“Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small art of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts, which he habitually fails to use.” William James
Half awake – that’s what the father of American psychology believes we are. And if anyone knows about the range of human potential we all possess, it’s surely the man who helped mine its possibilities.
Half awake – can it be true? Are we living far within our limits? If so, then as writers, how can we break free?
We can push ourselves harder. When we hit a rough spot in our writing, instead of giving up, we can fight through it and find our way to the other side.
We can give ourselves more credit for what we know and forgive ourselves for what we don’t know or have – and then set about finding what we need.
We can see ourselves as works in progress – and strive for continuous improvement – even just baby step after baby step will get us where we need to go.
We can realize that we have everything we need – and more to succeed. We might not get there right away, but it we believe in ourselves and kee going, we’ll get there.
We can go for the gold – instead of settling for what we think we might be able to attain, we can set our sights higher and work harder.
We can brush the naysayers who don’t believe in us aside – what do they really know about who we are and what we have to offer?
We can find ways to energize and motivate ourselves – ways to make ourselves feel strong and sturdy, fully capable of the work we’ve been called to do.
We can share what we’ve learned with our fellow travelers on the writing road; when we make their jounies easier, we lift ourselves up as well.
Wow! Waking up sounds like a tall order. But if we can believe what William believes – and why not? – then we have tons of potential just waiting to be mined. Let’s start digging as we all write on!
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