What a wild ride this life can be. From losing a grandmother in the middle of my first semester of graduate school to having my daughter born six weeks early later in the same year, I’ve been through some rough patches recently.
And yet, 2017 was my best year ever.
2018 was even better.
And 2019 is the year I’m going to absolutely crush it.
These experiences have resulted in some pretty incredible changes in my life for which I am very grateful.
Last year I read over 35 books, more than I ever have in one year. I significantly increased my earning potential. I deepened my relationships with my family. Everything feels like it’s going right for me.
I believe it all comes down to attitude.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill
For years this quote was nestled in the middle of about a hundred or so on my bedroom wall. I created my “quote wall” when I was just sixteen years old. I believe it is still there today.
Little did I know how powerful this attitude about adversity would prove to be throughout my life. Even in the experiences in which I didn’t remember the exact words of this quote, the principle always stayed with me.
I choose how to react to the experiences I have.
And if I choose wisely, I will always come out better.
And so it has been with writing on Medium.
A few months ago, my stats hit a low that made me unhappy.
The next Friday I spent the afternoon writing articles, completed 5, and proceeded to reach new levels that I never imagined possible.
Not long after that, I wrote an article that got me some haters in the comments.
That article now has over 10,000 views and has earned me over $300
In December I had many bouts with writer’s block.
Then the day after Christmas I got an email about my first paid ghostwriting gig. And today I got my first earnings from it.
And then last week happened.
I, like many other Medium writers, hit a low point with my earnings, even though my fans were higher. It was a psychological blow that I wasn’t expecting, especially as my revenues have only continued to rise each month I have been writing here.
And strangely enough, the result of this has left me utterly dumbfounded at how excited I am by my journey forward.
That quote wall that I set up when I was sixteen, and the principles that it instilled in me for a lifetime, has once again proven to be an incredible benefit to my life.
After seeing the decreased earnings, I started to do some soul-searching. I remembered that while Medium is essential to my plan, it is only one piece in my master plan.
And that master plan has been largely neglected for a while now.
So I spent the weekend working on the original plan that got me started here. I picked up Pat Flynn‘s Will it Fly? and began working through the process of validating my ideas.
As part of the validation, I was to validate how well my idea aligned with me — my skills, talents, attributes, and likes. The exercise in the book had me reviewing past jobs, identifying what I liked about them, and giving them a grade.
I was astounded to discover that my three top jobs were all in teaching and mentoring positions. I realized that the number one thing that I liked about all three of them was the relationships that I got to have.
Then it came time to give them grades, and they all got A’s without question.
And my current job, my engineering job got a solid B.
I am in the wrong career.
It was a gut punch like I’ve never felt before. But, just my attitude about the painful experience of decreased earnings got me there, so it would also take me through this too.
I spent the entire weekend pouring my heart into the exercises in this book, and, into my idea. The results of my efforts have completely refreshed my outlook on everything related to writing.
I’ve finally felt like I’m seeing my message, niche, and the path forward more clearly than ever. I am ecstatic about where I am headed and more confident than I’ve ever been in my life.
All because of a simple change of attitude.