Imagination-A Wonderful Gift

Is That My Mother?

Earlier in the week a friend posted this quote on Facebook.  “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” Oscar Wilde.  She got a number of responses from people who really liked the quote, including myself.  As the words began to soak in, it set my mind racing, which prompted this particular post.  Inspiration then, happened to be the very next thing that came to mind.  Since I’m not a scientist, I don’t know how many different types of brains there are, but I do know of two categories; analytical and creative.  Now, my husband studied engineering, beginning with something called a Smoley’s Table that they used way back when, before the calculator, to work out Trigonometry and Geometry problems.  Today, he still thinks in terms of figures or let me just say, systematically.  If he has to come to a decision another way, he is not interested;  he reminds me of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.  (That should leave you scratching your head as to how he even came up with a line that would interest any woman or should I be worried about myself)?

Now for myself, I am just the opposite, I run on the right side of my brain; you know, the creative side.  You all would know that because of how?  All of this writing.  Okay, as the pondering continued, I thought of how these characteristics developed, which took me directly to my mother.  As much as I loved the woman, she used to tell me all the time, “You think to big.”  Let me clarify that; we push our children toward independence, and the minute they grab hold we’re not happy with them there.  She did urge me to be all that I could, but regardless of that fact, she liked everything plain.  I never understood this, since her mother, “thought big.”  I don’t know how the creative end of my gray cells got turned on, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen because of the paternal side of the family.

We’re probably all born with whatever talent we have, although no one knows, including ourselves that we have any ability the minute we enter the world.  I have a cousin who has an unbelievable talent for sketching.  I trust he had this gift handed down again, from the maternal side of the family, since a brother of my grandmother had the same genius.  I know people who sing, paint, design clothes; a couple of photographers, and of course many published authors.  Thinking about my creativity and the maternal side of my family, I have to be pretty thankful for those grandparents, and I am.  I wrote a story about them called, “Grandparents – The Sweetest Word,” which sits in my pile of unpublished works.  One day I’ll see it in that book of short stories I planned as novel number four.

Let me get to the point.  I wanted to start the wheels turning and get you thinking about when you knew you had a gift? What is that gift, and most importantly, did you understand on your own that you had the ability?  Did you have someone like a grandparent or an uncle maybe, push you – inspire you, helping you realize your potential?  Now looking back, you realize that craft, whatever it may be, is as comfortable as that old pair of sneakers or that favorite robe.  I must say imagination is a wonderful gift from our Creator, and like Oscar Wilde said, without it we live in mediocrity.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com

A Little Inspiration

In this writing business, some people have fallen into contract deals like the owner of the goose who laid the golden egg, and smart enough not to kill it; while the rest of us…….well…….what comes to mind is Shakespeare’s – double, double, toil and trouble – only we toil stirring the cauldron, and the stew never readies itself.  Today’s post is for anyone out there ready to give up, stuttering or a newbie in this corner of the art world.  Actually, on any craft that will bear fruit for that matter, because we know, it ain’t easy.  In thinking about this post, the words dream, motivation, positivity, sticktoitiveness, and discipline continued to come to mind.  So, I thought, let’s examine them, and consider how we can use them to pull us out of our rut, force us forward or simply inspire us:

Dream: A cherished hope; ambition; aspiration –  Did the dream begin as a whisper, and grow over time or like a brick hitting you on the head.  Regardless, if it came to you I believe, it didn’t come from you. It simply served as your nudge on the giant chess board called our lives.  Remember I talked about that in my Right Place-Right Time post?  A friend, back in 2005, sent me an article from Guideposts Magazine featuring Debbie Macomber entitled, “Say Yes To Your Dreams.”  The article ended with her words, “A dream is a journey that begins with a single step and the belief that you will be led faithfully along the way.”  I believe if you dreamed it, it belongs to no one else but you, which means you have to grab it.  My most favorite quote is from a poem by Langston Hughes – “Hold fast to dreams. For if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”  The only thing I can add to that is, don’t hold back, like the picture DREAM BIG.

Motivation:  Desire to do; interest or drive – What driving force sat you in front of the blank page?  How great is your desire?  Is it still there?  Device a motivational chart to assist you in achieving what you desire. Reset your objectives, and I know this has been said over and over, but reward yourself for short-term ones. The completion of that goal pushes you on to set another, and then, another.  Keep the big picture in mind.  Example – cut out the New York Times bestseller list; replace the #1 book with your name and book title.  Then, place it somewhere you and others can see it. After that, do the best you can, and leave the rest to God.  Maya Angelou says,”It’s me and God and that is a majority.”

Positivity:  Emphasizing what is laudable, hopeful, or to the good; constructive – Just like edifying people, we need to turn this on ourselves by speaking what we want in our future. The same as when a person constantly thinks, and speaks negative, make it all positive.  Knowing this is difficult, begin slowly.  Take one positive thought, and run it over and over in your mind. When a person worries, they have one or two bothersome thoughts that go through their mind again and again.  Instead of that worrisome thought, make it a positive one.  Try it for thirty days, and slowly, but surely it will become habit.  I’ve read that thirty days is the key; if you stick to something for that amount of time, you usually have it beat.  Now, the second side of this exercise is to speak that thought out of your mouth.  Just as speaking bad things brings them to pass, exclaiming positivity will also produce what?  Positive.

Sticktoitiveness:  Tenaciously resolute; persevering If you are regularly tenacious then, I believe you have over half this battle beat.  But, again, if the dream is slipping, your desire may also be waning.  Like this post, this is about your future.  You can visualize that book cover, but you won’t ever realize it if you give up. I believe we were all given the ability to have visions; something you have day or night, but while awake.  What are we without them?  King Solomon in biblical times said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  See it, let it consume you.  When you believe it down in your soul, it’s easy to forge ahead, and by default, sticktoitiveness begets discipline.

Discipline:  Activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training – This may be the most difficult, and I know even the word conjures up thoughts of a struggle. Now, you may need a friend to help with this, but, do what’s necessary.  I say a friend, because they will hold you to whatever promise you made, and make sure it’s carried out.  It is imperative to learn how to, “Just say no” to others as well as yourself at times.  Sitting down and devoting a certain amount of time to your craft daily, creates results.  Of course you’d have more fun being in the mall with that friend or having coffee at the local coffee-house, but that won’t get you to “The End” on that last page. (Although, nowadays, you can have that coffee at the local saloon while working from your laptop).  There are times, even if you love writing, you must do it out of discipline.  I read somewhere that you have to be motivated toward discipline.  What is that?  These words have two completely different meanings.  A person who doesn’t have discipline can acquire it through training, like from the military; while we are all born with an interest or desire – it only has to be roused.

Now, put all these words together, and we have created a winner; a person ready to take on the world, and all that it has to offer.  Lastly, above all else, while you strap on that laptop, submit, submit, submit.  (A lesson that I need to learn).  Now, if for no other reason, hopefully I have rekindled a dimming fire or brought someone back from the edge who is asking why they got into this business in the first place.  Also, one final-final note; let it be a message, a person can also, still bear fruit even in the twilight of their years.

Right Place-Right Time – http://wp.me/p1t1w4-cX

Photos courtesy of iStockPhoto.com