Bird by Bird is considered by many the bible of writing guides. It has sold non-stop since it was published in the 1990s. Today’s quote is a poignant nugget of Anne Lamott’s wisdom, gleaned from her many years of trial and error to give voice to her calling to write well.
The subtitle, Instructions on Writing and Life, points to the iterative nature of both. Capturing one’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings in words and deeds can often be pretty messy, especially during the early stages.
Where are you afraid that your initial drafts on some worthy goal or project are pretty awful?
How can and will you continue to develop second, third, and perhaps many more drafts, to fully express yourself throughout the rest of your life?
Letting today’s quote really sink in can change your life.
Can you recall how many times, personally or professionally, you were reluctant to begin an activity or stopped your efforts too soon because your initial steps were awkward or challenging?
In such cases, we could consider the Biblical story of Job and his statement, “Man was born to toil.”
Going beyond any initial discomfort is fundamental to being productive and to the essential need for each of us to contribute and have a life of purpose.
Where and on what current matter would acknowledging that all beginnings are difficult provide you the needed courage, tenacity, and persistence to toil on to more fully realize your fullest potential and contribution to the world?
“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
Napoleon Hill, America’s foremost success/motivation author
Image from www.newinki.com
I recently finished a chapter on Personal Mastery for a book titled Essential Wisdom: Personal Development and Soul Transformation, which will be published soon. As I researched my topic, I discovered how relevant Napoleon Hill’s statement is to virtually every journey of success.
When we combine these three qualities, they appear to have far more helpful impact than their additive effects. We say that 1+1+1=3, but perhaps 32 or 3 to the second power, might more accurately demonstrate their potential synergies.
Where would combining greater patience, persistence, and perspiration make the biggest difference in your personal and profession endeavors?
Many people are familiar with the story of Thomas Edison’s 10,000-plus unsuccessful attempts to create the light bulb. His philosophy on such a high volume of failures was that the world was simply saying ‘no’ to the most recent attempt. He is quoted as saying, “I never failed. I only found 10,000 ways in which it did not work.”
Undaunted, he persisted in his efforts, always seeing a better way and getting to a ‘yes’ that would eventually light the world.
Where in your own life are you receiving your share of No’s?
How often do the No’s stop you? How often do they spur you on in faith, knowing that the better Yes’s of life may simply be a bit further down the road?