Do things happen to you…or do you “happen to things”?

I was in a HORRIBLE mood on Saturday. I didn’t understand why. I had just finished putting the finishing touches on the cover of #DoTheThing, my latest book to help push people out of their comfort zones.  I was all caught up on work. I had planned a Christmas vacation to see my family. Why was I so irritable, short and crabby?

I had options. I could be a horrible brat to my husband…or I could do what always works.

I grabbed my journal and wrote 3 things I was grateful for:

  1. Getting my book done
  2. Able to have an upcoming holiday break with my husband, parents and sister/bro-in-law in Minneapolis
  3. Helping get someone hired onto my team who REALLY deserves it and will be amazing


I wrote down 3 things I was proud of myself for that week:

  1. Pulling myself out of my bad moods with no external intervention
  2. Dealing with other people’s needs 16 hours of the day, usually with gratitude rather than resentment
  3. Throwing down some law and order to make sure my humans are taken care of

Then I wrote down what I was worried about. Immediately the reason for my foul mood came to me.

With my latest creative side-hustle done, I was worried about not having a next “thing”. I always have one thing in my life that I’m working on that’s 100% MINE. No dependencies on products, timing or other people. Some sort of creative project that’s fairly ambiguous that I am completely autonomous in.

So I looked in my “in the future I will write these books” OneNote and grabbed the next one in line. I’m a fiction writer. I create products and run businesses. The Fiction Writers Guide to Business Storytelling will be an insanely fun book to write based on my experiences and the stories of other business storytellers. I started jotting down notes and within 5 minutes, my mood was gone and I was my usual excitable self.

Lesson learned: humans crave control over at least one part of their life in this world where we are SO dependent on others for everything.

Have one thing in your life that YOU control end-to-end (that is healthy, not destructive).

  1. Identify what that is
  2. Spend time on it often, before you tend to others. Pay yourself first and you’ll be in a fine mood to tending to the rest of your life–often where you do not have end-to-end control.

Turns out that in a world where things are constantly happening to us, there has to be at least some times when we happen to things.

<3 Dona

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