Sunday, January 4, 2009


We go too soon when we fail to bloom, no matter our age.

The problem with most self-help books is that their perspectives are postpartum. Authors are typically relating their experiences after they have achieved their dreams or escaped their conditions. Metaphorically they man the summit beckoning to those at the base, boasting occasionally and minimizing egregiously the demands of greatness in their attempts to instruct. Absent is the acknowledgment of anguish that comforts climbers and deceives those who think that success is simply a matter of mixing secret formulas. By omitting this element readers are robbed of the consolation so essential to sustain their efforts, especially when dreams delay and dreads devour.

Few dreamers have the presence of mind and prescience of thought to craft a story in all of its strains as it unfolds. Books that do are typically written by authors who "go undercover" to encounter realities foreign to their own. Though revealing, they lack emotional integrity because their authors enjoy the psychological cushion of knowing that they are merely role-playing. Others issue principles that betray greatness in all of its grisliness. Consumers of these books are embroiled in principles, all of which matter. But anyone who has sought greatness knows that these alone fail. In fact the truly great knows that emotional maturity crowns. Moreover unless our hope is audacious our efforts will be defeated.

Most books depict what only the individual can deliver --the courage to be. It matters not how they are written if we aren't insatiably smitten to achieve. We must be able to endure anguish until we vanquish our fears. Doing so will require us to ask questions, some of which resemble cauldrons until our hearts are clear and our motives are revealed. Only then can we overcome the thickets and brambles that entangle. Only then do we maintain our integrity by acknowledging the perplexities of greatness. Yet these do not diminish the need to navigate nimbly and endure deliberately the inevitable.

We must be able also to manage the meantime, which is where we exist until our dreams manifest. In refusing we forfeit the emotional depth and philosophical regard necessary when all reasons for enduring have died. Biblically speaking, we must learn to "hope against hope." In doing so, we can use our environment creatively, being comforted accordingly. We also learn to honor the rotation of greatness, which none can avoid no matter how hungry. Thus, while others course-correct we character develop and hasten success. In believing contrarily, ability is over-rated and passion abated prematurely. Authors that assert otherwise incite the insanity that makes serial buyers commit the serious blunder of imagining that reading one more book will uncrook their path.

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