Archives for August, 2012

Courage

The Extraordinary Power of Despair

Despair gives courage to a coward—Thomas Fuller

Similarly, a therapist once said to me, “Misery is a great motivator.”

And JK Rowling said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Yep. There’s little more effective for lifting you out of misery than misery itself.

When things are so friggin’ awful that you can’t imagine them getting any more awful, doing things that were unimaginable suddenly seem imaginable.

Change is so difficult, you gotta really,...
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Creativity

Love Can’t Buy You Money

Do what you love and the money will follow.

This one annoys me.

It sounds so simple, so skipping through the daisies with dollar signs dancing around you like butterflies. It sounds like magical thinking to me.

Here’s another way to look at it: Do what you love for money and it might become just another job.

Easy for me to say, maybe. I write for a living and love what I do. But lemme tell you, dollar...
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General

How To Live

I took pleasure when I could. I acted clearly and morally and without regret. -- Jeanne Calment

Jeanne Calment died in 1997 at the age of 122 years, 164 days. I haven’t found the original source for this oft-quoted quote, though one website claims she said it about living to be 120.

Whether or not living Calment’s way can help us live to an overripe old age, this quote makes me happy.

“I took pleasure when I...
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Creativity

The Greatness of Good Enough (Part II)

My good enough is great.

This very excellent quote comes from the friend mentioned in my last post, who wondered why she shouldn’t strive for perfection. She and a friend of hers came up with the above saying, which she posted over her desk.

This friend struggles with procrastination, a common symptom of perfectionism. And so she is having to learn to let go of her fear of falling short...
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General

Why Good Beats Perfect

The best is the enemy of the good—Voltaire(ish)

This aphorism, translated from French, is attributed to Voltaire who actually attributed it to “A wise Italian” in a long satirical poem about a beautiful and pampered woman who takes a lover because she's bored. It’s also been translated as “Perfect is the enemy of the good.”

A friend finds this quote mildly offensive because it seems to endorse mediocrity.

I see her point. “Good” doesn’t exactly sound like...
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General

Tell Your Stories — Or Not

You own everything that happened to you. – Anne Lamott

Lamott first said this in her fabulous book about the writer's life, Bird by Bird. She then elaborated in a tweet, which read, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.” 

Haha. And cool. As a writer, I love this, even though it’s easier said than done....
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Creativity

Be Who You Are Not

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. -- Denis Waitley

This one twangs me in all the right ways.

One of the hurdles to becoming a writer is identifying yourself as a writer.

“I’m a writer.”

It sounds so pretentious.

But until you can identify yourself as a writer, you’re just a hobbyist. A dabbler. A person with a day job who writes for fun. (Or frustration. Or both....
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General

Does Happiness Live In A Quiet Room?

The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. -- Pascal

This is a curious quote, and certainly counter to common wisdom, which tells us that connections and community are the road to bliss while solitude and silence lead to serial killing.

Of course, I’m being facetious. As an introvert, I’m all for staying quietly in one’s room, and I find solitude...
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