This holiday season, while you are out purchasing gifts for your friends and family, take time to purchase a gift or two for yourself–ones that help you succeed as a nonfiction writer. You have an enormous amount of potential, but you need to help yourself fulfill that potential. Make sure you have what you need to move toward your goals in the New Year. And spend just bit on yourself; you are important, too.
The Importance of Personal Growth
I recently attended the Expert Industry Academy’s annual conference, an organization I joined to help me reach my goals. I was struck by the fact that a good number of the speakers mentioned that they have spent an enormous amount of money in the past on personal growth courses and continue to do so today. In fact, as they get more successful and make more money, they spend more on personal growth activities, such as coaches. (I wrote more about this here.)
My son is a dancer. His body is the tool of his trade. He must care for it and work with it to improve his dancing. As a writer, your mind is your tool. You must constantly find ways to spark your creativity, develop your intellect, hone your knowledge of your craft, and increase your productivity. You must develop what in my new book, The Author Training Manual, I call an Author Attitude. This entails having willingness, optimism, objectivity, and tenacity. It also means examining your thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions to determine how they affect your ability to succeed. Tihen you must make changes in all four areas, if necessary, so you can create new thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions that are more likely to help you succeed—more likely to help you reach your potential. That process involves personal growth or personal improvement.
Without personal growth you stay stuck where you are, doing the same things you’ve always done. And if those things aren’t helping you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, you are doomed to fail.
5 Gifts to Help You Reach Your Potential
Make a list of the gifts that could help you reach your potential—or your goals—this year. Here are five ideas:
- Buy a book (or buy 12—one for each month of the year) to help you improve in some way. Purchase books on goal achievement, writing craft, social media, focusing your thoughts, getting published, changing habits, etc.
- Hire a coach. It can be difficult to change without accountability to and support from someone else. That’s why so many people utilize the services of a coach. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands of dollars per month to hire one nor do you need one for years, but consider committing to one for three months to a year to help you achieve some large goal.
- Take a course. Personal growth and writing courses abound. Find one that fits your interests and your budget. You can take them in person or online. Sign up. Attend. You won’t regret it.
- Join a group. Find groups that support you in growing and changing in meaningful and positive ways. This can make a huge difference in how fast you make the necessary changes in your life.
- Purchase audio programs. If you don’t have the time to read or to go to groups or the money for program or a coach, buy or download personal growth or writing programs for your favorite listening device, such as an iPad or iPhone. You can listen to these when you drive, walk or run.
Keep Your Focus Broad
In recent years I’ve focused primarily on improving myself in only one area: work. That means I tried to help myself meet my writing, publishing and blogging goals. In the process, I turned my back on my greater personal growth. This left me and my life unbalanced. Recently, I’ve begun focusing on improving myself as a whole person once again. And this helps my writing and my ability to succeed as a writer as well.
Indeed, we are not just nonfiction writers. Our careers are part of our whole life. The fact that we are writers is part of who we are as people. No distinction should be made between work and life. It is all life.
So as you seek a present for yourself, be sure to keep that in mind and purchase something that helps you grow in a balanced manner.
Do you have general gift suggestions that will help nonfiction writers succeed? If so, leave them in a comment. (Please, no promotion of specific products.)