One of my favorites was titled “Gumption” by novelist J.C. Hutchins. His message, like many contained in the book, is well-timed and thought provoking end-of-the-year reading.
Most of us settle in, and settle for what we have. Rather than pursue, we accept. Our lives become unwitting celebrations of passivity: we undervalue our work and perceive ourselves as wage slaves (and so we phone it in at the day gig), we consume compulsively (but not create), we pine for better lives (but live vicariously through our televisions).
These corners we paint ourselves into, it’s no way to live. There’s no adventure here, no passion, no hunger for change. Remember that relentless optimism you once had? The goals you wished to achieve, before settling in? They’re still there. You need a nudge to find them; a little gumption.
You can start that business. You can lose that weight. You can quit smoking, and learn to garden, and write that book, and be a better parent, and be all the things you want to be … the thing this world needs you to be. It requires courage and faith, both of which you can muster. It requires effort — but this effortless life isn’t as satisfying as it seems, is it?
Declare war on passivity. Hush the inner voice that insists you’re over the hill, past your prime, unworthy of attaining those dreams. Disbelief is now the enemy, as is the notion of settling. Get hungry — hyena hungry. Get fired up. Find your backbone, and your wings.
Flap ‘em. It’s the only way you’ll be able to fly.