Your dreams and wishes can come true

a dream does not work unless you do

“A dream does not work unless you do,” said the sign. It’s true.

“I can only write when the inspiration strikes,” said the author. “Fortunately it strikes at precisely 9 a.m. every day.”

“God helps those who help themselves” may not be a biblical quote, but it makes a good point. “A person makes his own luck through hard work.”

You can wish on as many stars as you like, but the key to making your dreams come true is to make your dreams come true. Make. Your dreams come true.

Oh, wishing is not a bad thing. The power of “I wish” is that the words that come next define what you want. But simply wishing doesn’t make it happen.

Set your mind. Do the work. And then the dreams start coming true.

It isn’t enough to know who and what you want to be – you need to get down to the business of becoming. You need to earn the rest at the end of the day.

You have to intentionally dive in and roll up sleeves and grab the tools and do the work. Not a flurry of activity and movement and no purpose; you have to know the why and the when and the where.

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I worry about you

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I worry about you sometimes, old friend. I sign onto Facebook or Twitter and you seem so angry.

From the links you link and the comments you post, you seem to believe the most vile and hateful stuff about your fellow human beings, especially people who hold a different political belief than yours.

You seem so agitated and out of sorts that I almost hope you are just being a cynical player of the game, repeating your favorite party’s most hostile talking points to fulfill H.L. Mencken’s description of the practical politician’s mission.

I would much rather believe that you are just playing that game, because the alternative explanation is that you have entered a twilight zone of paranoia and fear and hatred where only you and your fellow travelers hold the key to enlightenment and everyone else is lost under the spell of an evil darkness.

Do you really believe some of the things you say? Do you really believe those things about me, a person who disagrees with your political philosophy? I know for certain that you are wrong about me, and therefore I wonder how wrong you might be about the people we don’t know whom you describe as villains.

And I worry about your health. All that bile coursing through your veins is bound to take its toll at some point.

So I think about you, and when I remember I pray for you, in hopes that you are not as unhappy and angry and hateful as you seem; that you spend most of your time enjoying this precious, wonderful life we have been given; and that what we see on social media are only representations of brief moments of hatred and despair that fade into the background when you log out and reflect on the big picture.

Because if you really are this angry and this blinded by hatred, I worry about you.

Living free is harder than anything, except for not

Writing

There are folks out there who believe they know better than you what would make your life complete – not even that, they believer they know better than you about everything, and so they set themselves up as your ruler.

“No, no,” you say, “in America we choose our rulers.”

Actually, that’s not true: The system was set up so that we would choose the people who oversee the institutions created to serve us. They just decided that made them our rulers. Some folks never did quite understand the paradigm shift of 1776.

We rule ourselves here. We are responsible for ourselves. It’s harder that way – but hard has its rewards. It’s how freedom works – hard, but ultimately satisfying. Not necessarily comfortable – sometimes not comfortable at all – but satisfying.

The Gossamer Revolution

gossamer-revolution-2

Whimsy flew by on gossamer wings …

Only gossamer wings will do, because only people who write about the whimsical ever use the word gossamer. It’s like how people who tell whoppers are the only ones who ever say “whopping.”

Whimsy is such a fragile and powerful thing in the face of anger and despair that only “gossamer” will do.

Joy is such a powerful force that it will triumph, if only we have the courage to stand up to the dreary.

Somehow, inevitably, the gossamer stands up to the iron fist and dissolves it into pixie rust.

I still choose whimsy

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I am surprised to discover it has been five years since I released my brief manifesto “I choose whimsy,” which I reproduce in its entirety here:

I see and hear the cranky and dyspeptic political tones, philosophical arguments dressed up as a battle between good and evil, and I have seen and heard enough.

“There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys, there’s only you and me and we just disagree,” the poet sang.

And yet the demagogues behind the curtains conjure images of battlegrounds. We don’t just disagree; you are the embodiment of evil walking on Earth. If your kind keeps/retains power, then the rest of us die.

Hogwash. I say again, hogwash. Pay no attention to the demagogues behind the curtains.

My freedom is not dependent upon someone holding or being ejected from office, and neither is yours. Human beings are born to freedom, not granted liberty by benevolent rulers. What part of “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights” is so hard to understand?

We have a choice to stew in our own bile – or in bile provided for us by willing political toadies – or to live our lives freely, joyfully and in celebration.

You may follow the path to fear and loathing and the infestation of imaginary hobgoblins. I choose whimsy.

A half a decade since I penned those words, choosing whimsy is more of a revolutionary act than ever. If the political conversation was cranky and dyspeptic in 2012, Lord knows it is more so by a hundredfold in 2017.

Is it foolish to seek out and embrace the whimsical in such a world as this? I argue that it’s more important than ever. It’s so easy to be aghast at what has become of the political debate; many people have decided to forget that we were presented with an impossible choice last fall, either of which was destined to lead the USA government into dystopia. The last four months has seen an extended primal scream, “No, not this dystopia! The other one!”

But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, life has continued. Lives are still being led freely, joyfully and in celebration. The sun rises every day and sets at night, and stories are still being told of hope, of love and of inspiration.

The sweet taste of freedom is still in the air, waiting to be enjoyed. And it tastes much sweeter than bile. Choose whimsy.

You can always go back

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There I was, minding my own business, when Truth loomed its beautiful head over everything else.

“It’s OK if you get it wrong. You can always go back and change everything.”

(For the record, it was a line in the book Business for Breakfast by Leah Cutter, and it’s taken out of context but sometimes Truth pops out from the middle of nowhere, doesn’t it?)

This is something to remember when you’re sweating the small stuff and trying to get every detail just right before you let anyone else see your work.

It’s OK if you get it wrong. You can always go back and change everything.

Everyone’s depending on you to get it right? Of course. But it’s OK if you get it wrong on the first try, or the second, or the third.

It’s easy to get paralyzed with indecision – getting it wrong the first time (or even the 60th) is not the end of the world. The key is to keep trying until you get it right. And the more you work at it, the faster you’ll get it right the first time.

Don’t worry about getting it right; just get it. There’s a place in the process where you go back and tweak it.

Some people say “give yourself permission to fail.” The baseball player doesn’t hit a home run the first time, or even most of the time. Some of the greatest home run hitters also led the league in strikeouts. They became great home run hitters by stepping up to the plate and getting the work done.

It’s OK if you get it wrong. You can always go back and change everything.

And how do you set your mind?

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“You can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it,” it has been said.

And how do you set your mind?

 

Short version:

Clear out the clutter and get started.

Work into a rhythm. (Find the rhythm of your work.)

Follow the rhythm toward completion.

And then: Stand in awe of what you accomplished.

 

Shorter version:

De-clutter. Find the beat. Dance.

 

Dance as long as your heart can stand the joy.