Only One Life


By Terry Whalin 
@terrywhalin

Sometimes during my day, I will take a few minutes and watch some YouTube or Tik Tok videos. Whenever I watch, I make sure to limit it so I don’t fall down a rabbit hole and lose a lot of time. One day I stumbled on this minute and a half video where billionaire Warren Buffett was speaking to a group of students. He encourages them to imagine that he would give each of them whatever car they wanted. These students could select the make and color of the car. His gift would come with one “catch.” His gift  would be the only car the student would receive for their lifetime. Buffett knows each of us use more than one car in a lifetime but then he calls to our attention that we only get one body and one mind for a lifetime.

The British missionary to China, C.T. Studd wrote a stirring poem called Only One Life which begins, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” It’s easy when we are young to not think about self-care for our body and mind. In this article I want to encourage you to take a portion of your writing day and fit in some self-care actions.

Through the years, my wife, Christine, has watched me gain and lose weight six or seven times. As someone who loves eating candy and anything sweet, I mount a daily battle in the food area for every meal. It’s an important element in my personal self-care and I’ve learned balance is more important than a particular weight. As I’ve studied my ancestors, I learn the majority of them were known as “big” men or overweight. My simple goal is not to be big and something I work at daily.

Let’s look at several areas of self-care: physical, emotional and mental. I’ve started with physical. It’s more than eating. As writers we spend a lot of time sitting in front of our computers. Several times a week, I spend time walking around my neighborhood. Often, I’m listening to an audiobook while I take a brisk walk and I do it throughout the year. Consistent exercise is an important value. Also, physical rest or sleep is important to fit into my day.

In the emotional area, I will call a friend or two throughout the day without any agenda other than checking in on them. It is an important element in my daily activities.

For the mental area of my self-care, I regularly listen to audiobooks but also read different types of books such as nonfiction, fiction, general market, Christian, how-to, children’s books and many others. In our negative world, each day I spend time in the Bible and have been reading it cover to cover for years. Also I limit my consumption of news and social media as part of my effort to achieve balance. Yes, I have an active social media presence, but I control my own consumption in this area.

Heres the reality: as much as the next person I fail in achieving these goals. When that happens, I make a point not to beat myself up but to dust myself off and get back on track.

Use the Compound Effect

Recently, I listened and read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Many of the examples in the book relate to self-care and show you don’t have to make drastic changes to improve your life. Instead, you can make small adjustments which over time will reap large results. Each of us need to take daily actions to care for ourselves and our only life.

Tweetable: 

In the rush of daily living, it’s easy to forget we only have one life. This prolific writer and editor encourages us to practice self-care. Learn the details here.  (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s recent book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

4 comments:

Karen Cioffi said...

Terry, thanks for this inspiring article. I love that Warren Buffet analogy. It's powerful. And I feel your struggle with being a junk eater. Life is so precious and short, we need to take whatever measures we can, as best we can, to make it a healthy one.

Terry Whalin said...

Karen,

Thank you for the feedback on my article. The self-care issue is an important one for writers because we spend a lot of time sitting and not moving. Our daily choices are important to think about.

Terry

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

A lovely philosophical article, Terry! So glad I didn’t miss it altogether. Had a freak accident with our Vintage Volvo and have a bit of whiplash, but I had saved a reminder iny Inbox! (-: You are ALWAYS worth reading.
Best,
CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSON

Terry Whalin said...

Carolyn,

Sorry to hear about the freak accident. Please be careful. None of us are growing any younger. I appreciate your reading, your comment and your feedback. Thank you,

Terry

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