In Others’ Words: Begin Somewhere

Begin somewhere Liz Smith 2014

There are times I find a quote … like it … and then am surprised by who said it.

Today is one of those times.

“Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.” Isn’t that such sage advice? And then I googled Liz Smith and discovered she’s a gossip columnist, known as “The Grand Dame of Dish.”Just because you steep yourself in celebrity news, that doesn’t mean you don’t learn a few life truths along the way.

But back to today’s quote.

Sometimes I like to start the week with a kick-in-the-pants kind of quote … and that’s what Liz Smith delivers. It’s Monday — Do something.  Some weeks I look at all I want to do — forget about all I should be doing — and I stall out. I spend the days doing a whole lot of nothing that looks like something. But come the weekend I’m not any closer to my dream coming true. I’m not any closer to being my honest, genuine self.

So if you’re here, today, wondering where you begin, pick up the closest pen or pencil and put a big X on your calendar, as in X marks the spot. Begin here. Do something that reflects who you are and who you want to be.

In Your Words: So, what one thing could you do today to “begin somewhere”? If you’ve already begun building your reputation, what are you doing? 

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15 Comments

  1. May 5, 2014, 6:56 am   /  Reply

    It’s a good quote, but I do have a problem with it – and that’s the word ‘reputation’.

    It’s a bit too dependent on what others think, and hands control of my life to what ‘they’ will think of me.

    Sometimes the most important thing you can do is achieve a measure of peace with life, and that requires doing precisely nothing. There are things you can’t run away from by ‘doing’; you have to let the waves break over you.

    You may be surprised at your resilience, or the storm may be too much for your heart, but either way, it’s the path to peace, and in that quiet place on the other side of ‘want’ and ‘must’ and ‘oh, crap!’ is where the still, small voice of God is a grand symphony.

    • May 5, 2014, 7:30 am   /  Reply

      I always enjoy your “read your quote, now let’s talk about it” comments, Andrew.
      And I agree with you … to a point.
      Yes, sometimes reputation is too tied up with what “they” think of me — strangled by it.
      It’s when my reputation is more anchored to truth — who God says I am, who I know I am … that’s when I can begin honestly and bravely, without looking back over my shoulder.

      • May 5, 2014, 7:40 am   /  Reply

        I think you got it exactly right by saying that God knows who you are.

        Reputation also includes what we think of ourselves. It’s a combination of images from popular culture, vanity, fear, and just a little spark of the Divine.

        I have come from a place in which my dreams are wreckage around me, my former professional reputation is gone, and one more small tragedy has brought my heart down. I don’t know how to stand, now.

        But if any of that matters…I’m lost. The one thing that DOES matter is that somewhere, somehow, God will hold me close, dry the tears, and show me that it’s morning, and the nightmare of being locked into my own soul is finally over.

  2. May 5, 2014, 8:10 am   /  Reply

    First of all, Happy Birthday (may you have special days today and all year!)
    The great Amer. ethic seems to be, “Don’t just stand there, do something!”
    But as Christians, I find it’s more, “Don’t just do something, stand!” I’m thankful He writes the score and directs the music. As we follow Him, he waves the baton, we know where the music is to begin, the right note and rhythm, and accompanying, hopefully harmonious, support. Good post, Beth.

    • Roxanne Sherwood Gray
      May 5, 2014, 8:40 am   /  Reply

      Amen!

    • May 5, 2014, 3:30 pm   /  Reply

      Excellent insights, Dee. Yes, as we begin we must know we are following God’s plans for us, following his voice.

  3. May 5, 2014, 8:34 am   /  Reply

    Interesting quote, Beth. What grabbed me was “what you intend to do.” I can tell people wheat I intend to do, but if there’s no follow through, it’s a fail on many levels. I’m thinking if I am going to live with a “reputation” of integrity, I need to do what I say I will. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, my heart open to HIs words to know what His best is for me. As I do this, I will know what to say yes to, what to say no to and how to follow through on those things that are important.

    When He’s leading me, it doesn’t matter so much what people think, as long as I’m fulfilling what Jesus has given me to do. Which does mean DOING, not just sitting here. 🙂 So, there are my random thoughts.

    As for me, I was talking with my husband this weekend about what I need to change in my writing life to become more productive. I realize I need to set some things aside and just DO it. 🙂 Setting goals and working to meet them.

    • May 5, 2014, 3:33 pm   /  Reply

      Enjoying everyone’s comments today. And yes, Jeanne, there comes a time when we have to do something — and it usually requires the NOT DOING of other things.

  4. May 5, 2014, 12:16 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, such a beautiful post with a great message. I’m working on two different novels (editing one while writing another). It’s tricky business to keep two stories separate while working on both, but I’m figuring it out. God is good, and He’s helping me by plopping resources and time right in my lap. So grateful.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    • May 5, 2014, 3:34 pm   /  Reply

      Now there’s a challenge of balance, Andrea … and knowing when to do one thing and not the other. But you’re building a reputation of determination, in my opinion — and one of a writer. 🙂

  5. May 5, 2014, 1:43 pm   /  Reply

    Sometimes we need to take a break and sometimes we need to forge ahead. Only God can really direct us on which one. Last week I was in the spin my wheels mindset, and wasn’t getting much done so I changed direction and worked on another project. This week I’m back working on my deadline novel, asking God for words. And he’s supplying them. Great post. And I knew who Liz Smith was. You just have to be a little older. 🙂

    • May 5, 2014, 3:36 pm   /  Reply

      Great insight, Pat. Because I’ve experienced the whole “spinning my wheels” kind of doing … and you get no where very, very fast. I want to do things in a way that creates traction and forward motion … and that’s hard to accomplish when my attention is scattered. And yes, it’s been scattered lately. Hmmm … talking out loud here …

  6. May 5, 2014, 9:55 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, this is timely. I have a long list with lots of things I intend to do. Pick one. Do it. Got it. Thanks.

  7. Susan
    May 6, 2014, 8:15 am   /  Reply

    You had a birthday! Happy birthday, Beth:)

    I have a tangible way to mark my beginnings…I agree, it is so important. And I agree, you can’t find success with good intentions. Action can make you tremble a bit, but it’s a necessary part:)

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