’Writer’s block’ is a condition in which writers experience a creative slowdown and find themselves unable to produce new work. And while writer’s block applies to writers and authors, we all know what it is like to feel blocked or ’stuck’ in other areas of life as well. Author, blogger and marketing guru, Seth Godin, has this to say:
Then improve it.
Then write something else.
Repeat this process until you have a post.
Then post it.
Then repeat this process.
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. There’s simply a fear of bad writing. Do enough bad writing and some good writing is bound to show up.
And along the way, you will clarify your thinking and strengthen your point of view.
But it begins by simply writing something.
This splendid bit of advice can be applied to other areas of our lives, too. Instead of getting discouraged if something we tried to do didn’t turn out quite right the first time, we just need to try again, and keep at it till we get it right. And when we do, we will realize more often than not, that the finishing line was a lot closer than it appeared.
The poet and educator, T.H. Palmer, wrote in 1840…
‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again;
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again;
Then your courage should appear,
For, if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear;
Try, try again.
All that other folks can do,
Why, with patience, should not you?
Only keep this rule in view;
Try, try again.
The inventor Thomas Edison was quite right when he said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Inspiration may get us started but it takes perseverance and resilience to see us through.
Have a great week! And try again.
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS!
When we have been hurt and wronged, forgiveness is probably the furthest thing from our minds. To forgive someone is difficult, and sometimes well-nigh impossible, but it is the wise and psychologically smart thing to do. Anger and resentment rob you of your happiness and peace of mind, and if allowed to go on too long, make you a difficult person to be around.
While, of course, there are varying degrees of offences and hurts, and each situation is very different, it is a good idea to keep the following five broad principles in mind when we are faced with the choice to hold on to our hurts or to let them go:
1. Our bitterness ends up hurting us more: As someone very wisely said, “Holding on to bitterness is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die.” It helps to remember that ultimately our anger and resentment end up hurting us much more than the person/persons we are angry at. In fact, the word ‘resentment’ itself comes from the French word ‘ressentir’ which literally means, ‘to feel all over again.’ By holding on to anger and by re-living the memory of the hurt inflicted on us, we end up multiplying its effects.
2. Forgiveness does not mean you agree with wrongdoing. It simply means you make a conscious decision not to let your hurt become the centre of your consciousness and define you as a person. Forgiveness means releasing a person from a debt of hurt. As the author Lewis B. Smedes once said, ”When I forgave, I set a prisoner free, and that’s when I realized that prisoner was me.”
3. Forgiveness is an act of the will more than it is a feeling. Even when we forgive, it is possible that we will continue to feel negative emotion, but we don’t need to keep feeding that emotion. And if we stop adding ‘fuel to the fire’, the fire will die out.
4. It helps to remember that we are fallible too. We, too, have done things to hurt others. Remembering that goes a long way in keeping us humble and avoiding falling into the trap of self-righteousness that blinds us to our own faults.
5. Believe that all things work together for our good. No matter how awful a situation is or how deeply we have been wronged, it helps to remember that everything we go through in life teaches us something. That is probably the last thing we want to hear when grappling with a wrong done to us, but if we can decant the lessons from even the toughest circumstances, we will eventually be the better for it and much, much happier.
Have a great week!
If I Could Tell You Just One Thing is a truly fascinating book! It is made up of answers to a single question that the author, Richard Reed, has asked 62 remarkable people from around the world:
“Given all that you have experienced, given all that you now know and given all that you have learnt, if you could pass on only one piece of advice, what would it be?”
The answers he has received to that question, Reed says, are like “nutrient-rich broth, made from boiling down the (essence) of life. And being fed so much of it from such remarkable people has enriched my life and understanding of my fellow homosapiens immeasurably.”
Listen to five nourishing and diverse bits of wisdom from the galaxy of Reed’s interviewees:
Simon Cowell, British TV personality, co-host of American Idol:
“My best advice is listen, listen rather than talk. I was never bright in school, but I was a very good listener, and I still am. I have a better life because of it. When I meet people, I’m curious about their story, about how they did what they did. Along the way you meet people smarter than you and they teach you what you don’t already know. So I listen to them, take away my tidbits, and off I go…”
Harry Belafonte, Grammy Award-winning musician, a titan of the American Civil Rights Movement, and confidant of Martin Luther King:
“Discover the joy of embracing diversity. When people become more open to the strange, to the unusual, … to the other, we become more nourished as a species. Currently our ability to do that is being manipulated, diversity is being looked upon as a source of evil rather than as a source of joy and development. We must recapture the profound benefits of seeing the joy in our collective diversity, not the fear.”
Lily Ebert, Holocaust survivor:
“Always have hope against hope. I was as down as a human being can go, but look at me, I survived. I have gone from nearly starving to death, to, seventy years later, being (given the United Kingdom’s highest honour). So no matter how bad the situation, try to do what you can and don’t give up. Make always the best from what you have, no matter how little it is.”
Dambisa Moyo, global economist, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People:
“I know it sounds kind of corny, but every day I look in the mirror and I tell myself that I am going to go out there and face it and not curl up in a ball because somebody said something or thinks I couldn’t be or do something simply because of who I am.”
Terry Waite, humanitarian who ended up being held hostage in a Lebanese prison for 5 years while trying to negotiate the release of other prisoners:
“It’s the same lesson I learnt in that cell. What you have to do is live for the day, you have to say, now is life, this very moment. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday, it’s now, so you have to live it as fully as you can. Invest in every day.”
Have a great week!