Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore, a warrior must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if he feels that he should not follow it, he must not stay with it under any conditions. His decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. He must look at every path closely and deliberately. There is a question that a warrior has to ask, mandatorily: Does this path have a heart?”
Today’s post is one about “Not Quitting”. I have been reading a lot of posts online this week about writers not quitting. Often times as a “Creative” our worst enemy is ourself. When you strive for success in the field of the Arts – Writing, Photography, Art, Music – you are held against a benchmark of what’s POSSIBLE and what’s simply a DREAM or a FANTASY. Society tends to look at us Creatives with pity and dismissal. We are seen as “Dreamers” with “Heads up in the clouds”. They describe us as EMOTIONAL and SENSITIVE. At best we are TEMPERAMENTAL and at worst we are UNSTABLE and UNPREDICTABLE. I am not saying that any of these descriptions do not fit a CREATIVE.
But where society sees weakness and childishness I see courage and imagination. Where society sees emotional as a weakness, I deem it a strength. We are human beings. We are emotional creatures by nature. Emotion and Imagination is what sets our genus aside from all other creatures in the world. I see courage because to chase after your dreams in a world where society sees dreaming as childish takes great courage. We face judgement and rejection as commonplace. We are judged as people by what we write, paint, play, sing, photograph. We are not separate from our dreams. Our chosen pathway does not have a Monday to Friday schedule and is not limited to 9-5. Our pathway is our life. It is who we are. To not do what inspires us, to not seek after that elusive muse would rob our bodies of our souls.
Society will not understand your STRIVING after what seems to be an IMPOSSIBLE dream. Society will not understand your NEED to write that story, take that photograph, compose that melody, paint that scene. But Society in the end are the people who buy your book, buy your cd, hang your photograph in their lounge and collect your paintings. So why the contradiction? Why does Society buy your IMPOSSIBLE, your DREAM? Society buys it because they see your soul reflected in your work, they see your vulnerability, your nakedness but most of all they see and respect your courage. Your IMPOSSIBLE has now become POSSIBLE. You are validated. Society still might not understand you but your courage and your “Never say die” attitude in the face of a DREAM and IMPOSSIBLE WILL win them over. They may not understand you but believe me that they want to be you. It takes courage to turn away from the practical route in life and follow a pathway that is not certain. The path we choose in our creative dreams is a narrow one and the one least chosen. It is ofttimes rocky and filled with more dangers and fears then hopes. But it is the only path for us to take to fulfill our personal legend in this world.
““When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”” ~ Paulo Coelho
2011 is like this for me so far…definitely living this quote at the moment. Sometimes in life you just have to ask for what you truly want and I believe that if you ask with the right passion and heart behind it, these things will be achieved. It is the thought of “POSSIBILITY” as an action. If you believe anything is POSSIBLE, then you banish fear and doubt and the POSSIBLE becomes PROBABLE and then becomes REAL.
So today’s Thursday Tips are based on what I have written above and what I have read above:
When you want something – put it out there. Write it on a piece on paper, place it in a balloon and release the balloon. Let the heavens, sun and moon take care of your dream and desire.
Believe in yourself – only YOU can be your greatest obstacle to success and only YOU can be the key to your success
Follow your pathway unswervingly – a slow, steady tread will get you past the rocky areas safely onto smoother ground.
Visualise your dreams being reality, your impossible being possible.
Keep a vision board or a vision journal – catalogue your hopes and dreams just as you would diarise and schedule your work appointments.
Treat your writing, your photography, your art, your music as your career and your lifestyle. When people ask what you do, tell them You are a … Writer / Photographer / Sculptor / Painter / Musician. If you believe it and live it, they will believe you and accept you.
Live your art – immerse yourself in what inspires you. Seek out your muse and your inspiration. Spend time in nature. Let the world in all its little miracles and impossibilities inspire you. If an Oak tree is contained in an acorn, what more is contained within you.
Do not give up! Do not quit! Take Courage! Press on!
Rejection is not a failure. Rejection is not a judgement. It is but one rung on your ladder to the stars of success. It is a building block of cement in your palace of POSSIBLE.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Surround yourself with other creative people who understand your fears and hopes. Live creative. Speak creative. Act Creative.
“”Courage does not always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying:
“I WILL TRY AGAIN Tomorrow””
~ Mary Ann Radmacher ~
“Your time is limited,
so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out you inner voice.
And most important,
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.
~ Steve Jobs ~
Live your art. Be your art. Breathe your art. It is this that makes you unique and special. Nobody else has your voice. Nobody else has your pathway. Nobody else can be You. Your pathway is one that will teach inspiration and courage in others. Your art is one that will fuel imaginations and create dreams. Your pathway is a noble one. The calling to be creative is given to many but heeded by few. Take up your calling with honour and pride. You are burning new pathways for those that come after you. It is the creatives in our world who burn bright paths that guide millions. You are one of these bright lights in a dim place. Shine brightly. Even a tiny match can brighten a darkened hall. That is the power of creativity, art and imagination. It is this power that you have the unique ability to harness. This sets you apart in a world of ordinary and cynical. Be set apart and the rest will follow your trail.
I have written many posts about words in this blog. But I realised today that I have neglected to write any posts about the books that inspire me. So today I am going to give the honour of my first Books/Writers post to one of my favourite books:
By now most people know about this story and this woman. More importantly they know of the phenomenon that this incredible woman’s story has inspired. A woman’s world came apart. She went off in search of herself. She chose three destinations. The first she would focus on her love of food. The second she would focus on her soul. The third she would focus on her heart. She found herself and a new love. She put it all in a book and she called it Eat,Pray, Love. It resonated with millions of readers. Hollywood picked up the vibes and came calling. Julia Roberts came wooing. A movie was made. The rest is history as they say.
Let me tell you why this is one of my favourite books. First answer this question. What makes a book popular? What makes a writer an inspiration?
A book must resonate with its readers. It must hook them. It must make them laugh or cry. Readers must recognise parts of themselves in the characters of the story. They must feel a connection with either the writer or the reader. That is what makes a good book. That is what makes you even reread favourite books. That is what makes readers quote their favourite passages from books.
All of the above answers are the very same reasons why this book is one of my favourite books. Sometimes reading the correct book is all in the timing and the circumstances that you find yourself in. That was the case with me when I first came across this book. I won’t go into the gory details here but I will say that I found myself at my lowest. Life had taken a bite from me, chewed me up and then spat me out. Then I came across this book. At the time I was immersing myself in any books I could find in an effort to completely escape from my own life and for a moment to live in a world created fictionally. Initially I thought that Eat,Pray,Love would be the same: pure escapism. I had never heard of the author. But I picked up the book and I started reading.
I started the book in the early evening and read right through the entire night. I did not eat and I did not sleep. I read and read. I was enthralled. It was uncanny. Everything I had been feeling for months was written in this book and resonated through Elizabeth’s words. (I use the author’s first name because by the time I was into the second chapter of the book, I felt like I was connected to her. She stopped being an author and became an advisor, a counsellor, a shoulder and a friend.) When I finally reached the end of the story, I cried. I cried not just because the book had come to an end but because I could see a light at the end of my own personal tunnel.
This story is a story of one woman’s search for herself. That may sound simple. But isn’t that the same story for you and I. Isn’t life constantly about searching for oneself? This search might wear different masks for different people: For one it may wear the mask of love, for a second it may wear the mask of success, for a third it may wear the mask of happiness, for a fourth it might wear a face of politics. But for all of us the search for something more, something extra to help us make sense of things, the search for what we are supposed to do and who we are supposed to be: this is a universal theme. Just as universal is that life and more accurately emotion is a roller-coaster ride. It throws us up in the air and then brings us down, it speeds up and it slows down. This is the reason why I believe that Eat,Pray, Love has become such a phenomenon.
A good writer is a writer who can tell a story but an inspiring writer is a writer who with complete transparent honesty allows us to enter their head space and their heart space. Elizabeth Gilbert is such: the inspiring writer.
So I urge you if you have not read Eat,Pray,Love – go get a copy of this book and read it. Even if you have watched the movie, go and get the book. It is in her words on the written page that you will find a voice that resonates. It is in her written words that you will find yourself laughing out loud and crying at the same time.
Most of all read this book to learn how to be an honest writer. I would also call Elizabeth Gilbert a diarist. Her thoughts and emotions are so naked and vulnerable that you almost feel like you are reading her diary. It takes courage to write honestly. Elizabeth Gilbert has courage. She does not promise to have all the answers but she writes down all her questions and shares her answers with you, the reader. Take a step into her world.
Make it your resolution to be honest and vulnerable in your writing. It is said that if the writer writes with tears streaming down their cheeks, the reader will find tears streaming down their’s.