"One infinitesimal accomplishment in reality is worth a mountain of dreams." ~ Dorothea Brande, Wake Up and Live!
I am thankful to a reader, Eric W, for recommending I read Wake Up and Live! by Dorothea Brande. If I did not trust him, I would have felt doubtful upon reading the first two sentences of the book, which at first appear over-zealous, pretentious or both:
Two years ago I came across a formula for success which has revolutionized my life. It was so simple, and so obvious once I had seen it, that I could hardly believe it was responsible for the magical results which followed my putting it into practice.
As I continued to read, it seemed the words were directed at me; I had lived the words; and I continue to be challenged at times by my greatest obstacle to success--me.
There is no way to capture the essence of the book in a blog post, but Brande poignently explains the human tendency to perpetuate failure by remaining in a self-induced state of inertia. We tend to keep ourselves in a dream state; we consistently talk ourselves out of transforming our dreams into reality; and we rationalize and make excuses as to why we have not yet set out to accomplish them.
Here are a few excerpts from Brande's Wake Up and Live!:
Failure indicates that energy has been poured into the wrong channel.
It takes energy to fail. A powerful struggle must be waged against the forces of life and movement in order to remain inert, although this struggle takes place so far beneath the surface of our lives that we do not always become aware of it. Physical inaction is no true sign that life-force is not being burned away. So even the idler is using fuel while they dream.
So we slip through the world without making our contribution, without discovering all that there was in us to do, without using the most minute fraction of our abilities, either native or acquired.
Most of us disguise our failure in public; we disguise it most successfully from ourselves.
All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.
Success, for any sane adult, is exactly equivalent to doing one's best. What that best may be, what its farthest reaches may include, we can discover only by freeing ourselves completely from the Will to Fail.
As you may have detected, Dorothea Brande's simple, yet magical, "formula for success" is to "act as if it were impossible to fail." How profoundly powerful!
What life accomplishments (large or small) have you failed to even begin? Which have you begun yet you continue to abandon? What dreams will you transfer into reality? Will you allow yourself to break the spell you have cast over yourself?
Will you awaken from the dream state of inertia?
Photo Credit: Ohh Shh Its Jon