Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Self-fulfilling prophecy

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction or statement about ourselves that may or may not be true, but causes us to behave as if the prediction or statement were actually true.

When I was a kid, I struggled with math. It didn’t take me long to go from not understanding certain algebraic concepts to believing that I wasn’t good at math. That’s what I told myself, and I believed it. And because I believed that I wasn’t good at math, I behaved as if it were true, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe if I had worked a little harder or longer, I would have been able to understand algebra. But I didn't give myself the opportunity to improve. I gave up because I believed I couldn't do it.

What is the little voice in your head telling you? Are you sending yourself positive messages, or negative ones? Are you taking a small setback and letting it turn you into someone who is afraid to proceed because the outcome may not be as great as you think? Or do you give yourself the message that you can do more than you think you can?

Don’t let the negative thoughts in your head determine your reality. We all have disappointments and failures. Look at them for what they are: opportunities to improve.

Write soon,


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Success and failure

Success is never final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts

Winston Churchill

Recently, I haven’t started any new projects, and haven’t finished any old ones. I’m not writing much, and don’t have a routine. I do have a few ideas in the hopper, but nothing is rising to the top. Does that make me a failure? Maybe, but I’m not giving up. I’m just going to start again.

This week the fall semester begins. One thing I like about school is that we get to start over a few times a year, so we have more chances to get it right. I love that. A student or teacher can have the worst semester ever, and in a few months, it doesn’t matter because everything ends, and then we get a chance to begin again. Sounds kinda like life, eh?

At the beginning of every semester, I ask my oral communications students to write down their fears and goals for the class. I stress the part about CLASS, but I get a variety of students who write about other fears like spiders, bugs and heights. (I can relate to the one about heights.)

I save these sheets in my class folder, and return them on the last day of class. On that day, I announce to them that they can see how they have conquered their fears and met their goals. Every time I put a sheet on a desk, I watch the student read it and smile. I love that.

Write down your goals. Write down your fears. Every day, try to do one thing to accomplish your goals, and one thing to eliminate your fears. By the end of the week, or month, or season or year, you will have something – and it may be good. Work toward something bigger than yourself, and you will be able to realize who you are, hiding in plain sight underneath who you think you are. And don’t give up. Ever.

Write soon,


Monday, August 8, 2011

What I want the truth to be vs. the actual truth

I WANT to say that I haven’t posted content lately because I became engrossed in the movie Moby Dick, which turned into an obsession with the book, with which I am almost finished. But, it wouldn’t be true. I tried to watch the movie, I really did, but it just wasn’t for me.

I couldn’t get past William Hurt as Captain Ahab. I like William Hurt, but I kept seeing and hearing him as his character in The Accidental Tourist, and the peg leg just made it more unbelievable. I believed Gary Sinise as Lt. Dan who lost his legs in Forrest Gump, but couldn’t make the same leap with William Hurt in Moby Dick.

And to be completely honest, I had issues with his coat being buttoned/unbuttoned in a scene in which I’m sure they had many takes, and was hard to make it exactly the same every time, and it bugged me. And when I find myself looking for things like buttons on a coat in a movie, then I know the spell is broken. My only reasoning is that sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I CAN honestly say I finished my summer semester, turned in my grades and began preparing for the next semester. Plus we have house guests! Like all writing, blogs take thought, time and effort to produce content, and while most of us have one or two of those things going for us at any one time, it’s hard to have all three at once!

So tell me, how do you motivate yourself to write? Do you have a certain amount of time you set aside, or is it a word count goal every day, or week, or month?

Write soon,