Discipline. Courage. Passion. Gentleness. Persistance. Self-knowledge.
do you posess these qualities? do you have the discipline every day not to get shit done? it takes a lot of work not to write, not to go to the post office, not to set goals. you have to constantly keep anesthetising yourself. the internet, the peanut butter, the room-cleaning, the pushups. the peanut butter.
think big. fail even bigger. do you have the courage to fail? a study found it takes the average person 11 attempts to quit smoking cigarettes. do you have the courage to start smoking again 10 times to acheive your goal of freedom?
are you fierce? can you breathe fire into a goal which, in the grand scheme of things, is utterly meaningless? your dream of building and racing toothpick sailboats will likely be scorned and belittled by overbearing bosses, inane co-workers, bewildered strangers, well-meaning friends, concerned family members, and curious ducks. not to mention the voices in your own head. can you, season after season, oh maker of meaning, draw strength from the goddesses and gods of sailing and toothpicking to find your true path in this watery world?
are you gentle? when (oh, right… i mean, if) your boat sinks, will you push back the tears, or will you let them gently stream down your face, crying, “i have failed miserably and brilliantly, and i am more alive than ever!” or will you do the other thing you used to do (fill in the blank)?
are you persistent? again, with the smoking and the quitting and the smoking and the quitting. are you creative? maybe you start smoking toothpicks? or peanut butter? no, really. persistence is the natural result of all the previous qualities being combined together. have you heard of jacob benson? kelly ambrose? fay grossman? yeah, they weren’t very persistent. not that you have to hear of someone for them to be successful. but that’s another can of worms. mmm, worms. huh?
person, know thyself! i’ve gotten to know myself very well. i know i should go to bed at 10 pm. it’s 1 am now. i get tired. i eat too much. i wash dishes. i start projects. and i’ve got to get up early. however, i know this about myself: i really like to write at night. so i sacrificed a bit of sleep for this toothpick sailboat. and now i am happy. good night.