“And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything, will try to stay awake while everyone is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano.”—
“How many times in life can we make decisions that are important but will not hurt anyone? Are we obligated- maybe we are- to say yes to any choice when no one will be hurt? We use the word hurt when talking about things like this because when these things go wrong it can feel as if you were hit in the sternum by a huge animal that’s run for miles just to strike you.”—Dave Eggers (How We Are Hungry)
“So I should be aware of the dangers of self-consciousness, but at the same time, I’ll be plowing through the fog of all these echoes, plowing through mixed metaphors, noise, and will try to show the core, which is still there, as a core, and is valid, despite the fog. The core is the core is the core. There is always the core, that can’t be articulated.
Only caricatured.”—Dave Eggers
“There had been times when he knew, somewhere in him, that he would get used to it, whatever it was, because he had learnt that some hard things became softer after a very little while.”—Nick Hornby (About a Boy)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
If at first you don’t succeed, what do you do? Try again or quit? Grace Livingston Hill tried and tried again. She was rejected by 39 publishers before she finally got a book contract, yet her books became tremendously popular and she became one of the best-selling authors of all time. Dr. Seuss—you know, “I Like Green Eggs and Ham”—was rejected by 23 publishers before he got someone to take a chance on his children’s books. And the 24th publisher was rewarded with—Are you ready for this?—sales of over six million copies, making him the best-selling author of children’s books ever.
Michael Jordan—probably the best basketball player ever to toss a ball through a hoop—was cut from his high school basketball team, and no less of an intellectual than Albert Einstein had his Ph.D. dissertation turned down by the University of Bern in the year 1905. But neither quit. Their failure drove them on to pursue excellence.
Some feel rebuffed and take failure personally. Others see it as a challenge and persevere. Someone once said that success is simply failure turned inside out. When he graduated from a teacher’s college, Luciano Pavarotti asked his father whether he should be a teacher or a singer. His father wisely told him that he should not try to sit on two chairs, explaining that when you try to sit on two chairs, you end up falling through the space between them.
Pavarotti decided on a career in voice. For the next seven years he studied and tried. Repeatedly he was rebuffed, and only after seven years did he make his first professional appearance. It took another seven years to get a chance to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, but now the world recognizes him as one of the greatest tenors who ever sang. “And now,” he said, “I think whether it’s laying bricks, writing a book—whatever we choose—we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that’s the key. Choose one chair.”
“Choose one chair,” Pavarotti’s dad told him. Another way of saying the same thing is “You can fish or cut bait, but you can’t fish and cut bait at the same time.” Whether or not you have thought much about it, that advice is biblical as well. “This one thing I do,” wrote Paul. To the Colossians he wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).
May I ask, “Have you learned to keep the main thing, the main thing?” Sometimes the simple lessons of life are the most difficult. Since you can’t do everything, you had better decide what you really do well and then do the very best job you can, doing what only you can do.
Try these guidelines for accomplishment.
Guideline #1: Decide what the main thing is, and make it the main thing. This is something only you can do.
Guideline #2: Stay focused. Life has a way of distracting you. The phone rings, your mother needs you (so she thinks), your boss dumps on you because you find it hard to say no. Commitment means you know what your goal is and keep moving towards it.
Guideline #3: Develop tough hide. Rejection isn’t necessarily personal. There are lots of factors that cause publishers to give you the pink slip, or send you the Xeroxed, “Thanks but no thanks!” letter.
Guideline #4: When you feel like quitting, take one more step. When asked the secret of his success, Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first climber to top Everest, said, “When others quit, I took one more step.”
Guideline #5: Stay optimistic. Attitude is everything. When you believe you can, you are well on your way to accomplishing it. That’s a fact.
Read through his articles here and be blessed! :-)