Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Attitude

Now this is more like it.

I’ve been spending the past couple weeks grappling with the post-tour malaise I talked about here. The tour really brought into focus how empty of motivation my life has been lately. There isn’t as much going on as I’m used to and the stuff I am doing…I like it, but I just hadn’t been feeling the same passion. I’ve been lethargic, listless, and uninspired.

No longer.

Why? Because I remembered something I had forgotten.

The passion doesn’t come when the right thing comes along. The right things come along when you’re passionate.

Stressful as I find them, transitions are a natural part of life, especially for someone like me who loves the climb, but never wants to spend too much time on the same mountaintop. But to go from mountain to mountain also means passing through the valleys. It means taking the time to wait and see which height calls to me next.

But you can bring passion to the valleys too.

The secret isn’t to find something that motivates you. The secret is to have the motivation first and bring that to the things you do, even the little things.

This has been a good week so far. I’ve accomplished more in the last couple days than in the last few weeks combined. Some of them are big things: Finished three or four Gateway Boyfriend articles. Charged ahead on my application for grad school. Put in a volunteer application. Took a leap forward on some projects at my day job. Read all nine hundred and fifty-some pages of George RR Martin’s new novel in the bookstore. (Okay, that one might have taken more than a couple days. But I finished it less than a week after it came out. Anyway, you have your accomplishments and I have mine).

Others are small things: Bought groceries and dropped off a food bank donation. Cleaned. Rehearsed comedy. Promoted the Gateway Boyfriend. Made myself pancakes.

But it doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. What matters is that I brought the passion to them that I’ve been letting slide.

The motivation’s back, baby. I’m fired up.

Instead of looking outside myself for something to bring me joy, I’ve just looked inside myself and found it there all along.

I’d like to take credit for this transformation, but the truth was, I had a lot of help

- A discussion with my father about the Attitude (you’ll have to ask him about it).

- Conversations with the Edmonton Buddhist Meditation group.

-Some back hallway advice from Dino, the manager of The Comic Strip.

- Phone calls with friends--Dawn Dumont, Captain Hammer, the Slayer, and the drummer from my own band.

- A conversation with Vasalissa on Monday. We were talking about a completely unrelated subject, but something she said--not an easy thing to say, either--was what it took for all the pieces fall into place.

- Being at my 20 year high school reunion, which happened this weekend. Seeing all these faces again and hearing the stories and seeing the way so many of them are living their lives helped too. We’ve gone in many different directions (or perhaps not--80% of us became teachers, it seems) and it’s hard not to be optimistic when you see how people have evolved, yet still remained true to themselves. As my old social studies teacher wisely remarked, “You move and change within your core, but your core remains the same.” There were a few teachers there. One was the woman who taught me English every year but one from grade six until graduation. She was the one who helped nurture my writing--so if there are any spelling or grammar errors in this post…well, it’s her fault now, isn’t it?

Maybe it’s coincidence, but already things seem to be looking up. Comedy is picking up for September and October. Dawn and I are going to see Wicked on Thursday.

In celebration, I’ve decided to mark down the Dating for Shy Guys book by 40%. The sale isn’t going to stay very long--my avaricious nature won’t allow it--but if you’re thinking of picking the ebook up for yourself or someone you know, now’s the time to do it. The link is here.

In the meantime, I’m excited to see how things play out. There are thing not yet begun. There are things not yet finished. I don’t know what‘s going to happen next.

But I know, whatever it is, I’m ready to do it.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

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