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The joy of a “victory in place”

You are not alone in this world even though you may sometimes think you are.

You have allies both visible and invisible who will give you the guidance and support you need and help you achieve your dreams.

Two of these allies are persistence and flexibility. I want to write about them and honor them in this post because I have been so conscious of their presence in my life these past few months.

As some of you may recall, I started work on a new book seven or eight months ago entitled Aging into Bliss: Discovering the Wisdom and Joy of Your Timeless Nature.

It’s going to be a PDF book, an eBook and a print-on-demand book, and I’m not ashamed to say it has been one of the biggest challenges of my life.

I’ve finished the book now. I finished it yesterday, in the sense that I had a wonderful talk with the designer who has been designing the book and gave final approval to her work and asked her to go ahead and prepare the various formats.

But there have been times when I really wasn’t sure how to proceed, or even began to wonder if the book would ever be finished. Just when I thought the end was in sight a new issue or problem would arise that needed attention.

The book has a mind of its own

The book has a mind of its own, it really does.

For example, I discovered it wants to be born when it’s good and ready, not a moment sooner and not a moment later.

I discovered it wanted to choose its own cover -- not the cover that I chose at first, and that Maddi and I thought was so perfect, a wonderful picture of an older lion that captured the indomitable spirit I talk about in the book.

But after a blogging friend gave me some unexpected and unsettling feedback about the cover -- she didn't like it --  and asking for feedback from other friends, and after agonising for a couple of weeks I decided I really did need to scrap the old cover and start again.

It was a tough thing to do after all the work we had put into it. It took a lot of flexibility and persistence to change course and start looking at more photos for a new cover. Then suddenly, one evening, I found an image that I really loved. I think it's magical and healing. I fell in love with it at first sight -- and so did the book. I hope you'll like it too.

Now there's the challenge of marketing

My book journey isn’t finished, of course. In a way, it is just beginning. There’s the huge challenge of marketing to look forward to. Not my strong suit, for sure, but what use is a book if you can’t sell it and hopefully earn some money from it while sharing your vision and experience and giving your gift?

What use is a book if you can’t find some real flesh-and-blood people who stop for a moment and take a look and think, if you’re lucky…hmm, this looks interesting…I wonder if this book would help me see what is missing in my life? Or what my next step is? Or how I can find more happiness? Or how I can meet this challenge I'm facing and fulfill my dream?

Bringing my book to this point has been a challenge but also a joy and delight. I feel I've had "a victory in place," as my wife likes to say, and I'm so grateful for the generous help of allies both visible and "invisible".

Persistence and flexibility. They make victory possible. They can bring us through anything. What victory has given you joy? What challenges are you facing? What dreams are you contemplating or pursuing? I’d love to hear from you. Be well and take care.

Picture credit: mamta16

 

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Winfred Cook November 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I’d say you have to have each of those attributes just for the marketing of your book, let alone the writing of it!
Winfred Cook recently posted..Does Otto swagger

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Christopher Foster November 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

I think you’re right Winfred. Going to take a little break and then gear up for step 2:-) All the very best with your own endeavors.

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Terri Lynn November 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I love that you characterize your writing and publishing journey as “a joy and delight”. Those of us who can exceed our expectations of happiness know that it comes from your attitude. Congratulations!
Terri Lynn recently posted..How to Choose Happiness

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Christopher Foster November 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

Good to hear from you Terri. Thanks for your kind and wise comment. All the very best.

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gitte November 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm

My victory over my past and anxiety gives me a lot of joy 🙂
Happy for you for finishing your book! maybe post about it on some facebook pages? or ask if they would like to share it ? 🙂

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Christopher Foster November 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hi Gitte, thanks for your kind suggestions re facebook and it’s wonderful to share in your victory and joy. This is just a thought. But I was wondering if there was a “turning point” in your own personal experience and if there’s anything more you might like to share about what brought you through? Blessings to you.

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Elke November 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Hello Christopher!

Gosh, it’s been a while…One of my most recent victories has been taking part in the mummy’s race at my son’s first sports day. No, I did not win, I came third at best, but it was SUCH fun! I was running next to my cousin’s wife who is extremely competitive. Just before the finish line I slacked off. It was not important enough for me to win.

I already knew that I was still quick, despite being one of the oldest mums there as I’m on the wrong side of 40. I also realised a character trait, that I very often “give up” to allow others to have the advantage of getting to the winning post before me. This troubled me quite a bit for some time. I argued with myself that it was no wonder I’m not wallowing in income and that I will never get ahead in life if I continue with this trend!

I was still a bit busy (in my sub-conscious) with this argument with myself when I had to fly to Port Elizabeth. As I handed in my boarding card they very apologetically amended my seat number. I did not think much of it and only when I was in the aircraft, looking for my seat, did I realise that I had been put in business class! BARGAIN, I could tick off one of the items on my bucket list!

And then just to rub it in, I was put in business class on my way back as well. Despite having spilled hot chocolate on my jeans (enough reason in my mind to be banned from business class for life!), the steward was wonderfully attentive to me (I probably looked totally overawed!). And then I had a very interesting conversation with an elderly gentleman who turned out to be a good friend of some of my lecturers from my Civil Engineering student days! So, my victories are not about crossing the finish line in first place. My victories are in the everyday things that give me joy, that allow me to put a smile on other people’s faces and therefore mine. My victories are the surprises lashed on me as complete surprises!

Challenges always follow me. Some people have commented, that my life is too full of them! My answer is always somewhere along the lines of: without all these challenges (all at once) I’d probably become bored and get up to mischief!

So, hopefully I’ll manage to sell my car very soon, in order for me to buy another (much cheaper one) so that I can afford to buy my own little house and find the perfect au pair for my son, all by January next year! At least I’ve found him the perfect pre-school and I’m going to view a house this week. Then I may go for the trade-in option where the car is concerned (as long as I find a red one with cream seats!). And once I’ve settled down I may pursue my dream of writing a book. On the other hand, I could enrol in a drafting course as I’ve always wanted to design and build my own house when I grow up…

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Christopher Foster November 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

Thanks for a delightful report Elke. Seems to me you’ve not only been having victories all over the place but you’ve been having a good time too. I have to be careful I’m not a bit jealous, I’m not sure I’ve ever been upgraded to business class in my life:-)

There are some wonderful truths in your comment. I love what you say about victory not being first to cross the finish line so much as finding joy in little moments and, as you say, “putting a smile on other people’s faces.” You sure put a smile on my face with your comment.

I wish you the very best of luck in your next adventure(s) with your car and your son and the new house etc etc. If I had one suggestion to make, it might be, don’t be in too much of a hurry to ‘grow up’…it might spoil everything:-) Looking forward to a follow-up report whenever the time is right. Love to you Elke and thank you for your friendship.

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Nadeja Gerasimow November 14, 2012 at 4:55 am

Hi Chris,
The process of writing your book seems very perfect to me and I am looking forward to reading it! Blessings and love to you and Jo-Ann.

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Christopher Foster November 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thank you and bless you Nadeja. So thankful for your friendship and support. Love from us both.

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Evan Griffith November 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hoooweee Chris —

I grok what you are saying about a book readying itself in its own time. I’m working on a book that is turning into double the length or more what I originally intended — it’s as if I’m reading it myself as it reveals itself on the page.

Not only am I excited to buy and read this upcoming book of yours (no freebies on this one, OK?), but I’m shamelessly putting in a plug for what I hope is the next book you tackle — your spiritual quest over a lifetime, including especially your time in the spiritual community.

(I figure if I whisper it often enough, the hypnotic lure may pull you in that direction!)

Here’s to you, my man — the coolest and most substantial wisdom voice on the Internet these days —

Evan
Evan Griffith recently posted..Wei wu wei: A demonstration

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Christopher Foster November 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Great to hear from you Evan. Thank you for your very kind words and I wish you the very best with your own book. Your suggestion for a possible follow-up project is most interesting, I’ll keep it in mind for sure. Take care dear friend.

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Maureen Moeller November 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

Congratulations on the completion of your ebook Chris! I absolutely love how you have personified the “birth” of your book and its own “mind”. Your allies, persistence and flexibility, are powerful partners in your creative endeavors. If we could all remember that, our joy in life, as well as our true nature may reveal itself so much sooner! As for me, I will always be a grateful and ardent ally of all you give to us, your readers, and to the universe. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Gratefully,
Maureen Moeller
PS Can’t wait to read Aging Into Bliss: Discovering the Wisdom and Joy of Your Timeless Nature

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Christopher Foster November 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

God bless you and thank you Maureen. Your words and spirit as always are so empowering. Good to share this extraordinary journey with you. Take care.

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kim November 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yaaaaaay, congratulations Chris. You are a true inspiration! It’s a biggie getting something you love out in front of an audience. And sometimes as you said God has different ideas on the content, the delivery and the images and you just gotto go with it.

I have every confidence that the world will love your book and I for one will help you in any way I can.
kim recently posted..Introducing coach and mentor, Ann Strong

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Christopher Foster November 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Kim, thank you for your wonderfully kind and encouraging comment. I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you. Yes, not much future in arguing with reality, is there? I’m proud and happy to share this journey with you and wish you much success and happiness.

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Galen Pearl November 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Lovely post. I can relate–I just released a book myself last month. I love your writing, so I’m sure this one will be a great success. Best of luck.
Galen Pearl recently posted..A Shining Moment in the Darkness

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Christopher Foster November 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Such a pleasure to hear from you Galen. Thank you for your kind good wishes and I wish you every success with your own book. What’s the title of your book by the way? Blessings.

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Galen Pearl November 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm

The book has the same title as my blog, 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There).
Galen Pearl recently posted..Who’s the Turkey?

Counter Strike 1.6 April 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

What a beautiful article. I can’t stopping to read your blog.
Let’s make victory possible 🙂
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Christopher Foster May 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

Yes. Onward to victory. Thank you for your kind words.

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Christopher Foster November 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Thanks Galen. Sure wish you every success with your book. Very impressed with your blog. I’ll write you via email sometime soon. Love to you Galen.

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