First steps

Last month I did something really crazy and brave. Well, brave for me, at least. After setting my goals at work for the upcoming year, I decided to type them out and post them on my office window for everyone to see. The idea was to get people talking to me about how I’m doing. Since my job is all about building community and positive morale within our company, I want people to tell me what’s working…and what’s not (though I’ll be honest, I don’t always get as excited when they have that feedback). I want my colleagues to know what I’m working on because I want their input and ideas.

My sign has definitely garnered some reaction from those who pass by my office. Mostly, it seems like people think I’ve lost my mind. Who would list out their goals one by one so specifically and post them to be judged by? While it hasn’t caught on with others around the office, the one thing it has done is started conversations that probably would never happen without it. Sure, not everything is something I want to hear, but it’s dialogue, and that gets the ideas rolling. What’s even better is that I have forty people to keep me on track and accountable for my commitments. Bingo.

If I know anything about creative types, it’s that we typically don’t like to share our ideas until we feel like we’ve fleshed them out…and then built on them a little…and then spent a few hundred hours perfecting them…and then decided it’ll never be what we want it to be, so why even bother. This, unfortunately, often means that we never act on our ideas, because we’re too busy trying to make them perfect before we tell anyone. Well, nothing is perfect in the beginning, and if we can’t get past this thought process, we’ll spend all our time thinking about the ideas that we could have pursued and wake up to realize that we’ve never done anything to make them a reality.

So I’m taking the first step to changing my creative behavior. I’m announcing to the world that I’d like to write a book! Yes, a book. I’m thinking a little devotional book of short essays, but I’m not completely sure yet, and you know what? That’s okay. I’m telling you anyway because you might want to encourage me with a nice little motivational quote, or you might want to tell me that you’ve always wanted to do the same thing. You might want to tell me that you have a passion for editing and you’d be willing to help me work through my thoughts over a nice cup of coffee or that your Aunt Sarah works for a hip new digital publishing company and this is just the kind of thing she’s looking for. Or maybe you just want to tell me that the book industry is dying and no one reads devotionals anymore, and who on Earth do I think I am and why would I have anything interesting to say, and oh by the way, I better be really nice to my boss and keep my day job. That’s fine, too. I’ve decided it’s worth the risk of someone telling me that what I’m doing is dumb. I’m taking a risk, opening myself up to criticism, and I’ll take as many positive thoughts as I can get. Because I think a “why not” attitude is what real accomplishment is made of.

So I’ll  let you know how it’s going from time to time, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below. Just remember I have the power to delete if I don’t like what you have to say. If only that worked in every part of life.



Filed under Faith & Inspiration, Personal

3 responses to “First steps

  1. What a coincidence! I have a passion for editing! A devotional is a great idea, and I don’t think you can ever have too many devotionals in the world. Let me know if I can help. Also, it’d be even braver if you posted your list online… 🙂

  2. Linda

    You go girl. I’ve always believe you have had so much to give…a book would be a wonderful present to the world – little pieces of Ashley. I am very proud!

  3. David

    Good for You!! It take a big person to post your goals and be willing to listen to good, the bad and the ugly!! The good is nice to hear!! The ugly is normally worthless, mean spirited jealousy, so don’t let it aggrevate you and simply delete it, then kill the imature jackass who offered it up! With kindness of course!! Now the bad is where the meat is, the tougher the better since it takes longer to chew!!. This is the stuff usually refered to as the area in need of improvement or growth opportunity not be be confused with the dumb ass mistakes we all make along the way. The meat is offered up by the folks who care about you not only as a professional but also as a person, many of whom will be life mentors. In the life of ones career these are the folks you will call upon now and then, you will share the good, the bad and the ugly with them. They will do the same with you. I can name them today and keep in contact with them as the years pass. Most importantly I thank God for for crossing our paths!!
    The only meat I have to offer at this point is keep after it. It is exciting to see you “Reach for the stars while keeping your feet on the ground” . Ufortunately I do not know whose quote this is. It is a guiding princilple I’ve followed for many years!!

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