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She Married Him Today

At the end of the wedding party, her mother gave her a newly opened bank savings passbook, with $1000 deposited in it.

She told her, "My dear daughter, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your married life. Whenever something happy and memorable happens in your new life, put some money in. Write down what it's about next to the amount. The more memorable the event is, the more money you can put in. I've done the first one for you today. Do the others with your husband. When you look back after years, you will know how much happiness you've both shared."

She shared this with him after getting home. Both of them thought it was a great idea and couldn't wait to make the next deposit! This is what the passbook looked like after a while :

- 7 Feb: $100 : His first birthday celebration after marriage
- 1 Mar: $300 : She gets a salary raise

- 20 Mar: $200 : Vacation to Bali
- 15 Apr: $2000 : She's pregnant!
- 1 Jun: $1000 : He gets the big promotion
and so on ...

However, as the years went by, they began fighting and arguing over trivial things. They didn't talk much. They regretted that they had married the most nasty person in the world...There was no more love.

One day she talked to her Mother. "Mom, we can't stand it anymore. We have decided to divorce. I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy !"

Her mother replied, "Sure, that's no big deal. Just do whatever you want, if you really can't stand it. But before that, do one thing. Remember the savings passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage."

She agreed with her. So she went to the bank, and was waiting in the queue to cancel the account. While she was waiting, she took a look at the passbook record. She looked, and looked, and looked. Then the memory of all the previous joyful moments came back to her. Her eyes were filled with tears. She left and went home.

When she got home, she handed the passbook to him and asked him to spend the money before getting divorced.

So the next day, he went to the bank, and was waiting in the queue to cancel the account. While he was waiting, he took a look at the passbook record. He looked, and looked, and looked. Then the memory of all the previous joyful moments came back to him. His eyes were filled with tears. He left and went home.

He gave the passbook back to her. She found a new deposit of $5000. And a line next to the record : "This is the day I realized how much I've loved you throughout all these years. How much happiness you've brought me."

They hugged and cried, putting the passbook back into the safe.

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Tom Robbins

"Success can eliminate as many options as failure."

American Novelist

1936 -

When you are an unknown writer or artist, you are free to explore new genres or avenues of thinking without anyone criticizing you.  When you are successful, you can become boxed in by the expectations of others and your options to explore new genres becomes limited.  One of my favorite mystery writers, Walter Mosley, has tried on occasion to write novels outside of the genre of mysteries and these novels have never been as successful as his Easy Rawlins novels.  I once talked with Denver Pyle, a Hollywood character actor for most of his career.  He said that his role as Uncle Jessie on the Dukes of Hazard negatively impacted his ability to be cast in any other roles.  He was typecast as Uncle Jessie.  Sometimes we as creative leaders become trapped by our own success and are unable to reinvent ourselves.  Ricky Nelson speaks of this trap in his song, The Garden Party.

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Carl Rogers

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."

American Author / Psychologist

1902 - 1987

Have you ever had a desire to change who you are?  Have you ever dreamed of waking up and being somebody different?  That is one of the fun things about being a novelist or an actor.  Novelists and short story writers can become the characters inside the stories they tell.  I once wrote a short story, Bath Day, in which I inserted my real self as a minor, minor character seen through the eyes of the main character.  Actors take on the character of others.  They play heroes and villains.  They experience death, love, sorrow and laughter in the skin of imaginary characters.

Most of us have struggled with our self-identity.  We may not like our physical looks or the bill-paying work that we do.  We may think that we are poor husbands, wives or parents.  And yet, if we learn to accept who we are and what we have done, then we can begin to change into who we want to be.

Have you ever tried to change your habits?  Stop smoking?  Lose weight?  Start exercising?  Learn another language?  Leave the toilet seat down?  Some people say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  Personal change is never easy.  We need to learn to be more forgiving of ourselves and those with whom we share our lives.  None of us are perfect.  And if change is difficult for us, don't you think it is just as difficult for those you love.  Learn to be gentle with yourself and those you love.
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Alice Neel

"I thought you had to give up a lot for art, and you did.  It required complete concentration.  It also required that whatever money you had had to be put into art materials."

American Artist

1900 - 1984

The Spanish Family (1943)

What have you had to give up in order to be able to paint, or write or play music?  Our muses can be demanding — asking us to give up relationships, friendships and even family.  And sometimes our muses will drain our spirit and leave us battered and lifeless.  Art requires the artist to be faithful and loyal.   Art demands that we work hard, often with little or no respect, money or fame.  We labor on day and night hoping that one day someone will discover us.  Sometimes we hurt those we love.  We sacrifice our family on the altar of creativity.  And for what?  The hope that maybe one day someone will notice.  It takes a lot of courage to be an artist.  To be willing to sacrifice so much.  For some of us, we sacrifice our sanity or even our lives.  

And yet, I think there is another way.  We can find balance in our lives.  We don't have to sacrifice everything.  We can maintain our sanity without falling off the cliff.  Don't let the creative impulse destroy you.  Be strong.  Find a way to balance the wild and crazy spirit with the routines of daily living.  Maybe you can knit, take up yoga, play golf or simply take a walk.  Embrace the whole you, not just the creative side.  Anything taken to the extreme is destructive.
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Henry Ford

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."

American Businessman

1863 - 1947

Creativity is not a talent that is limited to artists and writers.  There many business leaders who have the gift of creativity.  Henry Ford was a creative genius who revolutionized the world of business and the American culture.  Ford built his first car inside a rented building.  When the car was finished, he realized that the door was not big enough for the car to go through so he destroyed an entire wall.  He did not let the wall stand in the way of test driving his first car.  Do you learn from your mistakes?  In every failure is an opportunity to grow and change.  When something knocks you off your feet, pick yourself up and begin again. 

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William A. Ward

"A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life."

American Author / Speaker

1921 - 1994

Are you able to laugh at yourself and the circumstances you find yourself in?  Life has a tendency to throw you off balance and unless you are able to laugh, you will surely cry.  Laughter gives us balance and a way to cope with the challenges we face.  Some of the best humor is what I call spontaneous humor.  This is humor that is not planned.  This is humor that rises spontaneously out of the situation and it can't be conveyed to others.  This is humor that you have to have been there to grasp it. 

Are you able to find the humor in difficult situations?  I challenge you to keep a humor journal where you record funny things that happen to you.  And on those days when you feeling down, pick up your journal and relive those laughs.
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Katharine Graham

"To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?"

American Publisher

1917 - 2001

Do you love to paint?  Do you love to write?  Do you love to act?  Do you love to draw?  What is your passion?  If you do not enjoy writing or singing or painting, then maybe it is time to get out of the creative business and find something you love to do.   The creative world is difficult and if you don't have fun being creative, you will feel like you have been hit by truck. 

What we as creative leaders do is very important.  We touch people's lives and help them feel better about themselves.  We solve problems and show the world a better way.  We bring beauty and ideas into the world.  We help people escape their mundane worlds for a short time.  We inspire people to be better than they are.  We give hope where there is none.  We help people visit new worlds and experience new places.
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Jim Rohn

"Dreams get you started; discipline keeps you going."

American Author / Motivational Speaker

1930 - 2009

We all have dreams and most of us never act on our dreams.  We find excuses and reasons why we can't do something.  We focus on all the obstacles we see in front of us.  Dreams may inspire us to act for a day or two, but it takes discipline to keep writing and painting.  And this goes for successful writers and painters as well as beginners.  I have read stories of successful writers and painters who stop working.  The first book or two made them a celebrity and they never finish the next book.  They get caught up in the celebrity of being a writer.  Being a creative leader requires discipline to sit down at the computer, to stand at that easel, or to sit at the piano.  

Do you have the discipline to accomplish your dreams?  Do you rise before everyone in your family so that you can spend an hour or two working on your art?  Or do you stay up after everyone else has gone to bed?  Do you do what many others only dream about?  Discipline is key to your success.

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Advice is like snow — the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind."

English Poet

1772 - 1834

As creative leaders, we all receive advice — some good, some bad, and some dangerous.  Be careful of who you listen to.  The wrong advice can be damaging to your emotional and mental health as well as your creative output.  Good advice can keep you on track and motivated to keep producing creative work.  Dangerous advice is that which keeps us from fulfilling our potential.  We give up because some expert says we will never amount to anything.  

As creative leaders, we are also tempted to give advice.  Be careful.  The wrong advice can destroy a potential artist or writer.  I learned a valuable technique from a trainer many years ago.  He said if you are coaching someone on skill development, you should ask them two questions:  What did you do right?  and What will you do differently next time.

Most people know when they made a mistake or messed up, even if they don't consciously admit it.  And when they write or paint something, they are very critical of themselves.  So get them to focus on what they did right?  Have them focus on the good things.  Then ask them what they will do differently the next time they write a story or paint a picture?  Get the person to focus on how he can improve.   

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Jack London

"You can't wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club."

American Novelist

1876 - 1916

If you wait for inspiration, you may never find it.  Inspiration sneaks upon you when you are working and catches you by surprise.  Inspiration invades your dreams and you wake up with the answer to your problems.  When you pretend that inspiration is not important, it dominates your soul.  

Consider inspiration as a friend who comes and goes at all hours of the day and night bearing gifts that will delight you.  When you open the gifts offered by inspiration, be not frightened by what you find.  Cherish the madness that inspiration bestows upon you.  Taste the sadness when it leaves you naked and exposed to the elements.  

Kneel before the altar of inspiration and pray that you will survive the dangerous journey.  Catch fireflies and offer then as a sacrifice to the gods of inspiration.  Dance with the goddess of inspiration and steal her beauty.  Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for an opportunity to taste of the joy of the gods.
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Toni Morrison

"If writing is thinking and discovery and selection and order and meaning, it is also awe and reverence and mystery and magic."

American Novelist

1931 -

This quote from Toni Morrison captures the essence of the creative arts.  Yes, the creative arts are about finding meaning in the world around us, but the arts are also about the magic of that world.  Yes, the creative arts are about creating order in a chaotic world, but the arts are also about accepting the mystery of that world.  Yes, the creative arts are about discovering new visions of the world, but the arts are also about kneeling in reverence before the altar.  Yes, the creative arts are about thinking deeply about how the world should be, but the arts are also about the awe that we feel when the work of creation is finished.  

Are you in awe of what you created and how you created it?  Do you appreciate the mystery and magic of the experience?  Learn to honor and respect the creative gifts that you have been given.  
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Beverly Pepper


"I go to my studio every day.  Some days work comes easily.  Other days nothing happens.  Yet on the good days the inspiration is only an accumulation of all the other days, the nonproductive ones."

American Artist

1922 -

Horizontal Twist Vision 1

Farmers understand that they have to leave the fields fallow some years.  The soil needs a rest and an opportunity to rebuild itself.  If they planted corn every year, they would deplete the soil of its nutrients eventually.  Artists, writers and creative leaders are going to have good days and bad days.  The bad days are a way of restoring the creative energies to our spirit — of making us whole again.  Work every day but understand that some days you will be producing weeds and other days you will harvest the corn.
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Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury."

American Author / Preacher

1814 - 1880

As creative leaders we often face rejection.  People ignore our paintings.  Editors reject our writing.  Critics criticize our work.  How we respond to this rejection is a indicator of our character.  When I was in sixth grade I was asked to be the reporter for our class news in the local newspaper.  The criticism I received was that I needed to tone my writing down because it was too much like advertising.  I was so deeply hurt that it was years before I picked up a pen and began to write again.  But those articles foreshadowed a later career in marketing and advertising where I did actually write ads.

How do you handle criticism?  How do you respond to rejection?  Many years ago I submitted two haiku to two different magazines accidentally.  The reason I found out is that they both were returned on the same day.  The first letter I opened was a rejection slip and it hurt.  When I opened the second envelope, I found the haiku was accepted for publication.  I learned a valuable lesson that day.  There will always be rejection, but there will also be acceptance.  Don't focus on the rejection; focus on the acceptance.  Editors are fickle and rejection often has nothing to do with you.  It has to do with the editor's editorial needs and his personal taste.
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Andre Gide

"The color of truth is gray."

French Writer

1869 - 1951

Many people see the world as black and white and they quickly choose sides that give rise to conflict.  When it comes to the interactions of human beings nothing is black and white.  You can always find some gray.  Every person has some good in him as well as some bad.  Sometimes writers and artists fall into this same trap.  Only our style of art is good.  Everything else is bad.  So for much of the 20th century artists moved  away from realism and adopted cubism, abstract expressionism, surrealism and magical realism.  Realism became a negative word.  In writing, we have the literary writing and the genre writing.  Those who write mysteries, science fiction, fantasy or romance novels are not as good as the literary writers.

For me, very little truth is black and white.  Most truth, if not all, is various shades of gray.  No human has a monopoly on truth.  We all make mistakes.  I grew up in a church where the people would split over as simple things as whether men should wear clothes with buttons or the fish and hook.  The fight between the Republicans and Democrats is because each thinks they have the truth.  They actually probably agree on 95% of the issues, but they allow the five percent to divide them.  They don't see the gray because they are blinded by the black and white.

Who in your life are you separated from because you each think you have the truth?  A story does not just have one or two sides.  It has thousands of sides.  Nothing is black and white.  Everything is gray.  Break down those black and white walls today and gather those you love in your arms.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort."

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States

1882 - 1945

Creativity is not limited to writers, artists and musicians.  Anyone can be creative if they open themselves up and listen to the ideas inside.  Who has not had a better idea about something?  There are creative business people who have new ideas about how to do something better.  There are creative doctors who develop better ways to treat patients.  My dentist has developed 12 products that he has sold on the market. Unfortunately, some people bury their creativity deep inside.  They even announce loudly to those around them: "I don't have a creative bone in my body."  We all have the potential to be creative if we allow ourselves the opportunity.

Creativity is one of the most thrilling acts that we as humans can participate in.  If you have ever experienced the excitement of chasing a new idea or exploring a new way of seeing the world you will understand what Roosevelt is saying.  Some people might say that Roosevelt was not creative.  He did not produce any great works of art.  His creativity lay in his ability to change the way he and others saw the world.  The ideas that rose to the surface during his Presidency dramatically changed life in the United States and around the world.  People today are still trying to understand the impact of changes Roosevelt created in our society and our politics.  Roosevelt was a creative leader.

I have come to believe that one of the blessings in disguise in my life was the rejection of religion at young age.  It released a tidal wave of creativity within me.  It freed me to question any idea.  Otherwise, I think, today I would find myself in a straitjacket of rules and regulations.  As a child I was obsessed with the Bible.  I would have an anxiety attack if anything was placed on top of the Bible.  I had to remove it immediately.  If I had continued down that path, it would have led to some form of insanity.

What are you doing to cultivate creativity in your life?  Give yourself the freedom to look at the world in new ways.  See the world in ways that others don't.  Don't accept things as they are.  Question why?  Creativity is not about technique.  It is about seeing the world in new ways.  
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Ivan Albright

Ivan Albright

"A painting is life and a painting is death . . . the picture is our own legacy left by tomorrow's dead for tomorrow's living."

American Artist

1897 - 1983

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Ivan Albright

What will your legacy be?  What is your reason for being?  Why are you here?  We will all reach the end of the road one day.  What will you be remembered for?  As creative leaders we have an opportunity to leave the legacy of our work — our paintings, our poems, our songs and our stories.  And for some of us, we may be remembered for years and even centuries, but most of us will be forgotten except by those who loved us.  And for me, the most important legacy is the lives we have touched, the people we have met and the people we have loved.  Don't get me wrong.  Our creative work is very important, but the people in our lives are even more important.  Unfortunately, some of us sacrifice one for the other.  We need to learn balance.  To give to each what is needed.  What will your legacy be?
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Douglas Adams

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

1952 - 2001

English novelist

When we are young, we have lots of dreams of what we want to do with our lives.  When I was in junior high, I wanted to be an architect.  My father was a general contractor and build over 300 houses in his lifetime so I am sure that was an influence on my dream.  But in recent years, I realize that I had as a child a desire to draw which no one encouraged.  When I was a sophomore in high school I made a commitment to be a minister.  By the time I was a senior in high school I had lost my faith in religion.  In college I dreamed of being a writer.  My life may not have turned out as I imagined, but I believe it turned out better and I became what I was meant to be.

I have spent more than 35 years writing poetry and short stories.  I have published 14 books and hundreds of poems.  I have spent over 20 years as a motivational speaker (ministry) touching people's hearts and souls.  And late in my life I have turned to painting masks.  I know I ended up where I needed to be and did what I needed to do.

I believe that we are all here on this earth to learn lessons and grow.  Everything that happens to us will teach us valuable lessons.  The choices we make will lead us down the roads we need to travel.  We will arrive where we are meant to be, having learned the lessons we were meant to learn.

When I was 50 I wrote an article, "What do I want to be when I grow up? Or how I found myself!", that appeared in my college alumni magazine.  In the article I describe how became what I was meant to be.
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Bernie Siegel

"In the face of uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with hope."

American Author / Physician

As a young writer hope is one of the few things that kept me going.  I would read a story about someone who was 50 or 60 or 7o and he had just published his first novel.  After years of toiling in the salt mines of writing, he found success.  These stories inspired me to keep writing.  I had hope that one day I would be discovered and become successful.  Even today I have that sense of hope, that belief that one day I will be proved right.  Yes, I am a writer.

When we lose hope, we give up on life.  We quit.  Some days all we have is hope.  As the old saying goes: every dark cloud as a silver lining.  We just have to find it — to look at the world with new eyes.  No matter how dark the night, there is always a sunrise.  Everyone faces challenges and difficulties.  The sad thing for me is people who see no way out of a problem but to take their own lives.  Never give up hope for a better tomorrow.

As creative thinkers, we need hope.  We need to believe in ourselves, our ideas, our art.  Have faith that you have been given a gift.  Have faith in your dreams.  Have faith that the sun will rise again.

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Robert Henri

"Develop your visual memory.  Draw everything you have drawn from the model from memory as well."

American Artist

1865 - 1929

Philosophers have long said that we experience the world through our senses.  The ability to see is one of our dominant senses.  The question that Henri is raising here is about our memory of what we see.  Both painters and writers need strong visual memory in order to put detail into their work.  Painters often work from observing models, but they also need to be able to work from the memory of that model.  The same is true of writers.  We must be able to describe our characters, the setting and the physical world.  Often the physical world tells the reader more about the nature of a person.

Bernadita (1926)

Visual memory is something I struggle with both as a writer and a reader.  When I come to a long descriptive passage in a novel, I will skim through it quickly so as not to be bored.  When I write I struggle to put in visual detail of the person and his surroundings.  As a speaker I can be in a room for eight hours with a group of people, but at the end of the day I could not describe the clothes they were wearing.  The only place where I have discovered that I have a strong visual memory is when I am driving.  I can have driven through a city once and come back five years later and I will remember visual elements and be able to find my way around without getting lost.  Somehow subconsciously, my brain picks up the physical clues and I remember them when I am back in the same place, but if you asked me to describe the place I could not.

For the past ten years I have been cultivating my visual memory through the study of art.  If your visual memory is weak like mine, I would encourage you to find ways to improve your visual skills.  Most creative leaders need a strong visual memory.
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Benjamin Mays

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.  The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach."

Dr. Benjamin Mays

American Author / Educator / Minister

1894 - 1984

Some creative leaders don't want to set goals because they are afraid they will not reach them.  But the truth is that people achieve more when they have goals then when they don't.  You may not reach the goal you set but you will come closer than if you had no goal.  And as many people learn, the joy is in working to achieve the goal, not in actually achieving it.  And when goal-setters reach their goal, they quickly set a new goal.  

I once met a 101 year old man who was writing his first book using a laptop computer in a nursing home.  I visited that nursing home a couple of years later and the man, then 103, was writing his second book.  What goals have you set for yourself?  Your work?  Your life?

Childhood home

of Benjamin Mays

Dr. Benjamin Mays must have been a master goal-setter for all that he accomplished.  Mays was the youngest of eight children born to tenant farmers and former slaves in South Carolina.  He earned a B.A. from Bates College in Maine, a Masters and a Ph.d in religion from the University of Chicago.  He received almost 30 honorary doctorates in his lifetime.  He was an ordained Baptist minister and an educator.  He became President of Morehouse College in 1940, a post he held for 27 years.  Mays wrote nearly 2,000 articles and nine books including The Negro's Church, the first sociological study of African-American religion.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who graduated from Morehouse in 1948, called Mays his "spiritual mentor" and "intellectual father."
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Pierre Auguste Renoir

Self-Portrait, 1910

"There are some things in painting which cannot be explained, and that something is essential."

French Artist

1841 - 1919

On the Terrace, 1881

All art (painting, sculpture, literature, music, etc) has something that cannot be explained, identified or understood.  A work of art is greater than its creator.  A work of art is greater than the sum of its parts.  When you look at a painting what do you see?  What do you not see?  What is the soul of the painting?  When you read a story what do you feel?  What do you not feel?  What is the heart of the story?  When you listen to music what do you hear?  What do you not hear?  What is the spirit of the music?

When I write a poem, I don't always understand it and others may understand it even less.  The poem has a life of its own — a meaning of its own.  I will come upon it weeks, months and even years later and it has been transformed into something I do not know.  Some days I like it and some I don't, but it is beyond my control.  It laughs at me and demands that I leave it alone.  It never thanks me for bringing it into existence.  It accuses me of locking it in a closet.  It says I was a terrible parent.

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Louis Auchincloss

"A man can spend his whole existence never learning the simple lesson that he has only one life and that if he fails to do what he wants with it, nobody really cares."

Louis Auchincloss

American Novelist / Lawyer

1917 - 2010

How often do we hold ourselves back from doing the things we want to do because we are afraid?  Afraid of what others will say?  Afraid of failure?  Afraid of success?  Louis Auchincloss wrote this statement in his first memoir, A Writer's Capital, in 1974.  In his 92 years on this planet, Auchincloss was a lawyer, a novelist, a short-story writer and a historian, publishing more than 60 books.  He filled his life with things he wanted to do.

Is there something you have been dreaming of doing, but have not done it?  Maybe today it is time to take that first step in achieving your dreams because if you don't no one else will care.  Only you care about your dreams.  Only you can achieve your dreams.
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Our Greatest Enemy

When people discovered the iron, the trees began to worry about the fate of their future.


"Why is there an ax in this world for massacring the tree? Who created this destroyer devil tool?"


"If a tree does not provide the ax handle, how could a piece of iron hurt you so severely?"


The origin of misfortune can often be traced to oneself. In fact, our greatest enemy often is even ourselves.


"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself."
(Dhammapada - 103)

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Natalie Goldberg

"Writing, too, is ninety percent listening.  You listen so deeply to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you. . . . The deeper you listen, the better you can write."

American Writer

1948 - 

Most of us probably never associate writing or painting with listening.  Writing and painting are active processes.  We perceive listening to be a passive process.  Actually, listening is very active and engaging.  As writers and painters we need to be listening to the world around us. By listening we learn to see the world for what it is.  The better we understand our world the stronger artist we become.  Those, who are so absorbed in themselves that that they do not listen, ultimately, will lose touch with the world and they will become weak.

Learn to listen with your heart, your body, your soul, your mind and your spirit.  Taste the different flavors of the world around you.  Explore the dark crevices and the deep roots.  Climb the highest trees and tread on the sandiest beaches.  Taste the heights of the human spirit and the deepest valleys of the human heart.  Listen with every pore in your flesh.  Listen with every cell in your body.

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Milton Berle

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

American Comedian & Actor

1908 - 2002

Many times we have to make our own opportunities.  People often complain that they were not given a chance.  They fall into "If Only" thinking: "If only I could have gone to school."  "If only my boss would have promoted me."  "If only my parents loved me."  If only. . . . If only. . . .  If only. . . .  If you are going to achieve your dreams and accomplish your goals, you must move beyond "If Only" thinking to "Opportunity" thinking.  You must build your own doors and knock on them.

What doors can you build today that you can knock on tomorrow?  Building the door to opportunity does not just happen by accident.  It takes hard work, belief in oneself and persistence.
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