Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
Monday, January 30, 2017
COMMIT: 20 Ways to Win
New Year! Perhaps you’ve made a resolution…or two…or three…to make 2017 a year
of change for you. Fine. Good first step.
more important: get committed, really committed, the message of a recent, highly
acclaimed book by Linda Formichelli,
Formichelli two decades ago wanted to become a professional writer and break
free of working in the corporate cubicle. Baby steps might have sufficed, but she
found that she and her family had to commit to this goal big-time. She changed
careers, moved from New Hampshire to North Carolina, economized on time and
money, wrote articles, editor queries, and cover letters non-stop, homeschooled
their son…all to fulfilled her personal commitment to become a prosperous
freelance writer. It worked.
Giant Steps, Not Baby
we are advised to eat the elephant one bite at time and take that journey of a
thousand miles one step at a time and heat that frog slowly, Ms. Formichelli disagrees:
sometimes, baby steps will NOT get you where you want to go. Giant dreams
require giant steps.
works four ways: explosively quick results; boosted motivation: success feeding
upon success; victories that energize you.
20 Ways to Win
are this author’s 20 tactics (her words, my explanations):
“Embrace discomfort.” If it’s comfortable, you
aren’t stretching enough.
“Clear the decks.” Abandon lesser projects and
“Make it non--optional.” If it is really worth
doing, then you MUST do it.
“Connect your goal to a larger purpose.” Why
are you doing this, really?
“Go big or go home.” Half-measures won’t win.
“Check in with yourself.” Is this what you
“Put some skin in the game.” The more you risk,
the greater your motivation to succeed.
“Read 10 or more books on the subject.” You’ll
nearly be an expert.
“Overwhelm your goals with sheer numbers.” Barely
enough is likely to be insufficient. Recall “shock and awe” attack. Nothing
succeeds like excess?
“Make a list of 100 ideas.” Don’t settle for
listing 10. Some of the next 90 are likely to be gems.
“Do a 30-day challenge.” We can endure almost
anything for a month.
“Fill every spare moment.” Be like those ladies
who knit while doing something else, almost anything else.
“Deliberately move faster.” You can accelerate if
you decide to.
“Surf your way to success.” The Web can be your
“Measure everything.” Management gurus advise:
if it isn’t measured, it doesn’t get done.
“Hire help.” Not all tasks are suitable as
and conquer.” Utilize specialization and division of labor.
“Crowdsourcing.” The ultimate in getting
“Gear up.” You can’t do something with nothing.
Buy the essentials, at least. Investment enhances motivation.
“Make space.” You’ll need elbow room or even a
whole room. Find space at home or perhaps rent it.
“Let the competition spur you on.” If Mr. X. or
Ms. Y. can do it, so can you, right?
Fornichelli gives the encouraging example of her family’s migration south and
her successful freelance writing career, requiring the family’s whole-hearted
commitment. She gives the counter-example of their unsuccessful effort to keep
their cats from destroying their furniture, an effort marked by half-measures
and failure. (Cats rule!)
my own case, I rescued my college sweetheart from a difficult situation,
changed location, jobs, and career, downshifted my living arrangements and my
other expenses, and was blessed with the marriage that I had always hoped for.
The Bottom Line for Top
heart never won fair lady” the adage goes. Whether in love or war or career,
one must commit fully to achieve great outcomes.
What have you done
wholeheartedly and succeeded at? What do you want to commit to for 2017?
Please join the conversation.
Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a former Harvard science professor. He still
publishes, and he helps others write and publish their books via his business
website, http://WriteYourBookWithMe.com. His
life's central theme has been his half-century romance with his
wife, Tina Su Cooper, now quadriplegic for over a decade due to multiple sclerosis,
receiving 24/7 nursing care at home, as discussed at their website here.