SEASON 1 – EpiBLOG 19:

I’m sure Michael Jordan, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs just had everything handed to them… said no one ever! I don’t know why “mediocre-minded” people think that successful people are just lucky. As if the success of others came easily to them.

Work. Some embrace it. Others run from it. Some tolerate it while daydreaming about a life that doesn’t so closely resemble their own image of hell. No matter how you respond to work, it always seems to be a requirement in the achievement of goals.

You must first have a foundation in which to create your steps to achieving what you want. This involves centering yourself. Don’t get freaked out. I’m not forcing any “foo-foo” stuff or magic beans on you. I want you to apply what resonates with you.

The foundation is something that needs constant care and attention daily. Some people pray. Others meditate. Some people jog. Some people do yoga. Some read. Some write. Whatever you do to get centered, begin every morning with what works for you.

As much as I like to think of myself as always being a goal-oriented person, I believe I didn’t take the time to “center” myself for years. I would wake up to my alarm clock and either get ready for work by preparing lesson plans or continue grading papers from the night before. However, I never really took the time to consistently center myself in order to make sure my life stays on track with the goals that I was seeking to achieve.

In mid-December of last year, I ran into an ambitious lady at the beauty salon. We got into a juicy conversation about life, her online position as a full time professor, and how she has been able to create her six-figure income. She had just moved from Georgia to California a month prior.

Although I was moving forward at the time, I felt a little discouraged based on some recent career disappointments and trying to reinvent myself in the city of San Diego. Listening to her words of wisdom was invigorating. Later on, we met for coffee (I actually had matcha green tea with soy) and discussed my career goals. She reminded me of the importance of centering my life each and every morning.

So, as of December 24th of 2015, I began the following productive routine, which I did this morning…


I got up to begin my daily morning rituals at 5am. I have to get up that early because I need a full hour to complete them, and if I choose to substitute teach for the day and if a school is even available, I need additional time to get dressed and ready to head out for the day.

I repeated my affirmations for 15 minutes. Love doing this, especially since I have defined plans in place to achieve my spoken words. This was then followed by reading The Success Principles: How to Get from Where you Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield for 15 minutes. Love this as well. I learned about this book after going to a Jack Canfield seminar last Friday. The Chicken Soup for the Soul arthur seems to always impart some great words of wisdom. The book provides great material and insight. Reading self-help and/or financial books remind me that I’m on the right track or places me on the right track. I have to constantly fill my mind with proven success steps so that I won’t let the everyday obstacles take over my life.


My next 15 minutes was spent reading a portion of the script from the film Beginners. As a screenwriter, I have to read other scripts daily in order to continuously improve upon my craft. The second that I feel I’ve “arrived,” is the second that I stop learning and growing as a screenwriter. I learn from reading both bad and good scripts; as I learn what TO do and what NOT to do. Finally, I need to remain current with the trends in the film industry, so I read a couple of interesting articles/blogs to keep me in the “know” for my last 15 minutes.

This is my morning ritual. Obviously, the books, scripts, and articles may change, but this is what I have to do to be on my “A-game.”


I have now integrated one hour a day into my schedule for screenwriting. Months ago I had to reduce this commitment down to two hours a week, limited to writing one hour twice a week within my writers group. Even though the time writing was reduced, the consistency is what allowed me to complete all of the episodes in Season one of my web series, as well as a feature-length script. If I don’t schedule time to write, it won’t happen. Why do I know this? From experience.

When I let grading, being tired, or being too busy to interfere with who I am claiming to be (a screenwriter), I realized that I was making up excuses to not following through on my goals. I still grade because I’m a professor. I still get tired; I work a lot and I’m human. And I’m still busy with a full plate as always. Nothing has changed. Scheduling one hour a day to do what I love is NOT going to hinder all of my other responsibilities. As a matter of fact, writing rejuvenates me and makes me better prepared to handle other tasks. Since I have this additional time in my summer schedule, I decided to make sure my time is productive by adding five additional screenwriting hours. I look forward to what I will be accomplishing because of this change.


After deciding on what would center you each and every morning, write down concrete goals that you just HAVE to achieve. Please re-read that last sentence. These have to be goals that are so important to you that you just HAVE to do them. If you write down a goal that is simply something “nice to have,” you obviously don’t really want it bad enough to do the work for it.

Remember, don’t confuse goals with dreams. Dreams tend to be vague and broad. Goals are concrete and tangible, which makes them achievable because you can create steps that lead you to reaching what you want. For example, you can have a dream of looking “hot” and being “summer-ready” for the beach. However, your goal may be to lose 20 pounds in six months beginning in January. Knowing the goal, you can create a plan to achieve the goal. Exercise 60 minutes a day. Eat six small meals throughout the day, consisting of vegetable and lean proteins, and cutting out the carbs, candy, and alcohol from your diet. Those are concrete steps to go with your concrete goal.

Some people dream. And some people make their dreams materialize by creating goals, steps, and a plan to make what they want actually happen.

Today’s LESSON is to remember that plans can change, but goals have to be a constant if you’re wanting to see them materialize.

FUN ASSIGNMENT: Create three plans to obtain one goal that you’ve set for yourself. Should you succeed within the first plan, great, but if not, at least you’re already prepared with two back up plans. Remember, retain your goals and always make room to create new plans to achieve those goals if needed.

RECOMMENDED READING: The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be



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