“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
There are going to be times when even the most determined of us are not going to want to persevere. It might have been a rough week, rougher than usual. It might be a rough season, rougher than usual. And it’s okay, it’s absolutely okay, to stop and take a break. Take a day or week.
Or don’t. Get Started. Keep Going. Determination is the emotion without emotion. It helps us to move forward no matter how we feel, emotionally or physically. I’m not suggesting that we burn ourselves out. But I am encouraging you to take one more step if you can. The interesting thing is when we get started, the emotions or the fatigue, and sometimes even the illness symptoms go away.
In writing over 700 blogs and doing over 250 radio shows, I have seen my mood improve, my fatigue leave, or even my symptoms vanish every single time with perhaps only one or two exceptions. What does that mean? It means I have the power to heal myself. How? Because I was never really sick. I just thought I was. Doing my work exposed it for the phantom it was.
At the moment I’m trying to stay awake and finish this blog. I’m also sweating out a slight fever and I have a headache. I don’t care. I’m going to finish this blog. Even if it’s a short one, I’m going to finish it. Why? Because I’m a writer, and writers write. So I’m writing.
I’m doing my work. Why? Because I want a house on the beach and right now this seems to be the fastest way to do it. Honestly, even I don’t quite see the connection yet. I haven’t made much money from my writing, but I know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Writing is what won the heart of my Muse. When I have her heart, I feel that I can do everything. The interesting thing is that I have to convince her every day. Yesterday’s work was wonderful, but she wants something new today. If this seems unfair or difficult, I don’t mind. I don’t mind. Love is new every day. Yesterday’s hugs can no longer be felt. Yesterday’s declaration of love can no longer be heard. Our work should be new every day. Today we should declare to God, the world, our loved ones, our Muse, and ourselves, that what we do means something, that it’s important, and that it’s real, even if there don’t seem to be any results.
Does this seem unfair or difficult? Perhaps it is, but so is life. So I might as well accept difficulties that I enjoy…because then they’re not really difficulties. I don’t mind convincing my Muse every day that I’m serious. It’s good for both of us, for her because she needs to hear it and for me because I need to say it. I also need to hear it from my own mouth. I need to remind myself, especially when it’s been a rough week, that I’m serious about this. This isn’t a hobby. This is a commitment I made, not lightly either, and I’m going to keep making it every day. This is why the Muse wants to be convinced every day – not because she’s insecure or demanding, but because she knows it helps me to state my Purpose regularly.
With regard to the previously-mentioned difficulty, there’s one more thing that makes this easier – the picture in our heads. My picture is a house on the beach. It’s more of a movie that starts with me waking up at 5:00 a.m., making a cup of coffee, saying a prayer that my work will bless God, the world, my family, and my Muse and me, and then begin writing. Except for the house, this is what my life is like now. I’m preparing for the blessings that will come my way. All of us should be doing this – preparing for the blessings we will one day receive.
So are you tired, discouraged, maybe even sick? Then do your work. Maybe nothing will change. Maybe you’ll feel exactly the same after you finish. But I doubt it. Whenever I spend time with my Muse, I always feel better.