The Social Freelancer: Media + Music

The Social Freelancer and Trace Relations Music

Focus On What You CAN Do, Not What You CAN’T

I had a horrible dream last night.
Riding in the very back seat of a passenger van on a two lane blacktop highway at night, I looked up to see that I was the only one in the van. No driver, no other passengers and the van was starting to veer off of the road. I struggled to unstrap myself from the seat so that I could somehow climb over all the seats, get behind the wheel and save myself from certain disaster. I woke up sweating. When I told my wife about the dream she pointed out how symbolic it was for my life at this time. Strange, I couldn’t even see the symbolism until she pointed it out to me.
The rest of the story >>>

Have You Had This Dream?
My guess is you have, in one form or another. I believe we have all had the same dream. It’s the thought of things being out of our control that is the center of all fear. So what can we do about it?

Focus on What You CAN Do, Not What You Can’t
Everyday I try to remind myself of this thought, but still I falter. It’s played itself out over and over, the thought of “oh I can’t do that”, generally when it is something I really CAN’T do at the time. But when I boil it down, there is usually something I CAN do, one small step towards a larger goal.

What I CAN’T Do
If I were to start listing what I can’t do (hahaha) I could go on forever, but here’s a few things off the top of my head:
1. Become instantly famous as a singer, documentary filmmaker, writer or media consultant.
2. Become the greatest father in the world who never makes any mistakes in dealing with my teenage daughter.
3. Solve problems of poverty, immigration, energy dependence or any other major issue facing our world today.
4. Make everyone understand what my dreams and aspirations are exactly as I see them.

What I CAN Do
1. Write and publish blog posts.
2. Produce videos and post them to Youtube.
3. Sing every chance I get.
4. Try each day to communicate more effectively.
5. Be honest in my dealings with others both personally and professionally.

The point is that this second list (What I CAN Do) can go on forever as well, as long as I am willing to see my life in this way.

Confessions of a Former News Junkie
I had a serious addiction to the news starting when I was a staff cameraman for CNN in the early 1990’s. Not only did I work in the industry, I began following stories all the time, even when I was off of work. When I left that business I went “cold turkey” for a while and followed very little as I was in a serious news burn-out phase of my life (another story for another time). Over the years (I have been a freelancer since 1995) I have allowed myself to get back into watching and reading news on a limited basis. I sometimes get addicted to certain stories and follow them zealously. But I realize that it feeds the feeling of uncertainty, the feeling that the world is out of control, that I am NOT in control. Again the feeling of “all is lost” comes over me. So I try these days to keep it in check, and I suggest you do as well.

Facts is Facts
The truth is there are all kinds of things we have no control over, things we CAN’T do. If I focus on those, my experience has been that it just brings me down. Instead, look around you. Look at the people and situations closest to you, look for positive things you CAN do and focus on those. It’s empowering once you start to look at things that way. But no doubt, every once in awhile you may have a dream like I had and feel right back in the muck again. That’s part of the human condition.

The Social Freelancer ™ Blog: Writing this post has already made me feel better about the bad dream experience. Now I have done something about it, something I CAN do, which is to write about the dream. I do this with hope that it will be helpful to you.

Trace Relations Photo by Stephan R. Lewis, all rights reserved

Trace Relations Debut CD – Prosperity Street
I have been passionate about music, songwriting and singing my entire life and have had many experiences (good and bad) in the music business. Many years ago I realized that music would not be a good career choice for me. Since then I have focused on doing a little bit at a time towards an overall goal.

Just writing that that made me feel pretty good! It’s something I CAN do…

Thanks for listening (and watching!). Please let me know in comments below if this post has been helpful. I thrive on feedback (it sure isn’t for the money here!).

Related Posts:

Vanishing Texas Photography and Jazz: Finding Beauty in Decay

Remember Moments that Matter

Trace Ready "The Social Freelancer"

Trace Ready “The Social Freelancer”

Trace Ready is a Director of Photography, Writer, Producer and Vocalist based in Dallas, Texas. His band Trace Relations has released their debut studio CD “Prosperity Street”
Connect with Trace:

Like this? Help Trace keep his wheels on the road for the photo series “Vanishing Texas” and continue posting to this blog while juggling “the freelance life.” – HERE:

Vanishing Texas Photography by Trace
Supporters receive my undying gratitude and a free copy of my music CD, “Prosperity Street” by Trace Relations Band

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posted by Tracy Ready in creative,marketing,Opinion,Psychology,social media,The Social Freelancer,Writing and have Comments (50)

50 Responses to “Focus On What You CAN Do, Not What You CAN’T”

  1. Linda C says:

    Yes, could be that things are out of control and you’re going on the wrong road, at the wrong time, pushing too fast…
    Another interpretation could be that – you might want to let go of the control, and trust that Spirit IS driving, and that you ARE going in the right direction, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Even if it’s night. Going into the unknown can be scarey, and certainly giving up control for you control freaks is!. Face your fear and do it anyway. One of my prayers has had to be at times, “Pry my fingers off, Lord, for I know not.” Sent with love and blessing, old friend.

  2. NancyLoo says:

    Glad you are focused and staying positive!

  3. Joel says:

    That dream is very vivid to me, as we all have similar questions and difficulties.
    It’s a constant struggle of man to trust God with everything in our lives. For one thing, the same God who bids us to trust him also tells us to take the wheel and drive! His message is not to let go and ignore the realities we struggle with everyday, but rather to learn to intimately trust him in every decision, to KNOW him.
    Paul told the Ephesian Christians to “Be imitators of God…and find out what pleases the Lord.” Then we can truly let go and be free.
    Love the site! Keep the blog coming…
    Joel R.

  4. Jim says:

    Nice blog post Tracy. Listen to Joel. :-) It’s the only way I can remain at peace through all the trials that this world puts us through.
    Jim P.

  5. […] weeks ago I wrote Focus on What You CAN do, Not What You Can’t and today’s post is an extension of that thought. I hope you enjoy it, thanks for tuning […]

  6. Tracy Ready says:

    Thanks for kind comment and insight Joel, agreed…. Unca T

  7. Tracy Ready says:

    Thanks Jim! I appreciate you… T

  8. Tracy Ready says:

    Thanks so much for reading the post Nancy, best to you, T

  9. Tracy Ready says:

    Thanks Linda, I so appreciate your feedback and insight, best to you, T

  10. Debbie Barth says:

    It’s amazing how we can let a 1% negative … something we can’t change, severe criticism, an unkind word … can adversely affect our whole day, when 99% of the day has been one of accomplishment and praise. Your blog just affirms that, Tracy. Yep, if we just focus on the things we CAN do …we can DO some pretty amazing stuff, indeed.

  11. Fantastic – thanks for writing this – your post reminded me of something that I wanted to do this morning – thanks very much – I usually spend just about every waking moment of the day creating a uploading images – this allow me to do just about anything that I could possibly want – go anywhere in the Universe that I live in and feel good about things every moment of the day – but there was something special I wanted to do for someone else – today – so here I go! :-)

  12. Tracy Ready says:

    cool. many thanks for dropping by, glad you enjoyed the post, T

    PS – have you signed up for our weekly email newsletter?.. once a week that’s it, no spam anytime -I hate that stuff too. Just enter your info in the Newsletter box at top right column here. cheers

  13. Very inspiring blog post. I have to try so hard to remind myself of the things I can do. Sometimes life really gets you down, especially when you try so hard and fail. These are the times when it’s helpful to remember you’ve got so many talents. Your blog is very similar to mine. I’ve added you to my blog roll so I and my visitors can find you again.

  14. Tracy Ready says:

    Thanks for your kind comment here Anne and for the add to your blog roll, very nice! It reminds me I am wayyy behind on updating blog links on my site, when I get to it, I will add you as well. Just a busy time right now. All the best, TR

  15. Carole says:

    I love what you have written here. My husband is always saying for me to “think how you CAN do it, not why you CAN’T do it.” It is so true.

  16. Nice post. I most definitely need to remind myself about this on a regular basis. I guess we get so taken up by the big picture and the great end goal that we forget about the details, the little steps.The big picture sometimes is intimidating and so nothing is done. helps to keep it in mind.

  17. […] you say, all that matters is What You DO. I wrote this post originally as a follow up to this one: Focus on What You CAN Do, Not What You CAN’T, and since then the message has been pounded into my head again and again by personal […]

  18. […] Post: Focus on what you CAN do, Not what you CAN’T You are what you DO, Not what you SAY. ~ @freelancesocial […]

  19. […] READING: My mantras: “Focus on What You Can Do, Not what you CAN’T” And “You are what you DO, Not what you SAY” (click the title links to find out what I […]

  20. […] READING: My mantras: “Focus on What You Can Do, Not what you CAN’T” And “You are what you DO, Not what you SAY” (click the title links to find out what I […]

  21. […] READING: My mantras: “Focus on What You Can Do, Not what you CAN’T” And “You are what you DO, Not what you SAY” (click the title links to find out what I […]

  22. […] READING: My mantras: “Focus on What You Can Do, Not what you CAN’T” And “You are what you DO, Not what you SAY” (click the title links to find out what I […]

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