How many times have you gone in search of something, like a lost set of keys or a pair of glasses, only to find them hiding in plain sight? Yes, it is often the most obvious places to look that elude us and we end up wondering why these are usually the last places that we consider looking in. And sometimes we find what we’ve been searching for unexpectedly, when it was the last thing on our mind at that moment.
The same holds true for many things in life we may be looking for, whether it be something as small as a piece of paper or a pen, or something as significant as a life partner or career choice. Sometimes, we listen to what others tell us and ignore our own instincts. At other times we allow ourselves to be distracted by a myriad of choices and end up lost in a sea of confusion and indecision. We seek the answers when we are not even sure of the questions to ask because we haven’t really thought things through. And on occasion we are overwhelmed by the possible consequences of our actions and end up paralyzed with fear, so we do nothing. As a writer, I’ve found that much of this experience, and the philosophy I use to deal with, it applies in my craft as well.
When faced with a search for something, whether it is an object, an answer or a life choice, I feel that the best way to go about it is to simplify things as much as possible. Break things down to their lowest common denominator, so to speak. Take things one step at a time until you’ve found what you’re looking for. There are a few important tenets I try to keep in mind that I will share here, in the hopes that they will help my readers and fellow authors as much as they’ve helped me.
- Try to be clear about what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure, take the time to figure it out before you begin.
- It’s often best, more efficient and less frustrating to search for one thing at a time.
- Determine the best way to begin your search before you start. Be prepared to change your method if it isn’t working after a reasonable effort.
- Remember that sometimes you have to take one step back to take two steps forward.
- Everything that looks good isn’t necessarily good for you.
- When you believe you’ve found what you’re looking for, take the time to examine it thoroughly to be sure it really is.
- Don’t be afraid to follow your own instincts. You have them for a reason.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Each attempt brings you closer to success. Never give up.
- If you realize that what you’re looking for isn’t something you really need or want after all, then stop. That isn’t giving up. That’s knowing when to let go.
- If the search is taking longer than expected, take a break. Focus. Meditate. Breathe. Then start again.
- If something you’ve been looking for comes unexpectedly, then enjoy it! If you’ve done the above then you may have been drawing it to you all along without even realizing it.
There you are. Those are my basic rules—take them as you will. May your keys always be where you think you’ve left them, may your muse treat you kindly, and may you always find your heart’s desire at your door. Happy hunting!
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