Archive for American writer

What do Barack Obama, Eric Clapton, Bill Gates, and Micheal Jordan Have In Common?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by dustus

“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it’s more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Billy Gates is credited with that quote. I agree with him. It is in failure that our mettle, our very character is tested. Out of failure may spring the resolve of a personal mission. I am reminded of Barack Obama losing his congressional race in 2000. As he described it, “the sort of drubbing that awakens you to the fact that life is not obliged to work out as you planned.” (The Audacity of Hope). Thus I believe America’s next president is a great example of what may happen when failure is accepted, learned from, and utilized as a launching pad for one’s determination to work harder than ever before in their chosen field.

We all know Micheal Jordan was heartbroken having been cut from his freshman basketball team. I am also reminded of the many authors who have become famous and revered long after they had died, in many cases unaccepted by the literary circles of their day.

Consider that countless individuals have made an enormous impact on the world having lived through adversity and failure. Many brilliant, even genius minds, are considered to have learned to adapt and succeed by infusing their abilities with dyslexia, AD/HD, and Asperger’s Syndrome. Here’s a short list….Einstein, Charles Schwab, Micheal Phelps, Whoopi, and John Irving (one of my favorite authors—wrote The World According to Garp).

Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections and suffered a nervous breakdown before making a lasting mark on the very cultural fabric of American society. Thomas Edison was considered stupid by his past teachers who obviously didn’t see the light—bulb that is. Walt Disney was told by the newspaper he worked for that he had no original ideas. Eric Clapton was kicked out of art school. Imagine, Eric Clapton, the man who once inspired graffiti in London proclaiming that he was “God” was told his artistry wasn’t up to snuff.

In many cases, failure can ignite the fire to greatness, if not dismissed, and when it does not serve as an impetus to quit. So remember all these people I have mentioned when facing obstacles that may level you temporarily.  All the people who judged the respected names I mentioned were pathetically wrong. However, history may view them as a negative influence that prompted greatness, ingenuity, and a multitude of successes that will always be recalled. Hey, does anyone actually know the name of Micheal Jordan’s coach who cut him from the team? Or the dean at the art school that dismissed Eric Clapton? I didn’t think so.

A Written Therapy: Overcoming Depression and Anxiety through Writing

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2008 by dustus

What do I want out of life? It’s a simple, straightforward question; however, I can’t help thinking I’m way off in asking that. Maybe I just want too much? After all, I’ve been conditioned to think I need to obtain things like status and recognition. Perhaps I’ve gone through life seeking glory and asking a ton of meaningless questions? Or is it that stubborn streak in me that seems to crave acceptance?

While I don’t have any answers, I do know where I’ve been.

I used to suffer from severe anxiety and depression. Such feelings and panic attacks severely limited my life. I tried to shun as much social contact as possible. Never believing I would change, thinking for many years that I was doomed to feeling like a person who couldn’t handle his own emotions; something finally did happen. It took a long time, but once getting a grip on what I was experiencing, I resolved to keep trying to understand the source of these fears in my journal. Though painful at times, I dissected almost every thought and recurring memory that I had not accepted in childhood and adolescence. As a result, the more I wrote, the less frequent the panic attacks. I got much better and owe a great deal of my recovery to the discipline of writing.

While trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I developed my writing voice, which in turn inspired the many hours I spent honing my craft. More than becoming a writer, I began to look at the world outside of my negatively ingrained habits and prejudices. Writing is therapy. I feel the need to write. While I still don’t have any real answers to much of my self-questioning, I’ve come to befriend the very best part of myself. I respect my ability to reflect and have resolved to respect Life as a curious mystery 🙂