused on what I need to do at a certain time. Starting tomorrow, I'll be writing, "Don't disappoint yourself," on my list. Just a gentle reminder that I would work harder for anyone else in the world, but that I need to focus on working on number one--Me!
It's been a journey, but I find that when I start my day giving thanks for what I have, everything falls into place a little smoother. The good things become the BIG things, and the bad things remain small and insignificant. It's easy to be grateful for my family. I love them. But sometimes, again, a good moment can be ruined by a bad mood. It's then you have to step back and be grateful for that mood. It reminds you that it's not so bad. Dirty dishes remind you that you had food to eat. Dirty laundry reminds you that you had clothes to wear. Items strung around your house remind you that you have things to enjoy. A commute reminds you that you have a job. Tears remind you that you feel. Fingerprints on your wall remind you that little hands were there.
When you think of the blessings in those "negatives," they don't seem so bad anymore. And the good things just get Bigger!
Wake with a grateful heart. Sit for a moment and give thanks for those blessings. Write them down and remember them always. Or take a quiet moment to reflect on them.
Always have a grateful heart,
"Believe you can and you're half way there." T. Roosevelt
One of the easiest things in life is to dream. Dreaming takes very little effort, and it comes to us even when we're sleeping. To act on that dream, that takes a little more work. A lot of planning goes into making a dream a reality. Very often we stumble and fall. Wanting to give up is an easy feeling. Doing so, even easier. Finding the courage to continue, that takes a lot of believing in yourself. And if you believe you can do something you're half way to your goal. Keep dreaming! Keep Believing!
Have a Beautiful Day!
Bernadette Marie is an Internationally Bestselling author of Contemporary Romance as well as a mother of 5, and owner of 5 Prince Publishing and Illumination Author Events. Read her full bio here.