Monday, March 15, 2010

Keep Your Face to The Sunshine

"The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized--never knowing." --Jim Rohn

A wonderful writer sent me this quote. A great opening, don’t you think? To me, these words speak to the heart. How often do we know exactly what we want, yet avoid the steps needed to move towards our dream?

I remember when I first explored the Tarot. Each card is laid out in a specific pattern, according to the pattern that is chosen. Within the Celtic Cross spread, there is a position I find most intriguing.

The position can be summed at as 'Hopes and Fears'. Not 'Hopes or Fears'.

Interesting, eh? What we yearn for most is often what we most fear. For many of us here, the art of putting words to paper, crafting a story, seeing our story in print, and achieving lasting success is our greatest dream… and our biggest fear.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." --Theodore Roosevelt. From a speech in Chicago, IL, April 10, 1899.

We are a special breed. There is no instant gratification for writers. Each page takes time. Each edit requires painstaking focus while the hours slip away. The queries need to be written and we’re reminded to not expect a reply from the agent or editor for weeks that stretch into months. We develop patience and the ability to laugh at our worries. We have to. We Are WRITERS. Writers must write. Lest we ‘spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized--never knowing.’

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

We also develop a core of optimism and confidence that surpasses all others. We have to. Each tomorrow is a brand new day, and dang it, we’re going to make the most of it!! Woo-hoo!

Awhile back, hubby and I watched this incredible DVD about the 2006 TED conference. This is a conference of the best and brightest, the most innovative thinkers of our time. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an invitation-only event where the world's leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration.

Sir Ken Robinson gave an amazing talk about education. He is an incredible speaker, witty and articulate. He spoke of how children are more open to taking risks, to “give it a go.” Here’s a snippet from Sir Ken:

I heard a great story recently about a six-year-old girl in a drawing lesson. The teacher said this little girl hardly ever paid attention in class, but during this lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated. She asked the girl, "What are you drawing?" And the girl said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." The teacher said, "But nobody knows what God looks like." The girl said, "They will in a minute."

What all children have in common is that they will take a chance. They're not frightened of being wrong. I don't mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. But if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original. By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong.Sir Ken Robinson

To me, this is the essence of what we all need to realize. We need to “give it a go.” Take that chance. Live that dream.

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." --Helen Adams Keller

Here we are, at the beginning of a lovely week. A week full of promise and hope. A week brimming with ideas and inspiration. A week to take chances, to “give it a go.”

But nobody really knows what a successful, multi-published author looks like, right?

Well… they will in a minute. *wink*

When I was a child, I fervently believed The Land of Oz to be real. Further, I believed Glinda the Good would read about me in her magic book and knowing my desire to visit, would soon get together with the Wonderful Wizard and whisk me off to fairy land. That early belief in magic was a pivotal moment for me and what led me to a career in fiction. How about you? Any childhood memories of The Turning Point for you?

Until next time, keep writing!

--Chiron O'Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas


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Celia Yeary said...

CHIRON--Who said, "my previous attempts weren't failures, they were ways NOT to do it." I suppose we do fear what we want most, although I'd never thought of that particularly. It makes sense, doesn't it? We're afraid to go for something, believeing in our hearts we'll fail, thus we ares osrely afraid. Thanks--very good thoughts today. Celia

Chiron said...

Hi Celia!

It may be Edison that you are thinking of. About inventing the light bulb, he said, "I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work."

It's funny, but most people aren't aware that we can unconsciously pull away from success because we're afraid of the changes that might occur. We establish comfort zones and whether we're nervous about the impact of success, the time it will take, or the demands it will generate, many of us put more effort into avoidance than we realize.

And, as you pointed out, often we might worry we can't succeed, so it's better to not try. Ouch!

So, here's to embracing the potential and releasing the fear!

Thanks always for stopping by, my dear!


hspwriter said...

Wow. I love this post. It's exactly what I needed this week. You know, it's very true that we often don't take action towards what we want because we're afraid of actually living it. The challenge is to decide to believe in what we cannot yet see, but we know in our hearts to already be true (in some realm out there, anyway). As you state, the world of "make-believe" is so easy for us to believe in when we're young, but in the course of life we somehow lose that natural response. But, you're right. We have to decide that taking action and believing in our hopes and dreams is more important than giving in to the idea that they can't possibly exist. Thanks for your inspiration!