A tale told by Dolly Parton, the legendary country singer and songwriter:
“Butterflies are colorful and bright and gentle and have no way to harm you. They go about their business and bring others pleasure while doing it, because just seeing one flying around makes people happy. I’dlike to think of myself as bringing people happiness while I do my business, which is my music. I’m content with what I am, and the butterflies seem to be content to be just what they are, too. They’re gentle, but determined.”
Dolly’s gentle determination has taken her a long way: She’s a beloved entertainer, a gifted songwriter, the creator of a family theme park that’s providing people with much-needed jobs, and the founder, with her dad, of a fantastic book-giving program for kids that she’s devoted to (see Dream Bigger).
Gentle determination – it can take us a long way as well.
When we’re gently determined, we find the will and skill to take the whisps of ideas floating around us and transform them from airy notions into words and stories.
When we’re gently determined, we remember that, like butterflies, we are colorful and bright — and that the work we do can bring others pleasure and happiness.
When we’re gently determined, we just go about our business quietly, with no fuss: We have everything we need to do it well – it’s all around us.
When we’re gently determined, we’re content with what we are: We know that we are in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
So often, we seem to need drama in our lives. If it isn’t around, then we create some so we have something to push against – to conflict with. I know this strategy well! it It’s a way of driving ourselves forward and goading ourselves to action. Often, it does. But it can create angst along the way and takes a lot of energy to navigate.
I think, like Dolly, I’d rather be a butterfly! Bright, cheerful, content, going about my business with gentle determination. That’s how I’m going to see myself today. How about you? Shall we try on our wings and see how far they’ll take us? Write on!