Breaking Rules to Embrace the Path that Celebrates You – Daily Quote

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I never fit in at school. Child me didn’t understand, I thought I would gain knowledge. Adult me realized schools are institutions to teach children one lesson. They imprinted our minds, hard-wiring our psyche with the need to conform, to act like everyone else, to aspire to be average. When you finish high school, the path leads to college and your first job. Every step on the trail reinforces the advantages of conformity and sameness while nurturing a perception of the risk involved in being different.

Peer pressure, dress codes, formal reviews, and dollars in your bank account remind you, we are being judged. Somewhere, someone doesn’t approve of who I am, what I wear, what I do, and scoffs at how much money I don’t have. I would hate for them to lose their job, so I stopped following the rush to mediocrity. The opportunity cost of copying trends and denying my unique style became massive.  

Being yourself is difficult. Misunderstood, mocked, and treated as an outcast, is the norm for the nonconformist. They attack because they don’t understand and are fearful of the answers to questions they don’t want to consider. The payoff comes at some future date when even if they still don’t understand, they learn to respect the consistency of those who dare to be different.

How will you celebrate your unique self today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – August 4

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 217 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

Try it, and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Enjoying the Struggle Not the Destination – Daily Quote

ive-always-prided-myself-on-working-so-hard-and-then-achieving-goals-without-realizing-t

The internet hums with suggestions to be more productive, run faster, finish the never-ending to-do list. Don’t slacken your pace. Continue to advance to the next great item guaranteed to make our day. We spend our time working hard and achieving our goals. The message is attaining our objectives will bring us gratification. We buy into the mindset, the lifestyle. One by one, we reach the target and discover it leaves us without the fulfillment they promised.

If we are honest, we realize real pleasure, fun and enjoyment lie in the journey, the places we see, the individuals we met, the lives we touch. The struggle is thrilling. Helping each other brings us an unparalleled joy.  These truths etch themselves on our souls and represent the stories we need to tell. These paths filled with hardship and hope are the journeys our readers want to follow.

How do you celebrate the journey?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – August 3

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 216 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

Try it, and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Allowing You Indecision to Create More Thoughtful Solutions – Daily Quote

i-used-to-think-i-was-indecisive-but-now-im-not-too-sure.-anonymous.

We look at indecisiveness as a negative attribute. There is unquestionable value in the ability to decide and act. But sometimes being indecisive can have its advantages, especially if it involves multiple sides to a complex issue. Often, we don’t care. We will follow our friends to whichever restaurant or movie the group chooses, knowing the real joy is in the moments spent with our buddies.

Someone once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Being indecisive allows time to gather and digest facts essential to validating or disproving opposing points of view. We open ourselves to information which conflicts with our existing opinions. We examine the merits of both sides of an argument. The pause stops us from blindly following long-held convictions. It means we are self-aware and willing to consider if those doctrines still reflect our inner selves.

Indecisiveness provides an opportunity to analyze what might happen if we opt to answer “yes” instead of our automatic “no.”  We can weigh short-term gains against a future benefit, which may far surpass an easy decision.

It is a valuable exercise to break from daily details and habits to give serious consideration to our assumptions. By questioning beliefs, indulging in contemplation, and trying new things, we find space to grow and find ourselves.

How can your indecisiveness improve your life?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – August 2

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 215 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

Try it, and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Finding Fun in Discipline – Daily Quote

its-a-funny-thing_-people-often-ask-how-i-discipline-myself-to-write.-i-cant-begin-to-understand-the-question.-for-me-the-discipline-is-turning-off-the-computer-and-leaving-my-desk-to-do

What images does the word discipline conjure in your mind?  

Did you picture arduous work, late nights working for the man, submitting to the daily grind required to reach your goals while eliminating fun from your life? The promise of a guaranteed paycheck, predictability, and security offer the illusion of relative ease. They say success’ biggest enemy is the path of least resistance. The prescription is choosing hard work, nose to the grindstone self-sacrifice, forsaking anything entertaining and easy.

Is it the only way? What if discipline came as naturally as breathing? The key lies in determining your core values. What are your important and non-negotiable principals? Are your ambitions aligned with your beliefs? Who mandated the journey to a wonderful existence must be a struggle? Life is an adventure that we are supposed to enjoy. Reaching a goal is a fleeting moment compared to the time we invest in getting there. Imagine if we enjoyed each step and looked forward to attaining the summit. From that advantage, we could see how far we had come and realized we must traverse the valley before scaling the next mountain.

Will you find enjoyment in your discipline?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – August 1

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 214 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

Try it, and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Digging Deep to Discover Your Invincible Core – Daily Quote

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I had high expectations for 2020. When you make plans, you expect deviations from the path, setbacks, and unexpected obstacles. But I never dreamed we would encounter the end of the world we once knew. Everything is reminiscent of the Gravitron. You remember the centrifuge style carnival ride that spins, pinning your body against the wall before the floor drops?

With no firm footing, my writing drive evaporated. Winter descended. You know what the professionals suggest when you feel blocked and can’t write? They say you should write anyway. Gee, thanks. I hate this advice. Opening my laptop was the last thing I wanted to do. Another set of experts counsel you to exercise self-care, don’t require too much, rest, and give yourself permission to not write. Facing conflicting schools of thought, what was a writer to do?

Me, myself, and I had a long conversation. We decided to adopt both tactics. We can devise logical justifications, create plausible explanations, and deny an integral part of ourselves. But writers must write, regardless of how we are feeling. The compromise was to reduce my word count goals. Daily writing and editing of my quote posts were nonnegotiable. Anything else was a bonus. I wrote every day. In fits and starts, bursts of note-taking, incoherent drafts, and by digging deep, I discovered the spring where my words live.

Has this year affected your writing?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 31

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 213 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

Try it, and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer