Working on the Inside

Here’s the outside – the face, the body. It’s pretty easy to take care of. Water. Soap. Shampoo. Exercise. It’s the inside, what’s in the mind, that demands more attention and intention. I’ve been doing a decent job of taking care of my mind – in that I use it to read, learn, think, explore, wonder, etc. And yet, my mind often seems to be the master of me, focusing on things that are useless or even harmful. Does yours do the same?

Here’s an example. As a writer, I’m tempted to gauge my happiness, success, and fulfillment by external measures/things I can’t control. I look at other writers’ social media postings. I see their books on bestseller lists. I hear that one of their public readings was sold out. Another writer has won an award. You know what I’m talking about, right? I compare myself with them. And this is not helpful in any way, especially in the self-esteem department.

And so I’m resolved to change this – and focus on the internal/what I can control. What I know is that I like to create stories. I like to write (much more than I like to revise or edit)! I like to search for the right words to describe my thoughts. And I’m disciplined to work at it most days of the week. My new goal is not to focus on the selling. But to simply focus on what brings me pleasure – the writing. After all, that's what got me started three decades ago and keeps me going still.

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