I am fortunate to have I friend, Richard Krevolin, who inspires me. He’s a screen writer, script doctor, playwright, published author of numerous books, and film school professor. Many years ago I asked him about full-time writing and what it takes to live that dream. He told me that to be a writer full time takes faith. It’s living without income guarantees. It’s living your life “in” your “dreams and callings.” It’s something that compels you regardless of circumstances. It takes a unique kind of passion to do that. He is one of the few people I know who actually lives that way. And by the way, he’s far from starving. That’s because he’s really good at what he does and he pursues the application of his talent gifts without the fear of what might or might not happen.
Among his many pursuits, Rich conducts writing workshops for lawyers who want to learn how to write a Best-Selling Novel. He invited me to the seminar although I’m not a lawyer. But I’m glad I was there for several reasons. My experience was enlightening. The room was filled with extremely successful, high powered lawyers. Each of them held a dream to become full time writers. During lunch I spoke with several of them in depth. Almost everyone reflected their unhappiness at what they did every day. One person in particular relayed how he had spent twenty years making his way to the top rungs of a prestigious law firm. Now that he was about to become a partner he wasn’t sure he wanted it. He explained how he spent his best years working at something he didn’t love; he was good at it but it wasn’t his passion.
In fact, he realized that becoming a partner would throw him into deeper commitment of time and energy. “I want to write novels, I always have” he said outright. And that’s why he was there, hoping Rich could help him develop this craft he so desired to live out. I think he realized that making his admission was a big step to setting him free. Saying those pointed words showed that he was already a writer. Think about that. If you invested twenty years to achieve something and finally stood at the entry gate, could you walk away? Let me be bold and answer for you—yes you could! You see it’s not whether you could, it’s whether you will. I don’t express this flippantly or casually. I did it. Years ago I walked away from a high paying job that I hated, to take a job in a large city newspaper’s advertising department. My pay was cut in half. My wife was two weeks away from having our first child. You might say, that wasn’t a very good time to make such a radical change. But it was the best time. I knew I could write and create. It was burning inside me. I knew that was my calling.
You see, there is no good time to step out because that good time never shows up. There are too many distractions and too many nay-sayers and far too many fear-filled procrastinations. The best time is now. Right now! This is vital to understand…your dreams will always remain inside you but they cannot wait for you. That massive cut in pay I endured was not easy at all. But even though working in the newspaper’s advertising department was a non-glamorous, low-end position, it got my toe in the door of the advertising profession. Then I started taking courses in an art college at night. I was committed. Then my foot got in. Then my ankle and before I knew it my whole self went through the door and I was in the ad business. Was it tough? Yes! Was it worth it? Absolutely. I hear people say things like, “Four years? It’ going to take me four years to get that degree.” My response is, “Four years are going to go by anyway. Don’t the four years pass away without you.”
My fellow life travelers please listen: dreams call, but they do not wait. Just like Nicky’s photo of the clouds that form a path in the sky (the icon for this Village), dreams vaporize with time. The clouds that Nicky photographed from the jetliner’s window didn’t remain there indefinitely. What’s so critical here is that this young boy saw the cloud formation and he captured it. He didn’t ignore it. He didn’t just talk about that cool cloud formation he saw at 30,000 feet. He captured it on his camera. That;’ the whole lesson in a nutshell. Capture what your dream is offering. The wind blew those clouds away. But Nicky has possessed them. Every day, every week, every month and every year moves the dream away.
Sometimes it seems more natural to believe that a company exists to achieve something special than it does to believe it about ourselves. Creator’s of the Mac computer and Microsoft rank high on that list. They seem to have had reservations with the future and only they could fulfill them. A visionary gathers a group of people who move along with a compelling dream will always transform the world. But again, it’s not some nebulous entity making it happen, its people; people who are gifted at something. Everyone of us has appointments with destiny (that’s what divinely inspired dreams are all about). And those reservations have been made in your name. We are appointed to create something, add to something, to change something and to fulfill a dream. We are here for a reason. The gifts you have are intended to make you effective for those life appointments. Everything in the world, business and otherwise, revolves around people’s dreams and ideas. Nothing happens without people and whatever does happen is due to people.
There’s no way around it. It’s all about dreams which means it’s all about quality of thinking which is a spiritual element. Quality thinking and application thereof is where the power solutions are stored. Think of it as “T-Commerce” (Thinking Commerce), which is actually the purest form of dreaming. And it’s not a fad or pop psychology; it’s not the next wave: it’s the only wave. A tsunami in fact. Regardless of marketplace conditions, types of bosses, economic conditions, lousy coworkers… you and I remain responsible for our own dreams, talent, giftedness, and self belief. And each of us is responsible for setting up mining operations to extract those opportunities.
Recently I came across a wonderful quote from Mark Twain that I hope affects your thinking metabolism and neuron connectivity once you’ve read it. In fact, I hope it causes you to lose sleep tonight. I hope it sparks some inner contemplation to reevaluate the inner brilliance you have been given, so much so that you begin its pursuit. The people in your sphere of influence need the gifts you have to give. The world is waiting for you to deliver what you have.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”