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That delightful time of year when kids dress up like witches, vampires and Princess Elsa to knock on the doors of their neighbours and ask for candy.
“Trick or treat!” is the customary greeting, with the convention being that if they don’t get a treat, you’ll receive a trick.
Something good, or something bad?
Which leads me to my question for today, are you tricking or treating yourself?
And when that stick date pudding (drizzled in butterscotch sauce) arrives, you enjoy it, knowing that you’ve earned it.
You’ve had your vegetables, you’ve eaten the nutritious part of the meal, but this is what you really came for (or is that just me?)
Life isn’t that different, but sometimes we forget this important principle.
An artist can look at it forever, brush in hand, knowing that from the moment the paint touches the canvas, the perfection is ruined forever.
The artist muses to herself:
“What if I make a mistake?”
“What if I start in the wrong place?”
“What if no-one likes my art?”
They clamber up the stairs, make their way to the edge of the platform and launch themselves gleefully into the air before hitting the water with a satisfying splash.
When you move closer and stand at the base of the platform, it doesn’t look quite so easy. Gosh it’s high up there.
On the way up the stairs, reality starts to hit. “Do I have what it takes?” you ask yourself as your hand grips the rail firmly and your gait slows down to a crawl.
Then you stand at the top of the platform and look around. Everyone looks so small and they’re all watching you. The water seems such a long way down and your legs feel like jelly. The person behind you is breathing down your neck eager to jump, but you aren’t in such a hurry. As you get closer to the edge for the first time, the fear grows until it almost takes over your entire body.
The clock ticks down ominously while the hero hovers with a pair of clippers, wondering what to do next.
Do I cut the red wire, or the blue wire?
Blue or red?
Red or blue?
While perspiration drips from the hero’s forehead, the clock continues to count down.
10, 9, 8, 7…
Madison: “Dad, I don’t feel very well.”
Me: “Then stop reading and look out the window for a bit.”
Madison: “I don’t want to.”
Me (very compassionately): “Then don’t complain when you feel sick.”
It struck me later that I’ve had similar conversations over the years.
“I hate my job.”
“Find a new job.” Read the rest of this entry »
It describes audacity, boldness, perhaps even a subtle hint of hubris.
But we don’t like it because we would rather hide behind our false humility, our mistaken belief that success only belongs to a chosen few.
And so we need more temerity, and not just in asking.
We need temerity to chase after our dreams.
We need temerity to put our ideas out there.
Some are played in great orchestras, yet some remain locked in their cases collecting dust.
Every paint brush has the potential to paint a masterpiece.
Some are used by great artists, yet some stay on the shelf and are never used.
Every running shoe has the potential to run a marathon.
I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it.
Lukewarm is no good.
I don’t know what your goals are in life, but I agree with Dahl.
They will drive past three pizza shops to get to the one that cares about their customers and adds extra olives.
They will drive their kids past three schools to get to the one that they believe is able to deliver a better level of education to their kids.
They will walk past every coffee shop until they find the barista who makes their skinny flat white just the way they like it.