Monday, January 30, 2012

Admitting Faults

I ended up scoring major brownie points at the office the other day in a rather unusual way.  Thoughtlessly, I offended somebody (probably not a big surprise) but I didn't find out until about 20 minutes later when a third party mentioned it to me.  I dropped what I was doing and immediately headed back to the person in question and delivered a public apology.  While this seemed like a small thing to me, in fact, the only natural way to handle the situation, it went a long way not only with the individual, but with everybody around him.

In my line of work, I meet troubled people all the time.  Whatever their vice may be - theft, addiction, self-abuse, only one factor remains the same.  You can never improve until you admit that you have a problem.

The same principle applies to my trade of choice: writing.  I could go on for hours about how sucking it up and joining a writing group has changed my life for the better, particularly finally having a group of people that I care deeply about that share the same passion, the same hopes, the same collective dream.  It's for this reason that I never pull punches when it comes time to critique and expect the very same.  Truth be told, I wish they'd hit me harder.

I'm certain I'm not the best writer in the world and I have plenty of room for improvement.  I've always doubted my abilities and have always worked to improve them.  Seeing as how I can't use that as an example, I'm going to share with you my true shame - not because I want sympathy or encouragement as I tackle my next goal, but because I want YOU to know that it's okay to admit that you're not perfect.

Click for Pic

It's been nearly 6 years since I left behind my life of loading trucks in a warehouse overnight, and I kissed that body goodbye a long time ago.  Once proud to wear tight shirts in a size small, I can't even bring myself to tuck in my shirts anymore.

Once you've admitted your fault - not to anybody but yourself, it's time to act.  I know myself well enough to know that I can't just up and duck out to the gym whenever I want.  Having three small children adds a bit of restriction.  But when we got a Kinect for Christmas and I got sore as all get-out from playing Fruit Ninja and Kinect Adventures, I knew there was some new potential here.

Let's make it a game.

I got the UFC Personal Trainer game and have started the 30-day workout program.  I'm not certain if it will work or not, but I started it this morning and can still feel the burn.  There's just some places I don't enjoy hurting.

But I'm going to stick with it.  I'll let you know the results at a later date.  But while I'm working on that, I want YOU to be working on you.  Talk to your critique group, find a beta-reader, or, if you like, send me 5-10 pages and I'll tear it apart for you (in a timely manner).

If there's any truth to life, it's that the day we stop finding faults within ourselves and cease to improve, we grow stagnant as people.  We become comfortable with status-quo.  We lose the spark that makes life wonderful.  I'm not saying you should stand in front of the mirror like a teenage girl and pick at every pimple, but find one thing that bothers you, just one, and work at it.  Kneed it like stubborn dough until you can mold it into something better.

Cliche as it may sound - spend each day being the best you that you can be.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great post. I'm amazed you get anything done with three small children.Shows your determination and motivation to write. Good luck on the new you.