My Mt. Everest | December 2006 Newsletter

My Mount Everest: December, 2006
Merle M. Singer, Founder



“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

Charles Kingsley
English Anglican clergyman & novelist (1819 – 1875)


I will have an Internet presence in 2007.

That is my New Year’s resolution, my 2007 goal. So, now I’m will have to endure my own inadequacies until they become adequacies. The technical parts of the Internet – putting up websites, etc. are better learned than left completely to others to do for you. I have no experience – and have a beginner’s impatience.

I will have an Internet presence in 2007. I make that declaration to you. I am at the 85% mark and this last 15% is exceedingly uncomfortable.

Comfort, ah, comfort.

Comfort was highly regarded in my house. I grew up in the East where you may freeze outside, but you roast inside. My mother kept the house at 80 degrees. If you had to wear a sweater in the house, it meant you were too poor to be able to heat your house. And it wasn’t just about the nouveau middle class; it was about comfort. I never connected all the dots till recently (like right now), but that orientation was very dominant in my early years..

I remember as a young person – teens – saying to myself with my usual amount of self wisdom (ha ha) that I resolved not to do anything that put a knot in my stomach. That knot was a signal to me that I shouldn’t be doing it; it was ‘uncomfortable’. It wasn’t until President Jack Kennedy introduced the need for daily exercise for everyone that the concept of “no pain no gain” came to the public consciousness. My adolescence, however, slightly preceded that influence. Comfort was still king for me.

I married a man who was very much like my father; it was comfortable. And although, I always aspired to be independent with an independent career, I never did go on to law school as I had considered doing. Why? Regardless of the reason I told myself, the true reason was it scared me. It gave me a knot in my stomach. It made me ‘uncomfortable’.

Then a very memorable time that I challenged that assumption was when I was working as a financial planner/ life insurance and annuity representative. I had difficulty making presentations to aggressive prospects who presented with great authority. Even when it was clear to me that they were misinformed, and I couldn’t find the words or the confidence to set them straight. It was very ‘uncomfortable’ for me. In fact, it was even more uncomfortable than joining Toastmasters (to learn public speaking) – and still I couldn’t do that without the push of a friend who joined with me.

That was the beginning of a whole new part of my life – a life of regularly recurring discomfort other than from working out. I was now really familiar “with no pain, no gain.” Giving speeches, especially at the beginning, was terrifying. It was terrifying even though I used to teach and felt a certain ease in front of a room &endash;of kids.

In Toastmasters, I learned the value of discomfort. I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was doing it. In retrospect, that is where I practiced the concept of finding My Mt Everest to climb.

Yes, the value for me is not that I climbed a mountain, but that I faced fear, I trusted (though barely) the future minute. I trusted myself and I more than survived. I was creating a courage habit. It wasn’t about a particular habit. It’s about the satisfaction that fills me when I keep my word to myself. If I can endure discomfort and keep my self commitments, I can do anything,

If I can do anything, I don’t have to rush and get impatient and quit. I can afford to endure the time it takes in purgatory till ‘my case is heard’ and I reach my goal. I can wait because I can endure discomfort and keep my commitment to my own self.

In the same way that I kept my word to do this e – letter all year. Just like I appeared as a comedian at the Comedy Store and Hollywood Improv. Just like I committed to work with Jay Aaron and help him create his Guerrilla Marketing Masters project and book and am doing that. I’ve practiced Hsin Tao for 15 then 20 minutes for 80 days so far this year. I’ve eaten a healthy diet for 61 days so far this year. I’ve kept a record of my activities (trust me, that is painful) for 45 days. (I did it for 27 days and fell off the wagon and have been back on for 45 day.)

Trust me folks, this is not about bragging. This is about telling myself. And it seems the best way for me to tell myself so that there’s a chance that I hear me is to tell you. Talk about triangulation.

So here I am in a good position to accomplish my goal of 2007 to create a web presence for myself. I’m 85% there.

What do I have to be on the look out for that could hamper my progress??

Of course, self confidence, the inner core strength kind, needs constant practice. Also, the technicalities, the actual getting the site up, being able to make changes, getting the video of my comedy routine up on the net, all slow me down and discourage me.

That’s it. You see in front of you the accomplishments and challenges of Merle M Singer – naked and raw – and excited and eager to move forward to an exciting 2007.

And you?