I've lamented my lack of faith the last few years, the faith that I'll finish and submit a novel, get it published, and go on to some sort of writing career. Now I question if it's a lack of faith.
Faith would be the belief that the dream can be achieved and acting on that belief, investing the time and activity to realize the dream.
I think I've had faith. Otherwise I'd not still be writing and searching for agents, publishing, and reading fiction writing, editing and revising tips. I had the faith to believe that if I write everyday, I'll develop some insight into the process. Stories will unfold. Books will emerge. That's happen.
So it's not faith. No, I lack will.
My will has softened over the years. This came to me while in Vegas.
My wife and I walked around Vegas. She endured some pain and stiffness to walk but pushed through. She quoted a friend, who said you have to ignore the pain and just keep going. Otherwise, it will stop you from doing everything.
I've always coped well with pain. I've thought of it as living's side effect. If you live, there will be pain. You can't let it stop you.
Likewise, on business and military fronts, I don't let doubt stop me. Yes, I have doubts but I treated it like pain. Doubts were another of life's side effects. I didn't let that stop me. I assessed risks the best that I could, made decisions and pushed forward with plans.
Sometimes, I was wrong. I usually learned from mistakes. Several times I learned by making the same mistake a few more times.
I believe that being wrong is also a side effect, along with taking the risk that you could be wrong and make a mistake. But I believe that you can't learn unless you're willing to take a risk. And if you take a risk, you might be wrong.
You might seen as a fool or an idiot, beneath others' contempt. You might get yelled out and humiliated.
When your pride is hurt, it burns.
Afterward, people might question your judgement and abilities. You might lose some self-confidence.
Those are more side effects.
Those are the side effects that seem to be stopping me from moving forward.
Failure is something that I think we learn, just as we learn success. The fear of failure is something that we breed in ourselves, from taking some risks, failing, and losing self-confidence.
But like pushing through pain, I can push through doubt. Because if you live, there will be doubt.
You can't let it stop you.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com