Tony Robbins talks in this video about focus and how to attain your goals. He says:
If your body’s not where you want it to be, I tell you there’s one simple reason: it’s not your focus. No, no, I focus on it. I focus all the time on how fat I am. NO. You see, if you focus on crashing into the pole – trying not to – the more you try not to, what you focus on, that’s where the energy goes, that’s where you go. We all know that. But what I’m saying is: Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
Now, if you remember where we left off, great. If not go read it here.
But that was me. I wasn’t focusing on what I wanted, I kept focusing on what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to hate my body anymore. I didn’t want to be depressed and anxious anymore. I didn’t want to hurt over my stillborn daughter anymore. I didn’t want to fail as a writer.
That’s where my energy went. For years. I withdrew from my writing groups because I could feel the pressure on me (coming from within and without) to succeed. And I didn’t want to fail.
A good friend, a wonderful writer, told me then in 2007, when I was but a delicate and tender twenty-two years old, that she knew one day I’d be successful. Because I had so much talent already at my age there’s no way I couldn’t be successful.
That was 8 years ago. I haven’t succeeded yet. Because I kept focusing on how much I didn’t want to fail. My depression just kept getting worse because I didn’t want it to. My anxiety, my weight, my confidence – nothing was going in the direction I want it to because I was more focused on it going wrong than I was on it going right.
Then last year, after moving to Connecticut and just having enough of being the person I didn’t want to be anymore, I got help. I saw a psychiatrist, I got a therapist. I got the help I needed.
The difference it’s made is… well, incalculable.
November can come and go, and I can grieve my daughter without spiraling into a black hole that I can’t crawl out of. I can put on weight, or take it off, and it doesn’t matter because I’m not putting my energy into my pant size. Instead I put it into how many push ups I can do. How much weight I can deadlift, squat, and press. (Which is a lot, by the way.)
I’ve learned to turn aside from my fears. Because if I’m going to crash, I’m going to crash. There’s nothing I can do about failing. But I can get up when it’s over and keep going.
So, back to the first video (embedded here again for your convenience.)
Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about how Michael Jordan just IS Michael Jordan (at about the 3.40 mark). I watch enough sports, and get stuck watching ESPN enough, to know that there’s a war right now between the “Who’s more like Mike?” crowd. Is it Lebron or is it Kobe?
But they’re not like Mike. Nobody can be like Mike. And while my personal favorite is Lebron, he’ll never be what Mike was to basketball. Just the fact that they’re comparing them at all says everything. Lebron, Kobe, Derrick, Harden — no one can be Michael Jordan. Not for decades to come. Not until Michael Jordan is just a footnote.
That’s because like everything else, there’s history and there’s the present. H.P. Lovecraft changed horror. Edgar Allan Poe changed horror. Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the list goes on… They changed writing. In their time. But no one says “Stephen King is the new Lovecraft.” Because Lovecraft has become a footnote while Stephen King is NOW. But they do say that Bentley Little could be the next King, and similarly about other current authors. Why? Because Stephen King, in this little niche genre, is our version of Michael Jordan.
And for a long time, I wanted to be name to name with King. I wanted to sit nestled tightly next to Little, Lumley, Keene, Koontz, Jackson, and so forth. I wanted to be one of them.
But listening to that video, listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s words… I realized I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to be counted among them. I don’t want to be compared to Stephen King. I don’t ever want someone to say “Wow, she could take over for Stephen King” or any of the blurbs written on covers about how this or that author (male or female) will one day top the horror genre as King has and still does.
I want to be Shanna Wynne. I want to stand alone.
So I’m calling it, like Babe Ruth on the mound. I am going to knock this ball right outta the park.
And no need to keep an eye on me. I’ll already be there. Because my focus is there. And so am I.
And so should you. Be YOU. Hit for the parking lot and don’t look back when you’re running for home. There’s enough space in the night sky for each of us to be a star.
Also, help me be a star. Go pick up The Rainbow Ranch for under a buck. Help a sister out, alright?