Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Be Relentless

I've been spotting those inspiring "Word of the Year" posts all over blogland the last couple of weeks and as a naturally self-reflective person, I've been pondering what word I'd choose to sum up my hopes and aspirations for 2013. I kept drawing a blank. Nothing seemed to fit my current state of mind. And then...

I walked into my office Monday morning to see this out my window:


I work on the third floor of a building on a college campus. I never really know what I'm going to see out that window when I walk in the door -  rap concerts; protests; Tai Chi classes; slip n' slide contests; strip frisbee. Universities are interesting places!

These ten-foot tall letters are part of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day display. The full display reads, "BE RELENTLESS" followed by an MLK Jr. Day sign. But this is all I can see from my tall and narrow window.

I ignored it at first, but it's still there. I see it whenever I walk in or out of my office - Every. Single. Time. It's kind of hard to miss.

I started thinking about the word, which is often used with a negative connotation:
"Relentless barking."
"Relentless gunfire."
"Relentless chatter."
Our students, though, had chosen this word to represent the spirit of MLK Jr. Day, so I found myself relecting on how relentlessness might bring positivity into one's life. Into my life, specifically. And in doing so, I realized that I could use a dose of RELENTLESS. You see, I'm a "get along" kind of person. I try to make due, not to complain. I had a pretty nomadic childhood, so I tend to crave stability and "sameness," even if change might be healthier.

I love the Thoreau quote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." I've always struggled, though, with the "confidently" part. But what if I substituted "confidently" for "relentlessly?"  What if persistence is enough? What if I continuously move forward, even with doubts and fears and misgivings? I remember reading some advice in an online forum of Etsy sellers when I was first starting out. One of them said something to the effect of, "Sticking with it is 99% of the secret."  That has been true for me; my shop  has grown slowly but steadily, and I'm so happy I stuck with it.

So as we embark on this 2013 adventure, I plan to incorporate a little more relentlessness into my approach. I'll remind myself that showing up is half the battle; that sticking with it in 99% of the secret. I'll refuse to give up. I'll keep moving towards my goals, even if I'm only inching. {Think I can convince the campus to keep this word on display outside my window all year, just as a reminder?? :)}

How about you? Have you chosen a word (or a goal) for the year? Is there anything in your life that you approach with a "be relentless" attitude?



The Lettered Cottage

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11 comments:

  1. Wow what a great post! I need to be be relentless daily, it is so easy to get stuck in the routine of doing something over and over. Like when you want to do something, or get something you HAVE to be relentless or it will just fall by the wayside like everything else. I also crave sameness like no one else. I need to shake things up a little!! haha. Now following, love your blog xo

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Nellie. I love your blog too!

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  2. Love it! What a great word for the year, and such a subtle way to find it! I'm now a follower, looking forward to following in the new year!

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  3. That's a pretty cool thing to see (and ponder on) right outside your window. And your job sounds pretty great!

    I'm attempting to "simplify" this year. EEEEEKK!

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    1. Oooh, "simplify" is a tough one, in my opinion!

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  4. Your post was just what I needed to read! Thank-you so much. I, too, like sameness and have a hard time embracing change. I recently have decided to make a goal and stick with it, even though it seems like a pipe dream right now. Thank-you so much for the encouragement! I am definitely following your blog.

    www.thepreppylittlepolkadot.blogspot.com

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  5. What a great word and your post was very inspirational to me. I think no matter what we do in this life we should all be more passionate and relentless toward our goals.

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  6. Very fun to see that!! Great word :)
    Susan

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  7. Thanks for bringing us the good "word". I'm going to try and be more relentless, too.
    Hugs,
    Patti

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