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Can you walk a thousand miles?

This past week I was interviewed by a magazine on the topic of publishing a book. The conversation forced me to think back almost ten years to when I first picked up my pen and composition notebook to begin writing my first book (and I still use this primitive method:). It was a daunting thing to think about….writing a book.

My mind was full of zillions of doubts ranging from “can I really write a book?” to “will anyone want to read my book?” to “how do you even go about getting it into a book form?”

The first thing I had to resolve for myself, was why did I want to write the book in the first place? Was I writing it in an effort to become famous? Make money?…NO.

I wanted to write the book for one reason only…it was on my heart to write the book. It had been floating around my mind for more than a few years….to the point that I felt like I had to write it. Once I was clear, then it was a matter of “walking the thousand miles.” Unless you have nothing else to do in your life, it is going to take time and commitment and patience to undergo any significant project. Even if you are fit enough to walk a thousand miles without stopping except to sleep and eat, its still going to take a long commitment.

For most all of us, we are going to have to walk a few miles at a time, until we reach the thousand. So I committed to writing at least 15 minutes per day, everyday of the week. I ended up writing an hour on many days. The first rough draft took me over four months to write.

The cool thing was that each day I sat down to write, the possibility of actually succeeding, and accomplishing this project, got more real to me. Just by doing the little discipline of 15 minutes a day…keeping that small commitment to myself, I was gaining confidence that I could do it.

It took two years before I finally finished everything (with the help of a few others) and “Live Full, Live Well” was published. Now I’m not much of a self-promoter, so not many people in the world even knew about this book (a book on how to achieve a balanced lifestyle), although many of the people who read it said they loved it and it was helpful, so it did not sell a whole lot of copies.

But to me the book was a huge success. Because it got written and it got published. The goal was accomplished. The value in this book was that it showed me that I could do it if I just took a few steps every day. And that is the lesson for YOU. You can do just about anything if you will just discipline the small commitment daily and focus on doing THAT.

Since then I have written two other books, been a part of writing another, and am now in the beginning stages of my next book ( I am really excited about this one!). Now it isn’t even a question of “Can I?” or “Will I?” It is only when will I begin the daily discipline.

You can do whatever is in your heart. You just have to start! Set aside the fifteen minutes and begin. It will change many things in your life when you allow yourself to see what you can do when you put your mind to it.

 


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