Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor

Using Natural Laws to Achieve Success

By Leah Tribolo
©2004, Leah Tribolo

Sitting under a tree one day, Isaac Newton saw an apple fall.  Watching the apple fall led him to theorise that there was an unseen force, which he later called gravity, that causes objects to not fly off of the earth.  Natural laws like the law of gravity are fundamental truths and can be applied to our own endeavours.

Let me give you a silly example.  If you drop a rock, what will happen?  It will fall to the ground unless something is holding it up.  No matter how much you wish otherwise, that rock will not float, it will drop, like a rock.  So, what is the point you ask?

ō      Life is easier if we notice the way things work and use that knowledge to our advantage. 

Obviously it is easier to work with the force of gravity than against it.  You can achieve wondrous results by trying to work with natural inclinations. 

So how does that apply to our lives?  Letís take a look at other natural phenomena.  One thing we notice in nature is that trees start small and take a long time to grow into their full maturity.  They can grow very large given time and a nurturing environment.

Perhaps you would like to change some habits.  Make something part of your schedule for one month and it will become second nature for you to do for the rest of your life.

You might want to write a novel, finish a screenplay or become a poet.  Those are all worthwhile, but most of us get frustrated trying to accomplish such abstract goals.  We just canít imagine the reality of being a novelist, screenwriter or poet.  

These goals are long-term goals and so they will only succeed if we manage to change our lives to support them.  This is best accomplished gradually and permanently, so we actually reach our goal instead of hoping the rock will float against its very natural urge to fall.

Do not be afraid to dream big.  You can accomplish big things without ever doing anything heroic or noteworthy.

You need to begin small and take small determined steps towards your goal.  Write ten pages each and every week, or read a few pages in a helpful book regularly, not a lot one week and none the next.  Make regular progress to your ultimate destination a habit.  If you fail one day, get right back on track.  You wonít go far in one day, but you will cover a lot of ground over time.

Consider writing a novel.  Suppose that you ten pages every week and you continued to do that for ten years.  That is not a large amount to write; however over ten years you would have written 5200 pages.  It really does not take a big shift in your lifestyle to move you from dreaming of writing to being a writer. 

Now you might be saying you would have a tough time writing ten pages a week.  Could you write half a page a day?  That is three and a half pages per week.  In just one year you would have written 182 pages.  That is the length of some novels!  Again a small change in direction can make a large difference.

It is not quite so easy to quantify writing, as we all know.  Quality can go up and down from day to day; our muse might be with us, then suddenly depart leaving us to struggle in inspirations departing wake.  The principal is still the same however.  If we do not work towards our goal, we will never get there.  If we work against what is natural, getting to our destination will be, if not impossible, at least infinitely more difficult.

Taking small steps that are easy to measure and attain on a regular basis is a sure way to achieve your goals.  When a pattern has become habit, such as: writing ten good pages a week, reading a chapter in a helpful book, or practising your haiku, then it is time to take stock of what you have done.  If you are able to accomplish more without jeopardising what you already have, then it is time to take another small step towards your goal - success.

Take the first step and then the second small step towards your goal.  Take stock of your achievements on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.  When your destination seems far off, sit back and think of what you have accomplished and remember that every tree started out small, the turtle beat the hare and that you are busy pursuing your dreams ... and succeeding!