When you were younger did you have great dreams, great ambitions to write or to paint, to start a business, or to do some other creative work? Most of us did. In fact, if we are completely honest with ourselves, most of us still cherish these ambitions this very day, but we excuse ourselves on the basis of other commitments. I have my job to do. I would love to write a novel, but I have to do my work. I would love to paint, but I have a defect in one of my eyes or some other completely fatuous excuse we develop for not fulfilling our desires.
Think for a moment about Caesar. Did you know that Caesar wrote his commentaries in his tent at night while all the rest of the Roman army was asleep and then got up the next day and went to battle? Did you know that Handel wrote his best music after his doctors told him he was going to die; that Beethoven wrote music after he was totally deaf? Have you ever thought that three of the great epic poets or our world Homer, Milton, Dante, were all, blind.
Think of Hannibal and Lord Nelson; great generals that they were, each had one eye. Francis Joseph Campbell, a blind man, became a distinguished mathematician and musician. Do you find yourself bound around in some way and feel, “Oh no, not with my limitations. I’ll never be able to do what I want to do.”
Think again about the author of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel DeFoe; he wrote that novel while he was in prison. John Bunyon wrote Pilgrims’ Progress while he was in jail. Luther translated the bible while he was in jail. Luther translated the Bible while he was in the castle of Wartburg. Dante worked for twenty years while he was under exile and under the
sentence of death. Don Quixote was written by Cervantes while he was in the Madrid jail.
And then perhaps you say, “This is fine, but I have my job to do.” Well, my friend, I have news for you. Have you ever looked at the thickness of the book Gone With The Wind? Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With The Wind while she was working full time at a newspaper. Do you think of yourself as physically handicapped? Did you know that Lord Cavanaugh, who was a member of Parliament, had neither arms nor legs, yet managed to put himself into Parliament by his own endeavors.
Just think of Shakespeare, who learned little more than reading and writing at school, but by self-teaching, made himself the master among literary men.
Think again about the treasured ambitions locked up in your soul. Look again at the excuse, which you have used to prevent yourself from fulfilling your dreams. See if for the false thing that it really is. Cast it aside and resolve to express your creative desire through your own creative activity. Remember, you are the only person who can hold you back.