Updated: Jun 6
I've been reading self-help books since before they were cool—before they had colourful covers and curse words.
Concerned that her honour roll daughter was spending her free time reading about effective habits and human psychology, my mother would tell me that I was already perfect. I didn't need to change a thing.
It's not about change though—it's about transformation, development, and growth. It's about seeing what could be—who you could be. And then, it's about putting the work into action and getting uncomfortable as you transform your life.
As creatives, we have ambition and passion. We're also pegged as self-destructive. Heck, there's a whole genre for people who want to see how writers have destroyed what they have created.
It's no secret that a gross percentage of incredibly intelligent and purposed people will never see their full potential, let alone reach it. Touch it. Live it. But why? It's not because of a lack of self-help books on how to live your best life...
It's about flow. Process. Progress.
The number one rule for success is that creatives keep working on their craft. Seems obvious? Yeah, so does everything written in a self-help book. Insight isn't meant to be complicated; it's meant to be applicable.
If you stop working on your craft, you signal to the universe that you're done. Mission accomplished. You also signal to yourself that creation happens only when you can—when you have the motivation and inspiration.
When you commit to your work, you open yourself up to experiencing things someone who says "tomorrow" never will. Time slips and your mind narrows.
The difference between a successful writer and a wannabe writer is disciplined writing. A successful writer writes consistently, studies the language, and puts their work out for the world to consume. A wannabe spends more time thinking about writing than actually writing.
One of those people will go on to see their work published. The other will continue to wonder. The difference is action.
Work on your craft every day. If that sounds terrible, maybe you're in the wrong field. Maybe you want something that is easy. Maybe you don't want to invest in yourself. Those are your problems—and their limiting your potential.
When we think we're naturally talented, we cap what we can learn. We close ourselves off to criticism because we believe our gift is "fixed." It's not. You can lose it if you don't work it and you can stifle it by not studying it.
Now go, do, study, repeat.