“The secret of success is knowing what the best next step to take is — then taking it.” David Viscott
I don’t know about you, but in my writing life, I find that that it’s easy for me to become unfocused and overwhelmed. Pondering a daily writing task I’ve set for myself can seem overwhelming. I’m betting that you often feel the same way.
“Overwhelm” — that’s a loaded word, isn’t it? One of its simplest meanings is “to overpower in thought or feeling” — and that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Because when you’re overwhelmed you feel overpowered — as if you are not equal to the task at hand: It’s too big, too complex, too demanding, too scary — to tackle.
But our pal David Viscott, a psychiatrist and author of self-help books like Emotionally Free, has a simple antidote: “the best next step.”
When feelings of “overwhelm” threaten to swallow you up, just stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “What’s the next best step I can take here?” Then see what surfaces — and just do it.
Most of the time, we know what this next step is, so it’s not all that complicated. We just have to isolate it and commit.
A few more words of wisdom from David that are tailor-made for us: “Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.” Write on!
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