Posted on 12 Jun ’09 by Earl Moore
This is a follow-on of thoughts from yesterdays post…
I often reference inspiring quotes on this site and I’ve adopted the habit of doing research into the quote originators. I’m not sure you can have full comprehension of a quote without knowing something of the person who said it and what the circumstances were when it was said.
Recent quotes catching my eye, or perhaps mind and soul would be more accurate, were:
Man’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled.
Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.
All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia* and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right about face which turns us from failure to success.
These quotes apply today as much as when said/written by writer and editor Dorthea Brande (1893-1948). She authored the book “Becoming a Writer” in 1934, still in print today, and had a 2 million copy best seller in 1936 with the book, “Wake Up and Live.” Not bad during a period dominated by two world wars and a great depression.
I wonder if she’d be surprised people were still quoting and writing about her 61 years later?
In her book “Wake Up and Live” she made the following confession:
The first thing to confess is that two years ago I was a failure. Oh, nobody knew it except me and those who knew me well enough to see that I was not doing a tenth of what could be expected of me. I held an interesting position, lived not too dull a lifeyet there was no doubt in my own mind, at least, that I had failed. What I was doing was a substitute activity for what I had planned to do; and no matter how ingenious and neat the theories were which I presented to myself to account for my lack of success, I knew very well that there was more work that I should be doing, and better work, and work more demonstrably my own…
…Of course it goes without saying that I was unhappy. Not miserably and painfully unhappy, but just nagged at and depressed by my own ineffectuality.
Why’s this important? When we’re faced with our own perceived negative inertial and frustration I believe it’s helpful to understand that this isn’t a problem unique to any single person or only relevant to only one period of time. It’s a universal trait of mankind that has probably been suffered since man first became self aware. You’re not alone!
Freedom of choice: Just as we all have the potential for success we also have the potential for failure. It’s a doubled edged sword that can be frightening to comprehend but the essential and joyous fact is the knowledge we’re not preordained to fail. Being at a low point now doesn’t mean you’ll always be there!
So during the storm of our doubts, those dark periods, we need to shelter the spark to rekindle our minds and spirits on the other side–act like it’s impossible to fail.
*inertial - The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.