Horror novelist Stephen King has sold more than 350 million books. When he was young and destitute, still honing his craft, his self-confidence was low. His breakthrough work was Carrie, about a teenage girl who develops telekinetic powers. When he was first writing that manuscript on an old manual typewriter, he got so discouraged he threw his first draft in the trashcan.
Walking in San Francisco, I passed Pacific Heights Health Club. The sign out front said, “Birthday suits tailored here.” It was a witty reference to the idea that working out at a gym helps people get their bodies in good shape. I’d like to interpret the message a different way, and apply it to you.
Director Michael Bay makes big, loud, fast, melodramatic action films, including Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and the four Transformers movies. The critics hate him, but he’s unfazed. “I make movies for teenage boys,” he says. “Oh, dear, what a crime,” he adds sarcastically. I love that. He knows what he’s good at, and makes no apologies. Cop some of that attitude now.
In a competitive Japanese TV game show, 13 people had slabs of meat tied to their foreheads. They poked their heads up through holes in the floor of an elevated platform, where a hungry lizard was. But not one contestant stuck around when the lizard nibbled the meat; they all ducked down and fled. That was probably wise, though it meant the prize was unclaimed.
“There’s a way not to be broken that takes brokenness to find it,” writes Naomi Shihab Nye in her poem Cinco de Mayo. This describes your situation now. The bad news? You’re feeling a bit broken. The good news? It’s a special kind of brokenness, one that has a valuable secret you’ve not been ready to learn. Let yourself feel the full intensity of the brokenness; you discover a way to never be broken like this again.
“I am naughtiest of all,” wrote poet Emily Dickinson in a playful letter to Maggie Maher, dated October 1882. According to astrological omens, let that same declaration fly frequently from your lips next week. Invoke other variations on the theme of naughtiness, as well: “I’m exploring the frontiers of naughtiness” or “You need to be naughtier” or “Being naughty is my current spiritual practice.”
Republican Jody Hice is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District. To bolster his authority, he repeats quotes by revered figures from American history. One of his favorites is a gem from the sixth U.S. president, John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was ahead of his time. He created the detective story genre and mastered the art of Gothic horror tales. According to the Internet Movie Database, 240 films have referenced themes from his work. British writer Aldous Huxley wasn’t a fan of Poe, though.
Three times a week, I hike along a rough path through an oak forest. It’s rough because it’s strewn with loose rocks. If I don’t watch the ground, I’m constantly turning my ankles. Or at least that was the case until last week. For two days, with the help of a rake, I cleared many of those bothersome obstacles off the trail.
Learn more in the next eight months than you’ve ever learned in a comparable period. Make a list of all the subjects you’d love to study and all the skills you’d love to master, then devise a plan to gather the educational experiences with which you reinvent yourself. Turn your curiosity on full-blast and go in quest of revelations, insights and epiphanies, smashing through limits of understanding as you explore frontiers of sweet knowledge.