Persistence.

These past couple of weeks have been frustrating. For some reason I found myself sick of everything. Yeah, everything just made me sick. I was tired of all of it: the people, my town, my generation, current events, relationships–just everything, everything was getting on my nerves. I felt that there was nothing else I could possibly do to make things better in my life. I felt like I had tried everything in the book. The journaling, the meditating, the writing, the blogging, the talking with friends, family and therapists, the exercise, the eating right, the praying, the relaxing, the reading…  What kept me going was simply my will to keep going.

I haven’t been writing the novel. Why? Because I’m still recovering from an eye infection that lasted three weeks, has made it hard for me to sleep, and has blurred my vision and strained my eyes so that even writing makes me sick. Frustrating. Grrr.

But today I am recovering, things are looking up, I am more optimistic, less sick of the people around me, and more on the up and up in general. Why? Because I realized something.

I remember complaining to someone that I felt like I had tried everything to make my life “work” and nothing had done the trick. Yes for a couple of months meditation worked, but then something new came in and crapped on me. So I tried something else, exercise for instance. And that worked for a while, and then life came to crap on me again… This cycle went on and on.  I acquired a new tool to help me get through the challenges of life, it would work for a while, and then something more challenging fell on my lap, and I had to try something new.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out that life was not going to give in. Life was going to keep coming at me. As it keeps coming after all of us. I was looking at things the wrong way. I thought that if I did “A” and “B,” “X” would go away. When “X” was gone, and “Y” showed up, then I would let go of “A” and “B,” and then I would try “C.” Now that “Y” was gone, and now that “Z” showed up, I would change strategy and try “D.” Sooner or later, as you can see, you’re going to run out of letters in the alphabet. You will reach a limit on what you as a person can do to face the challenges of life.

Life is persistent. And I was going along with notion that crap happens and you just accept it. If crap happens I had to do the Buddhist “surrender” thing, or the Christian “bow down to His will” thing. To be honest with you, neither of those things ever sat well with me. I do believe in accepting what is happening and facing reality, but I don’t think you necessarily have to surrender to it. I’m a man of action. A man of doing. I needed a way of looking at life that fit my personality.

I was jogging at the park the other day (it was an “A” thing I picked up, to deal with an “X” thing that showed up), and I was thinking about what I had said to that person earlier. I had insisted that I had done “everything” to deal with my problems. But that was not true. I had not done EVERYTHING. I had tried one thing, then let it go, then tried another, then let it go… In the end, yes I may have tried everything–separately, AT DIFFERENT TIMES, but I never tried EVERYTHING AT ONCE.

If life throws 100 craps at you, then why not build 100 toilets to flush down the crap? (Pardon the grotesque analogy.) Instead of leaving that crap around until it stinks so bad you become sick of EVERYTHING, why not throw, literally, EVERYTHING you got at it?

If life throws you everything it’s got, then why can’t you throw everything you got, back at it?

So that’s what I am starting to do. I am doing EVERYTHING:  exercise, eat right, pray, meditate, talk, write, read, create, relax, love… (and now blog.)

And what do you know? It’s starting to work. My eyes are clearing up, and suddenly things are starting to not drive me so crazy anymore.

“So…  What’s the moral of the story, teacher?”

Well, I learned that persistence is not just having the will to keep living, but the will to keep living at your highest potential, at all times, in all circumstances.

Done right, and done consistently, I would imagine this approach could result in a very fulfilling life.

Wish me luck.

Happy Father’s Day!

much love,

Ollin

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17 comments on “Persistence.

  1. Margarita says:

    Balance! Yep! I need to buy more toilets. Your right bra!

  2. Inspiring post. I like your idea of throwing everything you’ve got right back at it. Glad to hear that things are looking up! Sending more positive thoughts your way.

  3. Lua says:

    I know about those times when one feels sick of everything & everyone… I get this feeling especially when I can’t write… That was the first thing came to my mind when I read your post Ollin, perhaps the infection in your eye that made you stop writing for 3 weeks has something to do with your mood. Hopefully, now that you started to write again, you’ll feel better…
    But I love your new attitude towards life- keep it up!🙂

  4. AAAAAAAAH! A new story! I;m going to be checking several times a day to get the hits up🙂
    If I didn’t have a job I would do nothing but wallow in my own self-pity. Thankfully employment keeps that at bay and those days don’t last too long. I agree with Lua, once you start writing again, you will feel MUCH better🙂

    • You know maybe that is the problem, and why I’m so cranky right? It has to be, I definitely didn’t feel that when I was still writing. Oh, no, I need to time to work on some drafts first!🙂 Give me time! lol.

  5. Hello! I’ve been following our gal Lua for the last few months and saw your guest post. As a fellow aspiring writer, I love what you’re doing here with your blog and look forward to joining in on following your progress.

    The positive defiance in this post is electric, and just the prod I need to get off my own arse and write with new freshness and dedication…and your crap analogy is hilariously apt, by the way🙂

    • Thanks so much thefallenmonkey!

      And I am so so sorry for the meanspirited comment that was posted here (now deleted). I usually moderate comments, but I had left it open recently so that Lua could freely respond to my readers. Definitely not the impression I wanted to give you for the first time coming to my blog. This is NOT AT all a place for mean-spiritedness, but for positivity, understanding, and mutual support. I know it was mainly directed at me but I believe you were mentioned. I apologize for that.

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment! It does make me feel better that I can help other writers, as one day I may need you to take me out of a funk.🙂

      Thanks so much for dropping by!

  6. Agatha82 says:

    Yes, persistence is key and also belief in yourself. Never give up, never surrender. It took Bram Stoker 6 years to write Dracula, so really, imagine if he had given up? We would have lost a masterpiece of horror writing. You’ll have bad days and good days and sometimes, you will hate your novel (trust me I know this, been through it) and sometimes, you may even take a month off and do something else, but if you’ve got a good idea (and I think you have) you will eventually persevere and get to where you’re supposed to go, it’s just that sometimes, there’s a lot of crap along the way, but you’ll get there in the end🙂

    • Thanks Agatha82!

      It’s always helpful to receive encouraging comments from other writers, especially those who have been there. You encouragement means a lot to me!🙂 I appreciate it.

  7. Melissa says:

    I also found my way here via Lua’s blog and I must say, you’ve got a great blog.🙂 I’m also an aspiring writer with a blog about just that. I always laugh when people tell me that writing must be so easy because they really have no idea…

    Life is definitely persistent. Right now, I’m going through some issues that have kept me from working on my novel. It’s not easy to deal with, but I also know that I will get back into it. My characters are there waiting for me. We’ll get there.🙂 Just like life, we need to be persistent.

    • No they do not have any idea. I had some idea, but now I am definitely getting the big picture as I write my first novel. I’m sorry to hear about that. As you can see, I’m learning that as a writer we have to work with our personal lives more, because what we create is so dependent on all those other factors. It’s not like a regular 9-5 job, where you can still fill in that database, even though you are dealing with X, Y, and Z. Your personal life really has a lot to do with your ability to write.

      We’ll I’m glad you are optimistic about it. We have to be!🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

  8. […] going to be talking about “faith” today as a concept all on its own. Like patience, or persistence, or doubt. For the moment, I’m also going to remove “faith” from any association […]

  9. […] Persistence. {Developing a strong offensive against life’s challenges was an important lesson for me. Plus, that toilet metaphor is still one my all-time fav’s.} […]

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