If You Want it Bad Enough, You Have to Work Hard to Get It

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” 

~Emile Zola 

When I was at the gym this morning I overheard a basketball coach giving two of the young boys that he coaches a lecture on practicing their skills.  He was telling them that they can’t just expect to become pro-basketball players without actually putting in the work to get there.  He was saying to his assistant coach that children just expect to wake up and automatically become what they want to be without putting in the time, the effort and the hard work it takes to get there.  I listened on as he spoke to them and I saw the young boys in there beginning to practice as he was lecturing them so clearly some of what he was saying was starting to sink in.  

As I continued to listen on I thought about the fact that it isn’t always just children who forget that things that are worth having, you have to work hard for.  Sometimes we adults forget that too.  We sometimes rely so heavily on the natural talent that we have to do whatever gifts we were blessed with that we forget that even with natural talent, there is skill involved and those skills have to be continuously exercised.  If we don’t practice our skill set, that talent can eventually fade away.  

We can’t continue to take our skills for granted and believe that no matter what they will always be there for us to use when we get around to putting in the hard work that it takes to make them work for us.  Basketball players don’t just wake up able to play basketball.  Sure they may have had the natural talent to shoot a ball in a hoop when they were younger but there would have been no chance of them making it to the NBA without continuously practicing that skill.  Had they not put in the hard work those skills would have just faded away. 

I’ve heard it said so many times by writers or singers or actors or athletes that it comes natural to them, and yet they still profess how much hard work their natural talent takes.  They take workshops to keep their words fresh, they have vocal coaches to keep their voice in tact, or they take ongoing acting classes to keep their acting skills on point, or they practice on a regular basis to keep their reflexes sharp.  Yes they may have this natural ability but they work hard at maintaining those abilities so that they don’t lose them.  

The same goes for anyone else out there trying to become successful at whatever it is that comes natural to them.  We all have something that we were born to do.  Now we just have to put in the hard work at practicing those skills to develop the success that we know we want.  So take some time to think whether or not you are really putting in the practice at making your skills work for you.  If you know you could be doing more then start now.  Practice equals progression! 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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What to Do When the Investment Wasn’t Made

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

~Henry Ford 

Yesterday I talked about parents needing to make investments in their children’s future and I spoke about the investment that wasn’t made in me by my own mother.  Well today I wanted to speak to those out there who were not supported by the people around them.  I wanted to make clear that just because you were not given the encouragement that you should’ve been when you were starting to realize your gift’s does not mean that your gift should be lost and never developed. 

This is where we now have to remind ourselves not to dwell on what was not given to us and focus on what we have to give of ourselves.  When we are not lifted up by the ones who are supposed to be there for us then it is up to us to be driven enough to enhance our own abilities.  It is up to us to believe in ourselves enough to make our dreams come true anyway, in spite of those who told you that you couldn’t.  

Now that you are at whatever point you are in within your career and your life, you can no longer play the blame game (yes that goes for me too).  Sure there will be days when you will naturally think about what could’ve been and that’s okay for about five seconds.  But then you have to (and this is going to be the hard part to do) get over it and move on.  

If you don’t make the choice now, to do whatever it takes to sustain yourself in your career, the blame falls solely on you.  Once you reach a certain age and point in life, it is no one else’s responsibility to lift you up and help you rise to the level of success that you want but you.  There will still be people along the way that can help you but you have to put yourself in the position to be in contact with those people.  You have to make all of the tough decisions.  You have to stop procrastinating and get moving.  You have to stop complaining about what never was and create what could still be.  Make your dreams count and know that you are worth the investment.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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Making Investments in Our Future

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”

~Graham Greene 

I watched the Oscars last night and I thought about all of the awards shows that we as writers and artists’ watch throughout the years and all of the acceptance speeches that we hear.  It is extremely rare not to hear an actress, actor, writer, director, singer, songwriter, or visual artists’ (graphic or otherwise) thank their parents for allowing them to be who they are and for not only encouraging their gifts but for also enhancing it by being supportive of that talent.  

I started thinking about the children whose gifts and talents are not acknowledged, let alone encouraged by their parents.  All of the gifts and blessings for the world that are not being realized because there is no one there to tell them that it’s okay to dream and dream big.  I was one of those children.  

When I watch those awards shows I can’t help but to think of whether I could’ve been one of those artists accepting an award for their brilliant talents if only I had a mother that encouraged or enhanced my gifts, or at the very least, acknowledged that I had any.  I know that I’ve mentioned here before that my mother was (to put it in nice terms) not very nurturing.  She never really believed in me and to this day it still hurts.  

I do feel that when she heard me singing around the house and heard other people who didn’t have to placate me tell her that I was actually good at it, that she perhaps could have invested in some voice lessons, or piano lessons for me.  Maybe when I wrote the class poem for my eighth grade graduation and my teachers all told my her that she had a very gifted writer on her hands, she could have put me in writing workshops that they had for children (and they had them, I checked).  Or maybe when I sent a poem to a songwriting contest and received a letter saying that they wanted to turn my poem into a song, however, they needed to deal with my mother contractually (because I was still a minor), she could’ve done what she needed to do as my mother to make it into a reality.  She could have actually invested in my gifts when I was younger but she didn’t.  

While I know that I can not jet off back into time and change what never was, I am left to constantly wonder what could have been.  Most days I don’t dwell on it.  But on nights like last night when I see people accepting their awards and whose parents clearly believed in them enough for them to get where they are now, I get a little resentful (as much as I hate to admit that) towards my mother.  

But that is when I just turn that resentfulness into a persistent desire to make sure that I am different with my daughter.  I want to make sure that I encourage her creative talents, enhance her gifts by supporting and investing in them, and empower her to believe that she can do and be whatever it is that she dreams she can be.  I want her to know that I believe in her and that I know her future is worth the investment.    

If we as parents do not invest in our children’s future where are they supposed to get the idea that their future is worth investing in to begin with.  It starts with us and if we see brilliance in our children it is our job and our duty to help them develop and cultivate their gifts.  They are our future and we have to make investments, not just in the stock markets and the next big business venture (not that our own careers are not important as well), but we have to invest in them too because their future is worth it.  They are our future Grammy, Golden Globe, or even Oscar winners and we have to help them get there.  Don’t wait until tomorrow to make an investment in your child’s future, do it today!       

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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Just Something I Wanted To Share With You

I don’t really have much to say today but I saw this somewhere and it was really helpful for me and I hope that it will help someone else out there as well.  

In Happy Moments….Praise God 

In Difficult Moments….Seek God 

In Quiet Moments….Worship God 

In Painful Moments….Trust God 

Every Moment…..Thank God 

–Author Unknown

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM  Comments (2)  
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Channeling Your Past Hurt into Greatness

Most people tend to think that for any artist, whether it be writers, painters, dancers, singers, songwriters, or actors, they must suffer some great loss or tragedy in their lives to produce great work.  While I would like to say that this is not true, in fact I believe that I have actually said that I disagree with that statement, I am discovering more and more that there might be something to that.  

I mean Adele made a chart topping hit record completely based on a bad break up.  The best-selling book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was written to help her through a painful divorce.  Countless hip hop records are drawn from personal hardships.  There have been many successful careers formed from a tragic experience.  I sometimes wonder why it is that creative people are somehow scarred in damaging emotional ways.  

I have come to a conclusion that perhaps the way that we let go of the pain that we experience is to transform it into greatness that other people can possibly relate to.  In order to let go of some of our past hurt we have to create a new joy within our own creations and expressions of our gifts.  

If that does happen to be true, that tragic and hurtful experiences do produce great materials that people will love and somehow identify with, then I have a really bright future within my writing career.  Instead of dwelling on all of the tragedies and hardships you might have been through, you should channel that hurt and pain into something great.   

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Complaining Never Solves Anything

“Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.” 

~Proverb 

The other day my daughter was having a particularly moody day and she seemed to be complaining about everything.  I was really tired of hearing her complain but she gets it honestly because I am also a big time complainer and whiner (still working on getting better at that).  So I decided to convey to her what I had learned over the years of my life and am still in the process of learning as I struggle to curtail my need to complain on a regular basis.  I told her that if she stops complaining and whining about the things that she has no control over, she could actually start to realize and appreciate the benefits of what it is she’s complaining about.  Essentially if she changes her attitude about things she may find that she actually enjoys them or at the very least can learn from them.  

I only wish that I had realized that a long time ago.  Even now, while I don’t complain about things nearly as much as I used to, I still have a problem with feeling the need to complain my way through a hard time.  At the end of the situation the only thing that I really managed to do was waste a lot of time that I can’t ever get back.  I took so much extra time that I didn’t have to work my way through whatever problem it was that didn’t need to be thrown away and it didn’t erase the problem, it only made it take longer to get through.  

Being a mom teaches you so many lessons that sometimes never really sink in until you are having those teachable moments with your own children.  More than likely your parents tried to have those same teachable moments with you and they just didn’t stick.  Attitude has a lot to do with how situations are managed and how you deal with them.  If you can change your attitude, you can ultimately change your situation.    

I have discovered that complaining about any given problem only gives that problem power over your life and over your circumstances.  So in order to take that power away from the problem, you’ve got to stop complaining about it and in a sense dwelling over it.  Once you do stop and change your attitude about the situation you will find that you can get through the problem in a more positive and productive way that won’t waste a whole lot of time that you don’t have.  My daughter said that she understood what I was trying to say (but she’s 8 so I believe it went in one ear and out the other) but even if she didn’t get it while I was saying it, I hope that it will sink in eventually.  Until tomorrow…Don’t complain your way through your struggles, smile your way through it and it will be over before you know it.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

There’s Nothing Wrong with a Little Healthy Competition

“I’m not in competition with anybody but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance.”

~Celine Dion 

I have never considered myself to be competitive.  I was never an athlete in school.  I never competed in anything academically; well not unless you count the elementary class spelling bees.  I was never one to really fight for what I wanted when I was younger.  I guess I just didn’t really have any fight in me then and I would just step aside if I thought someone could do something better than me.  To be honest I didn’t have fight in me until the last several years.  

So when someone at my gym said to me today that they knew I could do something that another person was doing (which I kept telling him I couldn’t) simply because he knew I would never let someone else outdo me, I was a little taken aback to realize that he was right.  It’s funny but I didn’t even realize that somewhere along the way I had become competitive (but not in a bad way).  When I see someone doing something (at least when it comes to physical activity in the gym) that I have convinced myself in my mind that I should be able to do I can’t seem to get rid of the urge to prove that I can actually do it.  I think that I am mostly competitive with myself because I find myself trying to beat my own records and my own accomplishments, convinced that I can do better then what I did before.  

Now if I only took that competitive spirit that I have in the gym and infused it into my writing.  I mean it wouldn’t exactly be the same sort of competition because there’s no strenuous physical activity involved.  But maybe if I can keep in my mind when I see someone in my inner circle doing something that I know I should be out there doing, that there’s no reason that I can’t do that.  In writing perhaps I just need to stay in good competition with myself, trying on a continuous basis to outdo my own efforts.  

I know that some people might think that being competitive is a bad thing, and I suppose it can be if you are not correctly directing your competitive nature to the right places in your life.  You shouldn’t be in competition with the person next to you because they aren’t the ones standing in your way.  You not trying to become better each time you achieve something is what stands in your way.  Sometimes you have to compete with your own best efforts because it can make you a better person and better at your craft or talent.  Until tomorrow…There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, as long as you don’t lose sight of what you are competing for. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 7:59 PM  Comments (1)  
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Graduating to the Next Level

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” 

~Emile Zola 

This morning someone said to me as I was coming out of the gym, after complimenting me on my continuous efforts to get better in my physical fitness, that as long as I keep putting in the effort and hard work God was going to keep graduating me to the next level.  There was something about the thought of being promoted by God to the next level of my life, or even the next level of my journey to maintain a healthier lifestyle that made me think deeply about what that meant in other areas of my life as well.  

I will admit that when I started this conscious effort over two years ago to change the way I eat and my relationship with food, in addition to changing the way I think and feel about physical exercise, I became a little obsessed with it.  I think that it might have come at the expense of my passion with writing every single moment I could get.  I literally used to write everywhere I went, on napkins, on little bulletins or scraps of paper, I would write while I was eating, sometimes while I was lying down (supposedly trying to go to sleep).  I put that much hard work and effort into it and while I had not yet saw the fruits of my labor at that time I didn’t really care, I was just consumed with the passion that I had to write.  

When I wonder now why I have not yet gotten to where I feel I should be in my writing career yet, I now have to consider the fact that I simply stopped putting in the extreme hard work and efforts that I used to in order for me to graduate to that next level in my writing career.  Now don’t misunderstand me, I have not stopped being passionate about my writing in any way (or I wouldn’t be able to maintain this blog).  I simply seemed to have traded one obsession for another and my efforts were unbalanced.  I don’t in any way regret dedicating the time and effort that I have to beginning my journey to a better and healthier, more physically fit me.  I only regret not finding the balance I needed to graduate to the next level on both aspects.  

When you’re younger you have these stages in life that you graduate from to move on to the next level.  From elementary, middle and high school, to college and even graduate school.  Typically when you’re going through the school stage of your life you get breaks in order to have time to gather yourself and prepare for what that stage entails.  However, when you get into that stage where you have to really start living your life you don’t get those breaks.  

There is no time to wait until you have thought about what it is going to take for you to get where you need to be, there’s just hard work and effort.  Simply put if I don’t find a way to balance my efforts and my level of hard work in both areas that I am passionate about (health & fitness as well as writing) then I may not be able to simultaneously graduate to the next level on both fronts.  

It’s hard to put all of my effort and time into just one thing because I am passionate about so many and in the case of my health, that is a passion that is necessary and I can’t afford to sacrifice.  But writing is my first love, and like any kind of relationship, I have to put in the time, effort, pay close attention to it, continue to nurture it, and learn how to balance it with everything else that is important to me so that I can make it to the next level in my writing life.  Until tomorrow…Are you putting in the time and effort so that you can graduate to the next stage of your life? 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Freelance Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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At A Loss for Words

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson 

Tonight I am at a loss for words.  I have had certain inspirations come to me and I have notes written down but they haven’t completely formulated into complete posts for me yet.  But I promised that I would write and post no matter what so even though the words won’t come tonight (not completely anyway) I still had to put myself out there in some way, shape, or form.  

So while I promise that tomorrow the words will be much more profound, and much more inspiring and hopefully motivational, tonight these are all the words that I have to offer.  It may not be much but it’s something and it’s the effort that counts.  Until tomorrow…I hope your words come easy for you but know that if they don’t just put in the effort anyway and something beautiful will come. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Questions We Ask Ourselves, and God (Part 6): Is There Anything Too Hard For God?

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is there anything too hard for me?”

–Jeremiah 32:27

I know this may not be a question many of you out there ever feel the need to ask, nor is it one that I ask too often, but I have asked this question.  I have had times that were just so dark (at least it seemed so at the time) and made me fall into such a deep depression and I just thought there was no way to overcome it.  I had people tell me to give my burdens to God but somehow I always felt like what I was going through was too much for him to handle.  

I joke now to my best friend Ms. L that sometimes I think I ask God for too much and that he may be tired of me coming to him with such little problems.  She always told me that there was no such thing.  I know that (in my heart) that is true now but there was a time when I really wondered if my requests were too much of a burden on God.  I thought to myself that he has sick people to heal, wars to end, homeless people to help, hungry people to feed, there’s no way that he would have time to deal with my petty problems (even though they seemed like the end of the world to me) because there were people more important than me.  Ms. L made me understand one day that I was just as important to God as anyone else in this world because he created a purpose for all of us and that there was no problem to great for him.  

A lot of times I don’t ask God for help, not because I don’t need it, but because I feel someone else might need him more.  I still sometimes feel selfish to think that my minor problems are worthy of pulling God’s attention away from those that really need him.  I have to remind myself that I am just as important as anyone else and that he not only can hear their cries for help but that he hears my cries too.  I’m not going to lie and say that I am never going to have that question again but I will continue to remind myself of what Ms. L and so many others have told me when I asked aren’t there some things that are just too much for God; that there is nothing that is ever too powerful, too hard, or too small for God to handle.  For God nothing is impossible.     

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM  Comments (1)  
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