“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” Will Durant, historian
Great advice! Simple, isn’t it: Just let everything go that might be holding you back. Surrender yourself to the page, to the moment.
Simple, but not easy. How do we make it happen? How do we let it all go and just bring our focus to the present? A few ideas to help us all.
Create a ritual: Do something simple to signal to your mind that you’re ready to write. Before I began this post, I lit a candle near my chair. And before I begin or a writing session, I also light a candle. It’s a way of reminding myself that I’m hoping, striving, to shed some light on something through my writing, for myself and others.
Use deep breathing: Just sitting for a few moments and paying attention to your breath is an easy and powerful way to slow down, to let go and relax, to be in the moment. Any form of meditation helps.
Try brain warmers: One way to shake the cobwebs from your head and focus on the job at hand is to give your brain a quick, easy job to do first. Take a book or newspaper or a dictionary if you have one handy, and pick out three random words. Then spend five minutes building a story around them. You’ll often be surprised at what you come up with. Just the act of completing it will give you a boost.
Just start: “It’s the start that stops most people”—this is a favorite saying of my friend and mentor, Dr. Rob Gilbert.* We all know how true this is! The solution? Try “the 15-minute rule.” Just tell yourself that you’ll work for 15 minutes and then stop. More often than not, once you get going, you’ll keep going.
Forgetting about the past and staying in the moment isn’t always easy. But with a few simple techniques, we can make it happen. Write on!
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* Check out Dr. Gilbert’s “The Success Hotline” daily podcast.