A story: A man had passed away and a whole city mourned his loss. Members of a club were discussing him and remembering all the traits that had endeared him to those around him.
After a time, one man said, “You know our friend hardly had a fair start. Nature did not mean to let him be a big man. She equipped him with very ordinary talents.
“I can remember the first time I heard him speak. It was a very stumbling performance. Yet, in his later years, we regarded him as one of the real orators of his generation.
“His mind was neither very original nor very profound, but he managed to build a great institution, and the imprint of his influence is on ten thousand lives.”
The speaker stopped, but those around him urged him to go on. With his modest start and abilities they asked, “How then do you account for his success?”
“It’s simple,” the man replied. “He merely forgot himself. When he spoke, his imperfections were lost in the glory of his enthusiasm. When he organized, the fire of his faith burned away all obstacles. He abandoned himself utterly to his task; and the task molded him into greatness.” *
What an inspiring story about the power of enthusiasm! When we bring passionate ardor, zeal, and energy to our creative endeavors, what mountains we can climb! What amazing feats we can achieve — in our writing and our lives!
When we forget ourselves, when we abandon ourselves utterly to our task, when we simply get out of our own way, then like the man in this story, we can find the greatness within us. Write on!
* from Norman Vincent Peale’s Treasury of Courage and Confidence