Humble Pie and Writing a Wrong
Life has a knack for humbling you. A certain person who will go unnamed (mostly because his name makes me want to barf) might not experience the humility gained in a life well lived, but the rest of us know what it means to think, “oh yeah, I got this,” only to smack, cartoon style, into an unnoticed wall.
I had a moment like that recently when I thought I had created something awesome at work, only to hear that it actually stunk. I sound glib, but it was one of those slow-motion moments where its beauty made me so grateful. When someone who you love and respect points out your flaws, it is a wonderful opportunity to take a look in the mirror and decide to improve.
Determined to do a better job next time, I pulled out all the stops. The criticism was with my fundraising writing; a thing I tend to think I do pretty well. Don’t worry, I write very differently at work than on my blog.
So, I decided to enlist my yoga training to turn this thing around. I thought I’d share some of my best strategies, in case you find yourself in a situation where you too need to up your game.
“Environment is stronger than will.” That’s a Yogananda quote that we all should chew on for a while. Although I was not dealing with an issue of willpower, I
Meditate before teaching. This is from Swami and Master (Yogananda) and it’s priceless. I apply it to writing too – can’t go wrong with that one!
Visualize who you are writing to. This was something Swami counseled often when he spoke about his own writing. He wrote 150 books, so I would take his advice if I were you. I wrote this series of letters to specific people I know. It was a sweet exercise. I feel closer to the people I wrote to and I know the letters came out much more genuine…because, well, they are!