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Happy Friday! Oh, I mean Saturday, hehe.

I hope your first week of the Success Identity Challenge went well and I look forward to hearing about any experiences or perspective shifts you’d like to share! I’ll add my own thoughts about belonging in the comments below.


“The ability to affect the outcome.”

When Dr. Glen asked our group to define “power,” we responded as I think most would. That “power” meant being able to control or have command over others. Isn’t that true power?!? Dominating the universe?Isn’t that what He-Man was talking about?


Copyright © 2007 Abhijit Patil via Flickr, cc Some rights reserved

*pictures self wielding awesome sword and ruling the universe*

*pictures self in crazy He-Man diaper*

Okay, maybe not so much.

But Dr. Glen had a little trick up his sleeve, and I was surprised to discover this morning that agrees with him! The first definition of power listed is this: “the ability to do or to act.” Farther down the line we get to controlling other people, but, in its simplicity, power is an ability to do work.

In Dr. Glen’s words, it’s having the ability to affect the outcome in some domain of your life.

As human beings we have a need to feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. We need to have control over something in our lives. Even if that something is a small as a puzzle.

When I was first diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, there was not much I felt I could affect–emotions, events, external situations. I felt raw, like someone had peeled this skin off of my body and pushed me into a sandstorm. Believe it or not, working a jigsaw puzzle was one thing that kept me grounded, helped me feel a sense of relief as well as a sense of accomplishment. At a time when everything else was falling apart, I had power over my puzzle. In this one very small domain in my life, I could affect the outcome. It saved me. And a couple years later I still find that puzzles help center me when the PTSD intensifies and life feels out of control.

In writerly circles we often discuss this idea of focusing on the things we can control. (Check out Kristen Lamb’s post entitled “Are Successful Writers Just Lucky” for a great list of outcomes writers have the power to influence!)

Think about your life. What are the things/situations you can control? What activities provide you with a sense of accomplishment or achievement? Maybe it’s writing 1000 words a day. Maybe it’s keeping your kitchen sink emptied and shiny. Maybe it’s working on a simple jigsaw puzzle. Those are the things I want you to focus on this week. The “genre” of activity could be anything.

Plan & Evaluate
By now I’m hoping the plan & evaluate portion of this challenge is going well for you. It won’t be a habit yet (that takes 30 days), but we’re creating the foundation. Week 2 is building on that foundation.

So each day for the following week we will continue setting a daily BELONGING goal as well as adding a new POWER goal. (Two goals total).

Remember to ONLY SPEND 5 minutes (or less) each day to plan and evaluate your Success Identity choices.

  • Mornings: “What WILL I do? What is ONE SIMPLE thing I can do within the next 24 hours that will bring me closer to belonging? What is one simple thing that will bring me closer to power?”
  • Evenings: “What DID I do? Did my choices enhance, harm or not affect the success identity?”

Keep it simple. We don’t need to leap buildings in a single bound. Small changes, when added together, will lead to big impact.

Keep a record. This will help you see your progress overtime–a word document, a spiral notebook, your smart phone… whatever is easiest. At evening evaluation, jot down a sentence or two about how you’re feeling or any insights you’ve gleaned. This will help you see the small progress.

Extra Help
I’ll continue posting daily challenges via Twitter (#SuccessID) and Facebook (D.B. Smyth author page), but will focus only on POWER. You don’t have to do these, but you can if you want to. They’re only meant to help get your brain pumping and to see different ways in which you can enhance the power spoke on your success identity wheel.

Also, you are welcome to post your daily goals too! I love the sharing of ideas! Feel free to ask questions, post goals, share stories… whatever will help you complete this journey. I am here to help support you. 🙂

Good luck this week! I’ll see you next Friday and I look forward to hearing about all the experiences you’re going to have!


What experiences did you have with belonging last week? Did you notice any shifts in your paradigm? Were successful with planning and evaluation your daily goals? Do you have any suggestions for making planning and evaluating a habit?


photo credit (featured image): Copyright © 2007 Abhijit Patil via Flickr, cc Some rights reserved

Success Identity Series
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction: The Success Identity Challenge
#SuccessID Challenge: BELONGING
Wide Open Spaces: Our Need for FREEDOM
Fun. Fun. How can we have FUN?