• Nanci Arvizu


Updated: Feb 6

The book that kick-started my year. The Proximity Principle, by Ken Coleman.

I read this book at the beginning of 2020 and started putting the principle to work before finishing the first chapter.

Reading this book led me to make changes in my life, specifically the people in my life. I’d had yet another disappointing year, professionally and personally. I felt like I was being used by an employer, which I was - working for the promise of a paycheck while the boss is out buying dinner with the money she says doesn’t exist - is being used. The same with helping other people with their businesses endeavors without any consideration to the time and energy I was expending because - because why? Because they felt I didn’t really need the money? That maybe I didn’t have anything better to do? That my bills could be paid with the same promises they were making me?

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Personally, I’d lost a dear friend, a confidant, and a partner to grow two already established businesses into a bigger one that would serve our clients and ourselves, better. Not having that shoulder to lean on as the past of a marriage built on a faulty foundation began to surface and a title wave of truth crashed down on me brought me to a startling reality:

My Runway is Shorter

I’ve made bad decisions because I was limited to bad choices, because I’d either put myself or allowed myself to be put, into bad situations.

I didn’t pursue my passions. I let the fear of those around me push my Big Dreams aside because my dreams scared them. I learned to dim my light so I wouldn’t outshine others. I learned to stay silent. I learned to not make other people uncomfortable.

It’s taken me a while to get here. Now that I’ve found my path though I realized something else, I’ve got less time now to climb those big mountains.

Anger Into Action

I was surrounded by people who were no longer comfortable in my presence because I was finding my voice. I was learning to speak up when others said or did things that were not right. Things that were harmful, mean, cruel, or ignorant.

Again I was told to tone down my anger. That I shouldn’t be so sensitive to the way other people are. But that’s the problem. Because we don’t hold people accountable for their actions, their actions continue.

And, why wasn’t it okay for Me to Be The Way I Am? Oh, that’s right, because me being me makes you as uncomfortable as you being you makes me. Can’t have that because you and your fragile ego are more important than me and my truth. I was so fucking pissed I wrote a book about it.


The Action Part

2020 was to be my Year of Clear(er) Vision. I say clear”er” because I was already on this path, I’ve always been on this path. I’ve just let fear, my own included, keep me from doing what I’m here to do. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do - Write.

Write stories, fiction, and non-fiction, about all the things I know, because isn’t that the Number One Rule of Writing? To Write What You Know?

I’d been writing the stories, or at least starting them. The finishing part was the problem. I started hanging out with writers in online groups and reading their work. I discovered I didn’t have to write a novel about every subject, writing a series of essays and short stories still told the story in a compelling manner and, they were easier to finish. Type The End, and publish. Share with the world.

I started finishing the stories and putting them together. With the support and guidance of people already doing it, I self-published a few books at the beginning of the year.

One Book led to 200

The quarantine brought people out of the woodwork! Instead of looking for in-person groups with my local community, I found myself on zoom calls, face to face with people from around the world.

One of those zoom calls led to another and another, and one day I found myself talking with a very interesting woman who told me about the habit of reading 200 books in a year.

Susan Brearley shared with me her reasons for taking on this challenge. As a writer, she knows it is important to also read. “But what you read is important too.” She was reading specific books with an end game in mind, a plan that is still being developed and we’ll share more as it grows. But it’s the beginning stage that sets the groundwork - finding the right people.

Reading the books on Susan’s curated list is the filter system. “Ninety-five percent of the people you share this with will not be interested,” she explains. “And of the other 5% that might think the challenge is a good one and might pick up a book or two to read, only 1% will follow through to completion. I’m looking for that 1%.”

I want to be that 1%. And in the process, I too want to find my 1%, the others who are carrying around the same kind of mission and purpose as me and have the burning desire to change the world with their Big Dreams, too.

Reading the Proximity Principle made me look for the people I want to be around. I tell Susan she’s one of the lamp posts along my journey, helping me move forward to where I’m meant to go. She says we’re all lamp posts, for our own journey and for others.



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