When I tell people I want to be a teacher and a writer they often will show signs of selected deafness resulting in the latter being ignored. I can only assume those who seek to become artists, actors, and musicians can relate in some way to this. People show a remarkable lack of faith that one could succeed in an occupation that has to do with any of the fine arts. If they defy the expectations of their acquaintances and succeed, they are praised for their hard work and determination to overcome their obstacles; but if they fail, someone is usually there to say “I told you so.”
Live What You Love by Bob and Mel Blanchard is their story about how they abandoned a life of reason in order to achieve their goals in life. I say that because I believe there to be a significant difference between a dream and a goal; a dream is fanciful idea without a plan, but a goal is an idea driven by a plan and action. This is what I discovered and loved about the Blanchard’s story of living life the way you want.
It is a collection of short stories organized by lessons, and not in any chronological order. Such stories range from the moment they decided to dedicate their life to the things that bring them joy when their son Jessie was born prematurely and almost died, to cake making, and starting a business (and a restaurant) from the ground up. One that I found especially inspiring was the story of one of their failures.
When these Vermonters began longing for warmer climates, they struck out for California with the objective of starting a new business and making a living where the palm trees grow. Upon arrival, they found rental space available in a new strip mall that seemed like the perfect location for their cooking store. Excited and ready to get started, they talked with the owner and began researching the prospective area for their business. They quickly became disappointed after realizing that what they had in mind wasn’t going to work, but their solution to the problem was simple; they left and went back to Vermont three months later, cutting their losses.
And this is the demon that I struggle with most: failure. Although it is an inevitable fact of life that we will fail it still inhibits me as I strive to pursue my goals. This story of failure and perseverance gave me a little more courage to keep moving forward despite the trials that threaten to stand in my way. I don’t have to succeed every time; all I have to do is not give up when I fall short and success will inevitably come.