I recently had the opportunity to gather with more than 30 other members of the writer’s guild I belong to for our bi-annual retreat. We held workshops, learned from industry professionals, and heard the stories of published members about their road to publication. But more than that, we shared our lives – our hopes, our dreams, our heartaches. And we left profoundly changed by each other’s presence that weekend. I think I can safely say that each member on that retreat has a renewed courage for stepping out to achieve her next writing dream.
In the past week I’ve watched different members chime in on our FaceBook group with blog posts they finally gathered the nerve to write and book proposals that they are at last drafting and submitting. The energy is palpable and it is extending into our group beyond those who attended the retreat.
I’m also part of another online group of writing professionals. We share our career challenges, swap feedback & critiques, and are emboldened by each other’s risk-taking to step out into our own new ventures. And we eagerly champion the works of all the members in the group.
A common theme in both of these groups is a spirit of non-competition that sees the pie as being big enough for everyone to have a piece. In the world of publishing, this attitude of abundance is, unfortunately, extremely rare. Yet it is inexpressibly valuable.
Think about your bucket list. How do you react when someone you know accomplishes a goal that is on your list? It’s hard not to be a little jealous. In fact, I think it’s a natural first reaction. But what do we gain by that? And what instead could we gain by celebrating others’ successes with them? How could we learn from what they are doing that could translate into our future success?
Similarly, who do you know that is pursuing a goal you’ve reached who might benefit from your skills, resources, and knowledge?
It’s easier to take risks and try new things when we have someone beside, behind, and before us. It’s easier to reach our goals when we don’t waste our energy competing with others, but instead lend a hand to lift them up with us or give them our shoulders to stand on.
In what way could your world be better through linking arms with another instead of hoarding your experiences for yourself? What could you do this week to help another person get closer to reaching one of their bucket list goals? Look for ways to foster a spirit of non-competition among your fellow bucket list adventurers. Because abundance begets abundance.