I read Anthony Robbins’s Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! (affiliate link) a few years ago. I love this book and will not part with my scruffy copy.
Yesterday, I was reminded of the book when I pushed myself to jog again.
If you’re like me, finding exercise something of a chore, then you’d understand how I feel about the subject.
It’s not a one-time struggle. It’s an every day or every other day struggle.
Yes, it reminds me of writing.
In the book, Anthony Robbins says ‘values guide our every decision and, therefore, our destiny’ and ‘whatever your values are, they affect the direction of your life’. This is his definition of what values are:
To value something means to place importance upon it; anything that you hold dear can be called a ‘value’.
He talks about the difference between two types of values – ends and means. He gives the example of acquiring money as a means value:
‘What does money really mean to you? What does it give you?’ You might say, ‘Freedom, impact, the ability to contribute, a sense of security.’…money is merely a means to achieving a much deeper set of values, a set of emotions that you desire to experience on a consistent basis in your life.
The ends values are those that will fulfill you, make your life rich and rewarding.
Here are a list of what Robbins calls moving-toward values: love, success, freedom, intimacy, security, adventure, power, passion, comfort and health – set out in his book in that exact order.
I remember writing out my values and then re-writing them to fit my life at the time. What I don’t remember is what they were or what order they were in. But I do remember the value that was at the top of my list. My first priority. The most important thing – even more important than writing. Can you guess?
Yes, you’re right.
Why is health so important for writers?
With any other business, excluding artists and craftsman, if an employee is ill there’s always the possibility of bringing someone in who can take over. The temp (temporary employee) answers emails, phones and ‘cover’ the position until the sick employee is well enough to go back to work.
I’ve been temping for more than five years and it takes a day of training or even no training (you just ask those who are there – there’s always someone who knows how to do something – that is if the business is good at cultivating flexibility) to cover someone who is off sick.
No one can take over while you’re unwell. They can’t just sit and write your novel for you.
Some established authors have assistants to help them answer fan mail, emails, return phone calls, organize their schedule etc but even those authors cannot get someone to write their novels for them. Yes, there are such writers as ghostwriters to write your book and guest bloggers to cover your blog but here, we’re talking about writers who want to write their own novels.
If you’re a writer, health should be the most important thing on your list.
And I’m not just talking about how health can help you with your writing. Without good health, you’re unlikely to have the energy to enjoy love, achieve success – all those other values on Anthony Robbins’s list.
When I talk about health, I’m not only talking about physically but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. You’ll find – well, I find – that once you get physically healthy (and nothing else is stressing you) you become mentally and emotionally healthier as well. As writers, I’ve read, we’re the most prone to depression and mental illnesses which is another reason why we have to look after ourselves.
Is it time for you to have a health spring clean?
Is your body at it’s best? Are your emotions balanced? Is anything mentally getting you down? Is it time to take control? For me it’s time I took control. What about you?
I’m not saying it’s easy. I know it’s not easy. There’s so many other things we have to do. But we must try. I know it’s a struggle to get off your butt, off the internet and put on your jogging gear but you must force yourself. Like writing, you can’t not do it. Like writing, even when you don’t feel like it, you have to.
Here’s an idea:
Daily Routine: Decide on an exercise routine that you can do at least 3 times a week. Say, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Me? I’m jogging and stretching after.
Monthly Routine: If your body is in full working order and nothing is falling off or in need of urgent attention. Make a note of every part of your body that needs care and attention – teeth, face, skin, stomach, hair, toes, feet – especially the bits that give you trouble. And every month, see that you take care of one of those areas. Okay, take for example, teeth. You brush it every day. If you’re not, please brush your teeth every day. So if for one month your teeth is your sole concern (when nothing else is falling apart) that month you might set up an appointment to see the dentist. If you do this every year, you’re having a check up at least once a year.
(As I write this post, my brother popped his head in my room and asked me if I want to go jogging in 5 mins. I’m going to stop writing and put on my jogging gear. My health is more important than writing. So, I’ll see you when I get back.)
How is your health?
Are you looking after yourself?
What are you going to do to make it better?
Any suggestions to help other writers?
Leave a comment. It’s good to know.
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
Helen Keller – Author and Lecturer
CURRENT STATUS: Reminder, Motivator and Review Meeting (Read on if you want to join me in my Corporation of One meeting)
What l have learnt:
- Three Ways Documentaries Inspire Fiction (via Yingle Yangle). I prefer films. Not much of a documentary lover – I might just try.
- 20 Questions to Help Improve Your Dialogue (via Yingle Yangle). Definitely going to go through this with a fine tooth comb.
- Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Revision by editor Kendra Levin (via Elana Johnson’s blog). Another one I need to read carefully.
- Voice by agent Elana Roth. Voice, and do I have it? I don’t know. Should I go and hide under a stone?
- 50 Ways to Woo the Web World (via Write to Done). Useful.
What I have done:
- Put up my very first affiliate link to Amazon. I’m not sure if this will work. I guess we’ll have to see.
WORD COUNT: Night Walker 149,000 words in total. Wednesday 18 August wrote 1,000 words. Thursday 19 August wrote 1,000 words.