Years ago, I heard a parable that really resonated with me. Normally, I like parables that compare me to a princess, but I wasn’t so lucky with this one. There were two frogs who both fell into deep pails of milk. With slick edges, the frogs could not climb out, with nothing beneath their legs, their only option was to swim or drown. After days of swimming, one frog simply grew tired and felt hopeless, and he stopped swimming, sank to bottom of his pail and drowned. The other, though tired, and at times questioning his logic, just kept swimming. Amazingly his persistence had churned up a nice pad of butter on which he was able to stand on and jump free. In the publishing business, at times it feels as if all we do is tread water, but if we keep treading, if we keep moving, and if it keep going, keep writing, the opportunities can and do arrive. But it’s not just the publishing business; it’s any goal you are striving to reach.
I found this in my Simple Abundance book:
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more commonplace than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.
I’m here to tell you, that I have met so many writers whose talent far outshined my own. I’m not a genius. I work hard (daily) to teach myself the same principles I’m writing about. My walls do not have framed degrees on them. Yet, what I have accomplished is mainly contributed to my perseverance. And if I can do this, why can’t you?
So, my number one tip is very simple:
Tip one: Don’t give up—become the frog that kept on swimming.
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For those of us that are mothers, we know from the time our little ones are old enough to start having friends, we are very careful of who we allow our children to play with. Let’s face it, if little three-year-old Susie says bad words, you can bet your boots that your own little darling will pick it up. Even as our children grow into teenagers, we remain cautious who they “hang with.” And as teens you should be careful as well. If your friend Tommy likes to party too hardy, you may follow suit. Yes, as parents we know all about peer pressure, yet so often, we forget that this rule applies to adults as well.
If your friends are whiners, if they are the type who give up too easily, if they are the kind of people who never set goals, who see only the negative, their habits are contagious. On the flipside, if you surround yourself with positive people, people who set goals and make them, who live to inspire and help others, people who know what they want, and are go-getters, those habits are also contagious.
So my second tip for you to take with you is the same advice your parents gave you as a teen, and you probably gave your own children:
Tip two: Be careful who your friends are. Check and recheck your circle of influence and if you don’t have a positive circle of influence, find one.