"The greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him. This is success, and there is no other."

~ Orison Swett Marden, founder of Success Magazine

March 17, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! Why does it seem that something doesn't count unless it's difficult? I hate my job, but I still throw my all into trying to become "the best." Meanwhile, I see other employees who are better than I'll ever be, enjoying their work and advancing through the ranks of the company, and I feel like a total failure. I put everything, every ounce of energy I possess, into being good at my job, and I inevitably come up short. Each day is a struggle, but it seems the harder I try, the poorer the results are. Right now I--a former 4.0 technology student with numerous accolades from customers and a 2 1/2 year perfect attendance record--am on a management-supervised "action plan" because of my poor performance.

Contrast that to something that happened Thursday. I am on a committee at work, and we needed a written policy for something we were discussing. Before I knew what was happening, I spoke up, shy person that I am, right in front of some of the biggest wigs at the company. "I can take care of that," I said casually. Later on I whipped up a professionally written policy in about ten minutes. I've seen the policies and documentation that this company puts out. Most of them look like every word was torture for the writer. Sort of like me doing my regular job. HmmÖ

I have a friend who has achieved her dream of becoming a successful writer. She accomplished it by hard work, working full time at a regular job to make ends meet, and working on her "real job" during her free hours. Even now, she still works part time at a regular job. Why was she able to handle the stress of working full time while pursuing her dream, when I can't? The one difference I can see is, her regular job was a journalist, and it also came easily to her and was something she enjoyed. She didn't have a job that sapped all her creativity and spirit, while constantly making her feel like a failure.

Why doesn't it count if it comes easily? Why do things have to be hard? As usual, I turned to my extensive collection of quotations, but everything I found seemed to fall into the category of either "Life is hard, deal with it" or "Life is short, follow your dreams." I finally found a quote that could be taken either way. What does it mean to make the most of what has been given to you? Does that mean you should try your hardest to succeed at whatever life throws at you, or that you should pursue your special talents no matter what? Or both? What if you canít handle both? Which one do you choose? To me, it makes more sense to work at what comes easily and naturally than to try to succeed while fighting your own nature at every turn. If thatís the case, why am I fighting a battle I know I canít win to succeed at a job I donít like in the first place? Maybe it takes less courage to plug away and keep trying at a job that I know will defeat me, and have an excuse for being a failure, than to venture into doing what I do best, and risk becoming an even more resounding failure, with no excuses to fall back on. HmmÖ Time to do a little soul searching there!

Wyndspirit Dreams