Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Shaved heads and other setbacks
Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Paraphrased and reversed, spoken by Clint Eastwood, written by Jim Carabatsos (the actual quote was cumbersome and backward)
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Teddy Roosevelt, spoken in perfect order and brevity
I'm a believer that obstacles are not problems, they are opportunities. I say this at work all the time. "Send me into the fire," I tell em. "Because that's where the opportunities are."
And the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. The harder you have to work at writing -- and I'll stick to writing as the goal here, but really this applies to any goal in your life -- the bigger the payoff.
I don't know why that is, but there's a Divine Law somewhere that says just that: Payoff is directly proportional to effort.
Rarely is it the casual writer who la-lahs into a bestseller with ho-hum effort who then laments that it was too easy.
Instead, it's the struggling artist, the Clancy writing with his kid on his knee, the King locking himself in his office away from his family, the McCarthy writing in squalor, the Grisham going from store-to-store hocking his books and begging for shelf space, the Rawlings writing it out on napkins after a dozen publishing houses rejected her story.
It's the hard-earned EFFORT of the writer that pays off. If it's easy, you're probably doing it wrong. If you quit when it gets tough, then you're not doing it at all, are you.
Which brings me to a shaved head.
I asked my wife this weekend to help me shave my head. I keep it short since there ain't much left to keep anyway. "The guard's not hitting it," she said.
"That's all right," I said.
So she does something behind me and hair starts falling away and I say, "What'd you do?"
"Took off the guard."
Crap. I didn't want to get peeled, just clippered. Now I'm bald as Bruce Willis.
So it's a setback, albeit it a minor one, but I still looked at it as an opportunity.
Namely, I guilted my Sweet Thing into some very nice nibbling.
That's how it works, folks. It's not a setback or a problem.
It's an opportunity.
Even when it's the hair on your head.