Redefining Myself

09 May


I have A.D.D.…It’s self-diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I have it (My wife will tell you that I am a hypochondriac, but that’s a topic for another blog).

I can’t focus on anything for more than 4 or 5 minutes before my mind is racing off in another direction. It makes blogging extremely difficult. And, as badly as I want to write a book, I don’t know if I will ever be able to stay focused long enough to do so.

That’s a cop-out, and I know it. But it’s MY cop-out, and I’ll thank you not to judge me for it.

We all cop out on something. Either we lack confidence, or we lack encouragement, or we lack self-discipline, or we lack focus…

I have been using my (self-diagnosed) A.D.D to define myself, to give myself an excuse for not pursuing my passion to write. I start an article or blog post, but I run into a wall, so I give up. I want to be a writer, but I feel like I can’t get the words out that I want to say. I want to encourage people, and I have general ideas for how I want to help others, but when it comes to putting the words into print, I struggle.

I hate that.

I want to tell stories that offer hope. I want to share words that strengthen and encourage. I want to inspire others…to motivate people. I see a future that I love. I want to help others who do not love where they are…those who want to chase after their dreams, but are afraid to do so. So what am I afraid of?

I am afraid to fail. I am afraid to try something and not have it go well. Why is that?

I have become used to accepting failure as an identifier of who I am, instead of what I am doing. But the reality is that if I am not failing at something, it’s because I am not pursuing new adventures…I am not trying new things. I am sticking with the same old routine that got me where I am today-teaching math to people who don’t want to learn it, while gazing out the window, and feeling as if life is passing me by. Life doesn’t have to be that way.


We need to redefine failure in our society. Failure does not define who we are…it doesn’t even define what we did. Failure is a stepping stone on the road to success.

Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 models for the light bulb before he found the one that changed our world. He did not look at the first 9,999 attempts as failures. He considered that he had found 9,999 ways NOT to make the light bulb! And then he found the one way that worked. His success was made possible by the multiple failures he experienced along the way.

My blog is relatively new. I have written about 50 posts. And in every one of them, I can find something that I would change if I were to rewrite it. But each of them has been a learning experience. There are some that I didn’t want to publish. But I knew that I would be shrinking back from my passion if I did not put them out there to be read…to be critiqued…to be criticized.


Jeff Goins says that you are a writer when you decide to call yourself one…when you start believing it yourself. That’s hard for me. I have always identified myself as a math teacher. But I don’t love to teach math…I just love to TEACH. So I should call myself a teacher.

I also love to write. So I should call myself a writer. The beauty of being a writer is that even if no one reads it, I still wrote it. It’s not the same for a teacher.

To be a teacher, I have to have a student, a learner who is processing the knowledge. It’s like the age old question, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a noise?” If I teach something and there is no one to learn, have I really taught?

That’s not the case for a writer. I can write an epic novel, a short story, or just a sentence…

And even if no one else reads it…

I still wrote it.

I like that.

So I’m going to call myself a writer.

I’m even going to change my profile on Facebook to make it official…I am a writer.

And even if no one reads what I write…guess what?

I’m still a writer.


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2 responses to “Redefining Myself

  1. Nancy Ward

    May 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    You are reading my mind and writing about it again, only for me it is art. Thanks for articulating what I have been struggling with, you have an uncanny knack of doing that. 😉

  2. Bryan Hart (@BryanHartSpeaks)

    May 12, 2012 at 6:23 am

    You are a read writer. See you this morning!


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