“Success rests with having the courage and endurance and above all the will to become the person you are, however peculiar that may be. Then you will be able to say, ‘I have found my hero and he is me.'”
Dr. George Sheehan, runner and writer
What a gem! There’s so much wisdom tucked into these few lines. Let’s unpack them and see what we can use:
First, the hidden nugget in Sheehan’s words: Success isn’t about some distant goal that we want to accomplish, it’s about becoming ourselves fully, whoever that may be — accepting our uniqueness and embracing our peculiarities, finding the hero inside us — the Superman or Superwoman already inside — us as my friend and mentor Rob Gilbert puts it. Success, seen this way, isn’t a destination, it’s a life-long process of discovering and becoming our deepest, truest selves.
What a wonderful definition of “success” — and how helpful to us in pursuing the writing life! Surely, our best writing comes from a place of honesty and from our being true to ourselves. And as we write from this place, we discover more and more about who we are, about our creative longings, and about the gifts we have to give through our work.
What do we need to embark on this journey of discovery? Courage, will, and endurance.
We need courage — strength of heart — to accomplish whatever we want to accomplish in our writing and our life. We need the boldness that comes from having a vision and moving toward it decisively, no matter what obstacles we find in our way.
We need will — drive and motivation — the fuel that starts our creative motors going and keeps them humming. The sense of purpose that gets us up every day and on our butts at our desks wrangling with the page.
We need endurance — staying power — the stick-to-it-ive-ness to keep going, stubbornly and serenely, always knowing that every word we write, every page we pen, brings us closer to closer to completion — and discovery.
Bringing these three qualities: together can be challenging, but, to my mind, it’s easier if we remember that the real goal isn’t to accomplish some far off dream, but to become ourselves and share our unique way of looking at the world with the world. When we do this, the dream takes care of itself. Courage, will, and endurance — they are ours for the asking! Write on!