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

in-the-depth-of-winter-i-finally-learned-that-there-was-in-me-an-invincible-summer.-albert-camus

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?

_________________________________________

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

The Lay of the Land – Weekend Writing Prompt

Photo by Dieter de Vroomen on Unsplash

Title:  The Lay of the Land

Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt # 166 – Hinterland

Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 87 words

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The story repeats in predictable fashion. A hopeful soul blazes through the pristine wilderness, searching for his breakthrough discovery. With luck, his reward is exotic birds, diverse species of rare orchids, and unique animals. Excited, he shares the wonder.

Tiny frontier towns sprout in the hinterland to provide the curious with accommodations while they conduct their research. A steady stream marks the beginning of an erosion that culminates in a deluge. In time, they conserve the endangered and priceless treasures in an isolated park of utopian hell.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Slow and Steady at Light Speed – Daily Quote

whether-you-want-to-exercise-more-often-or-youre-hoping-to-become-debt-free-real-change-happens-in-stages.-slow-and-steady-progress-is-great-as-long-as-youre-taking-steps-in-the-right-d

Impatience is my middle name. I want things finished yesterday. I make goals, devise plans, and get to work, only to feel like I am trudging through a never-ending quagmire. The best advice on goal setting is to dream big, so I set audacious goals and wonder when I don’t achieve them at light speed. I was reminded that progress is relative to the size of the endeavor.

Consider the twin spacecraft Voyager I and II. We launched Voyager 1 September 5, 1977, 16 days after Voyager 2. NASA fired them into space to take advantage of a planetary alignment that happens once every 176 years.  It allowed Voyagers to visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They designed the spaceships with a five-year lifespan but now, 42 years later, both probes are over 11 billion miles from the sun. Four decades sounds like a long time, but when you realize they are traveling at 38,027 mph, your perspective changes. (*NASA)

Maybe my perception is that I’m not making progress, but every day, each step moves me forward. If the Voyagers had quit after five years, they would have stopped at 11% of their current distance. I have reached nowhere near that percentage of completion, so I will follow my present trajectory and see how far it takes me.

Are you stepping towards your goals?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 30

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 212 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

Bosco Verticale – Flash Fiction Challenge

Photo by Daniel Seßler on Unsplash

Title: Bosco Verticale

Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge

Prompt: Write a story to show what it is to protect nature around us.

Word count:  99 words

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Stefano lifted the heavy portfolio in his hand and swiped his forearm across his sweaty brow. A city bus whooshing past momentarily offered a welcome breeze followed by the acrid aftertaste of hot exhaust. Concrete, glass, and steel, absorbed, intensified, and reflected the summer heat.

As a child, Nonna told him tales of long-ago country summers. Tree leaves danced in gentle breezes, birds sang, and the earth cradled soft blue skies.

He featured urban forestation and nature in his architectural designs. Trees, shrubs, and perennials festooned every design, and he proudly wore the title of The Baron in the Trees.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer