Published in Blog, June 11, 2011
I’m about to get all hippy on you. This keeps happening… Random occurrences my sister calls “God Sents.” Others call them signs, whispers of the universe.. whatever.
I’ll give you some examples:
Eight years ago I wasn’t sure if I should take a job at Vans or not. Waivering about the decision and with an upset stomach, I went for a walk, looked down at the ground and saw some guy wearing a bright bold pair of Vans sk8his with the white Vans side stripe glaring at me right in the face.
I took the job.
Five years later as the head of international marketing and sales at Vans, I was horrified about leaving my stable, lucrative job that took me all over the world to pursue my number one passion and become a fulltime freelance journalist. Everyone thought I had lost my mind.
When I finally got enough courage and decided to go for it, the phone rang and I got invited on a two-week boat trip to write about a group of surfers going to the Mentawais in Indonesia.
This past Monday, I decided to improve my own craft, I needed to seek advice and surround myself from better writers. That evening, I took a side route home, walked into Warwick’s (an awesome book shop in La Jolla) and met Sebastian Junger, arguably one of the best living writers around. He was just finishing his book signing, and everyone but a few employees remained behind. The store was closed, but I guess I got lucky, walked in like I belonged (…standard) and met a living legend who gave some great advice.
Then, Tuesday night, I didn’t want to go to a certain event that I was assigned to cover for a story. I made myself go, and ended up meeting the editor in chief of a major newspaper I have been wanting to write for, and had just emailed that weekend.
Yesterday, a writer whose book I read cover to finish in one day (a rare occurrence for me), walked into Bird Rock Coffee as I myself, was writing a story on a topic his book inspired me to pursue.
The same afternoon I went to see a specialist for my knee. It’s about the eighth specialist I have seen and so far nothing has really worked in getting me back to running.
Weeks ago, a friend in Costa Rica told me to read a book on getting over pain written by a certain author/healer type guy. She said it’s the only thing that would help and that this guy, whose name I couldn’t remember and emailed her for a few days ago, was the best.
Sure enough the guy I met with, was that very author, and I had absolutely no idea. She just emailed me his name today, and apparently he’s buddies with guys lik Deepak Chopra, and a stud at helping athletes recover.
I don’t know really know why all these things happened this week except… well… I have been still and quiet and meditating every morning ( yep – and it’s amazing for people as A.D.D .as I am)… and most importantly… DOING the work.
I am not talking about it, actually putting ink on paper, churning out story after story, writing what I want to, pitching, jumping onto new topics, meeting with people much more skilled than I am at my craft, actually asking for help and ignoring every lucrative and lame sales offer completely unrelated to anything I want to do that is thrown my way.
I guess that’s what Steven Pressfield spoke about when he said Do THE WORK in his book The War of Art.
I have a tendency to flap my mouth more than work my fingers or my body or whatever it is.
You know what I am saying. And sometimes I get scared about the paycheck that may or may not come and I get insecure about the path I have chosen so take on lame jobs that sound cool and make me money. Some weeks, I talk more than I walk and get so distracted, then others like this week, I do focused marathon sessions and it pays back in multitudes.