Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Five Victories

Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.

Napoleon Hill

You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.

J. Donald Walters

Victory is good for you, and don't let anybody tell you different.

Hunter S. Thompson

It’s interesting how I never, ever, ever stop fighting the Enemy.  Instead of writing the first chance I get, I dawdle and delay.  It helps to know that this battle never ends.  The good news is that the victories don’t end either.  Every time we work towards Purpose, we create a victory.  Every time.  That may be the best way to look at things – not as series of struggles or battles, but as a series of advances and victories.  So every word I write, every moment I spend on helping someone, every resume I write, every loving act I do, and every encouragement I give, are all victories. 
It’s true that in order to have a victory, one must be in a battle.  Life often seems like a battle or series of battles.  Maybe God allows these battles so that we have the opportunity to have victories.  Maybe it’s the victories, not the battles, that are the point.  One constant battle for me is the battle to sit still and finish my work.  So if I can just sit her for the next twenty minutes, without getting up, then I will have won a battle…and finished another blog.  Often, I think, many of us are too hard on ourselves.  We look at our deficits and our failings and we judge ourselves by these.  This rarely gives an accurate picture.  Yes, I have failures, mistakes, faults, and setbacks… but they don’t define me, unless I allow them to do so.
This is the beauty of writing blogs.  Each one is a victory. Everything and anything we do is a victory, a small one perhaps, but a victory nonetheless.  Defining myself as someone who has had (and created) a large number of victories might be a more optimistic and realistic viewpoint. 
When I finish a blog, I win a victory.  More specifically, there are actually five victories I experience. 
The first is while I am writing.  At this very moment, my mind is clear and clean and I’m focused on my work.  This feels good.  It feels physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually good.   It feels good physically because I like the feeling of my fingers moving across the keyboard.  It feels good mentally because I’m thinking and challenging my brain to find the right words.  It feels good emotionally because I am accomplishing something worthwhile.  And it feels good spiritually because I am doing the work I was created to do.
My second victory is immediately upon completion.  I’ve done something and I’ve put it out there.  That feels good.  It is always my hope that what I write will bless and encourage many people.  But even if I don’t get feedback, and I rarely do, it feels good to finish.  I stopped looking for attention and affirmation very early in this enterprise.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like them or want them.  I just don’t look for or expect them any longer.  The feeling I get when I finish each blog is sufficient.
My third victory is when I look back on my blog days or weeks later.  I feel encouraged by own work.   This is not immodesty.  I just genuinely enjoy what I have done.  Why shouldn’t I?   It would be awful to look back on a body of work and be ashamed of or embarrassed by it.  I should be proud of and enjoy my work.  It’s good stuff.  If it weren’t, I wouldn’t do it.  I should feel good about what I’ve done. That is part of the reason I write.  It often makes me feel better about myself and about my life.  To quote the movie title, “What’s so bad about feeling good?”
The fourth victory is seeing the total amount of work I’ve done.  I’m nearly at 500 blogs.  One day I’ll reach 1,000.  Or I’ll find a new threshold to cross.   When I mention my numbers to other people, they often seem impressed.    That surprises me.  Part of me doesn’t feel that I’ve done anything extraordinary.  I’m not belittling this achievement; I just think anyone can do the same or similar with their passions. 
That’s the fifth victory – the victory of setting an example.  My hope is that other people will read my work and be inspired to do their own work.   When others do their own work, they make the world a better place.  If I had even a small part in that, that counts as a huge victory.  This victory is often the sweetest and it’s also the one over which I have the least control.   
So every time I Get Started and Keep Going, I have a victory.  It may really be that simple.