“Rise and Grind, Alex, Rise and Grind”. I say this to myself every day. It’s a personal mantra of sorts, mostly to get my butt out of bed and be mildly productive. If I didn’t my “Night Owl Nature” would have me still up at 3 am writing, editing, reading or making Cool quote pictures for social media. Which isn’t a problem, in and of itself, except that I live in a world where banks, along with most businesses, close at 5 pm. That means if I want to be able to make a living doing what I love, i.e. writing pieces for you lovely people to read, I need to be a functioning human by lunch time. So, I Rise and Grind.

I had to do the same thing when I decided to get serious about my writing. For over ten years I had self-induced “Writer’s Block”. I thought everything I wrote was crap, so I didn’t write anything. Years went by until about 6 months ago, when I was talking about my dream of writing and speaking on mindset and personal development to my partner. She said “Why don’t you do it then?” I told her about the writer’s block, but she said “I think you should try, you’d be good at it”. Now her first response to any problem is “Do some research” so I did what I was told and got online. I read article after article on overcoming writers block, and the overwhelming consensus was; Average writers only write when they’re “inspired”, Professional writers work at it, work at it, work at it. They hone their craft through practice, writing every day, not because of some divine intervention but because they know the more they do the better they will get and the better the chance of producing quality work. In other words, Rise and Grind.

So, that’s what I did, I started writing everyday no matter what. It didn’t matter if I didn’t feel like it, or there was something on that day. It may have only been a few lines, or it may have been a whole piece, but I wrote. At first there was a lot of crap, a lot of stuff that got thrown in the bin or scribbled out, with only a few lines or ideas making the cut. Slowly though, I got better, I found my “voice”, I produced less crap. Sure, like all art, the first draft and the final product can vary wildly, but every day I’m getting happier with my writing. Just because I didn’t give up and kept on grinding. You know the old phrase “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it?” well I’ve found that the opposite is also true; “if you use it, you will find it”

This goes for all areas of your life too by the way. You want to be better at communicating your emotions? Practice talking to your partner about who you’re feeling, even if you stumble over your words in the beginning. Rise and Grind. Do you want to get in to the honours program at your university? Study more and party less. Rise and grind. You want to be a better painter, sculptor, cook, salesman, tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor? RISE AND GRIND!!!

The key to any success is determined by two factors, imagination and determination. If you can think of a way to do it and work for it, there is no telling how far you’ll take it. Don’t let anyone, anything or any excuse you can come up with to slow you down. If you truly want it to happen, what that may be, you are going to have to work at it. Try, fail, get up and keep going. Rise and Grind. I wrote the second half of this post in a notebook, waiting for an appointment. Why? I need to write, it’s in my bones, but “life got in the way” in an excuse I am no longer willing to except from myself. Whenever my inner slacker comes out to try and get me to slow down, to accept less than me fulfilling who I am truly meant to be, I just keep telling myself, Rise and Grind.

So please, do you self a favour, dear reader. Work out what it is you are meant to do (go and check out my post on Finding You Vocation) and start working at it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re any good to start with, keep at it. Practice does make perfect. You know Rise and grind.

As always Get Up, Get out there and Get Awesome!

And remember Rise and Grind.

 

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