"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
“A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers.”
Today I woke up with determination. I have coolly assessed my life, realized its successes and setbacks and I am determined to move forward. I am not angry or regretful or discouraged. I am not excited or giddy or happy. I am simply determined. Determination, as I have said before, is the emotion without emotion. It rises above emotion. It rises above circumstance. It simply keeps going. Sometimes it just comes to me, but most of the time I have to choose it. I remember the first time it came to me though.
I was 13 years old and I was attending Walter Colton Junior High School. There was an assembly and it was a pitch to get the kids to sell something. I don’t even remember what the product was. What I do remember is the array of prizes put before us. I remember the blacklight poster. It was a castle at night. I don’t know why, but I had to have that poster. Honestly, I don’t know why. I don’t even think I owned a blacklight yet. But I had to have that poster. Nothing else mattered.
So I sold whatever it was I had to sell and I sold the required number of items and I got my poster. Then I got a blacklight. In our next house I put that poster on the wall and enjoyed it immensely along with other posters I got later.
This is not an extraordinary story, except for me. It was the first time I remember the power of determination, of being single-minded and focused. This event was all the more extraordinary because I was very rarely able to focus on one thing for too long, especially at the age of 13. Forty years later I still have that problem.
Still, there’s something about that house on the beach that I keep picturing in my head. As I’ve said, it’s important to me because it represents the culmination of several of my current life goals. I’m thinking about how to get this house and what I need to do. Here’s what I need to do:
· I need to only do the things that directly move me toward my goal or goals.
· I need to use my time well.
· If there are things I need to do that don’t align with my goals, then I need to do them as quickly and as well as possible or not do them at all.
· I need to be aware of my financial situation and address any concerns.
· I need to be peaceful.
· I need to keep the picture in my head, especially when I am tempted to become discouraged or distracted.
· I need to put ideas in my head that will keep me focused and encouraged.
· If I get off track, discouraged or distracted, I need to get back on track as quickly as possible.
· I need to practice gratitude for what was, what is and what will be.
· I need to write out a list of tasks for each day and each week.
· I need to complete those tasks.
· Some days I need a huge list of tasks because I generally get more done when I have more to do.
· Other days I need to focus on one or two things and get them done completely and well.
That’s it. That’s a lot, but if I just keep that picture of my beach house in my head, then I think the rest will come much more easily. Earlier, I wrote that I didn’t feel giddy or excited or happy. Actually, I do. I love having a goal. I love rising above my more negative emotions by being focused and grateful. I’m looking forward to the rest of the day. I’m glad to Get Started and to Keep Going…and maybe, just maybe, I’ll take time to take a walk on the beach.