8 Things That Change Your Life in One Year

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

If you’re looking to make changes in your life, consider the following advice:



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Three Feet From Gold

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Whenever I’m feeling discouraged or frustrated with a project, I reread the following excerpt from Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich.

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.

An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the gold fever in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite.

After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.

The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then would come the big killing in profits.

Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again— all to no avail.

Finally, they decided to QUIT.

They sold the machinery to a “Junk” man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. The “Junk” man called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found just three feet from where the Darbys had stopped drilling! That is exactly where it was found!

The “Junk” man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.

Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors, because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so.

Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over when he made the discovery that desire can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.

Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he stopped three feet from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work, by the simple method of saying to himself, “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”

Darby is one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his stickability to the lesson he learned from his quitability in the gold mining business.

Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.


Inspirational Quotes from Children’s Literature

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here are sixteen of my favorite quotations from children’s books.



Sleep, Creep, Leap

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

One of my favorite writing craft books is Writing with Quiet Hands by Paula Munier. Here is one of my favorite passages:

There’s an old adage in gardening: Sleep, creep. leap. This typically refers to the growth pattern of newly planted perennials, provided they are nourished with sun and water and nutrients: The first year the plant will “sleep,” the second year the plant will “creep,” and the third year the plant will “leap.”

As your writing practice deepens over time, you will grow as a writer–in much the same way as a well-nourished perennial. You’ll take your seat, and you’ll write. You may think you are getting nowhere, but as you keep at it, and your pages pile up, you are literally growing yourself as a writer.

At first, this development may be unnoticeable–that’s the sleep part. But before you know it, you’ll find your prose creeping along toward good and then leaping right into great. Growth rates vary for writers just as they vary for plants, but whether your “sleep, creep, leap” development takes three months, three years, or three decades will depend on what you learn as you explore the many places your practice may take you and how quickly you apply that knowledge to your work in progress.


Ask a What If Question

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In the following reflection from The Path Made Clear, spiritual teacher Michael Bernard Beckwith advises us to focus on our possibilities and ask more What If questions.

There’s a shift that takes place when you’re talking about the possibilities more than you’re talking about your issues. With your issues, your energy goes into the lower frequencies. Doubt. Worry. Fear. Now you’re in that sediment. You’re in that dynamic.

But if you start talking about possibility, even if you don’t know how to get there, then your energy starts to go up. Ask a what if question. What if all my needs were met? What would I be doing in my life? What if everything is really working together for my good? What if all the bad things that have happened in my life are leading me to activating some great potential in my experience? What if God really is on my side?

You ask a what if question and you start to notice little miracles happening in your life.

Source: The Path Made Clear, p. 76

Revisiting The Four Agreements

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In The Four Agreements, author Don Miguel Ruiz shares a powerful code of conduct that can transform our lives. Translated into 40 languages worldwide, the book has been a New York Times bestseller for over a decade.

Whenever I need a refresher and don’t have time to pick up the book, I refer to the following summary:




Watch Yourself

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

While the following is not technically a Zen story, it is said to have been told by the Buddha himself. Its message of self-care is one that will resonate, especially with women.

There was once a pair of acrobats. The teacher was a poor widower and the student was a young girl by the name of Meda. These acrobats performed each day on the streets in order to earn enough to eat.

Their act consisted of the teacher balancing a tall bamboo pole on his head while the little girl climbed slowly to the top. Once to the top, she remained there while the teacher walked along the ground.

Both performers had to maintain complete focus and balance in order to prevent any injury from occurring and to complete the performance. One day, the teacher said to the pupil:

‘Listen Meda, I will watch you and you watch me, so that we can help each other maintain concentration and balance and prevent an accident. Then we’ll surely earn enough to eat.’

But the little girl was wise. She answered, ‘Dear Master, I think it would be better for each of us to watch ourself. To look after oneself means to look after both of us. That way I am sure we will avoid any accidents and earn enough to eat.’