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Good work doesn't happen with inspiration. It comes with constant, often tedious and deliberate effort. If your vision of a writer involves sitting in a cafe, sipping an aperitif with one's fellow geniuses, become a drunk. It's easier and far less exhausting.
-- William Hefferman

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I watched Batman Begins tonight. Love the quote:

Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Sometimes, in pain we run to escape the shit of our lives. We drown it, ignore it, mask it. But in so doing, we miss the true message.

When a baby that is learning to walk falls down, its natural instinct is to rise and try again. The child seems to know that its true purpose is to walk and to explore all of its rightful abilities. And so the child rises, indefatiguable, and works at it until walking is as obvious and easy as breathing. The best part about this line from the movie is that it captures the middle aspect of this: between falling and walking is learning to pick ourselves up.

Action comes before behavior. To change ourselves, we start by taking the action to do what we should, and putting ourselves in the location to do that. It starts with a step. Commitment and follow-through and success will come later. A baby succeeds by standing up so that it's in position to walk again.

Another line in the movie is:

Itís not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.
Or, as I like to say it, it's not the noun of who we want to be, but the verb of who we are. Again, action is everything.

If we have an inward goal in our soul to be something we're not yet, or if we want to attain something we don't yet have, we first have to step toward the place that will allow us to get what we want. Then we're in position, childlike, to begin again.

Someone once told me that it's not success or failure that defines us, but the effort.

I read earlier in Creating Minds that creativity is tied at the hip with being childlike. In it, I read that Einstein said:

How did it come to pass that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity? The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about the problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought of as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up. Naturally, I could go deeper in the problem than a child with normal abilities.
To remain as a child while an adult leads to creativity and discovery.

The problem is that too often we're cowed by the opinions and judgments of others and we disallow any childlike wonder or childish questions to break free and find air. Instead, we squelch that in ourselves.

It has been, for me, in the past two months that I've allowed myself to be shaped by the opinions of others and I've changed some of what I am. No longer. I know who I am. I know what I want to be for myself.

Now, juxtapose that last paragraph with my decision to paint a heart, which is not something I would do. It seems trivial to think of it, but it's not, really. At what point do we draw the boundary between what is influence by others and what is true of ourselves?

I think the line is demarcated by the desire for acceptance. If we seek validation from others and change who we are or what we might do to gain approval and be accepted, it's crossing the line. But if we're unconcerned with the approval of others and do it simply to explore, no matter what anyone thinks of the outcome and as long as it doesn't violate our core principles, then it's just trying something new.

Children explore and ask questions. Children try new things. In the first attempt, they will fail, and then they laugh at themselves. If they want to succeed at the activity, they'll begin again and they don't worry how foolish they look in the attempt. This is how creativity happens. This is where solutions are born.

by Brett Rogers, 5/1/2006 2:52:07 AM


I have to tell you another really fave quote of mine from that movie.

"I'm not going to kill you. But I don't have to save you."

Okay, it's a little extreme as far as the violence goes, but I love how it illustrates that action and inaction can both be powerful forces.

Posted by Bella, 5/4/2006 4:44:22 PM

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