Just What You Expected

Sean McCool here …

Today, I’d like to show how you can get the most out of your journey to the writer’s life.

Over the past few weeks, my son has been traveling across Europe. (I talk about how we were able to send him in part one of my article What the Writer's Life Really Means to Me.)

Soon after the trip started, he started to post on Facebook how miserable he is. The meals aren’t big enough. Too many bus tours. Not enough free time away from the group he’s with … lots of little things.

Of course, my wife is worried. And we want to make sure he’s getting our money’s worth. But I know there’s more to the story – there always is.

Our lives (or a 20-day trip to Europe) are only as good as we decide to make them. It is our expectations that determine so much of our life experiences. Our destiny is actually our responsibility.

You see, my son was nominated for the trip. And when his mom and I went to the parent meeting, we immediately knew what a great opportunity it was. Unfortunately, my son wasn’t quite as thrilled. He didn’t know anyone going on the trip. It wasn’t his idea. It is, however, his opportunity.

So, now he’s on a trip less than 1% of the world’s population will ever take, and he sees exactly what he thought he’d see – a bad trip. The good news is that I think the opportunity in this case is so big he can’t miss it. I’m sure he’ll come around.

So how does this apply to you?

Well, have you ever dismissed going to a writing seminar because you already “knew” what they’d be teaching? Or maybe you went but “just knew” they were only trying to sell you something? Have you taken a seminar or home study course looking for the bad?

I’m always amazed when I attend events with some of the smartest, most accomplished speakers that anyone could walk away with anything less than excitement, action plans, and contacts.

Yet, at every seminar I’ve ever attended, I hear people during breaks complaining, “This is just a sale pitch,” or “Oh, I already knew that.”

Here’s the bottom line …

Just like my son got what he expected on the trip so far, you’ll get what you expect out of your trip towards the writer’s life.

How you look at the world will determine your world. Your life is what you make it.

Take responsibility for your actions. A good critical look at yourself is very helpful in determining what needs changing.

I leave you with a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

“Not in the clamor of the crowded street,

Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,

But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.”

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Published: July 14, 2011

2 Responses to “Just What You Expected”

  1. Telling other people what opportunities you think they should take advantage of is a bad idea. Whether it's your kid or your friends, or someone else.

    Guest (Ken Hoffman)

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