Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If we are growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone. John C. Maxwell

Last night I listened to John Maxwell as I painted, he said he was told if he spent five years learning anything he could be a master at it, and he chose leadership. Halfway through his five years, he started seeing progress; people began seeing him as a leader. He changed his question from, “How long will it take, to how far can I go?” That question changed his life, how far can he go? How many more books can he write, and how many more people and organizations can he help?

What if we asked ourselves the same question? How far can we go, how much impact can we have, what difference can we make? Some of us may have a broad reach touching many lives, and some may have a deep reach where we impact fewer people but impact them mightily. We may have little impact outside of our family, but our impact may reverberate, and what seemed small and insignificant may have a wider impact than we think.

The family is the building block of our civilization and we are each part of a family. Do we lift others when we can, encourage them when needed, and help someone get back on course? Are we there in the good times and the bad, with them in glad times and sorrow, can they count on us for an encouraging word and a warm hug?

Success is a continuing thing, it is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else. John C. Maxwell

At the Writers Group on Saturday one of our members wrote what he thought was the perfect book, and he gave it to his editor, who said, “I don’t think there is a market for this.” How great must it be for a writer to think they’ve written a perfect book? He’s written several books and didn’t get into what made that one perfect, but I’m assuming as he wrote each book he tried to make it better than the last until he thought, I don’t know how to improve on this one. It would be a great feeling to develop oneself to that point even if said book never becomes a commercial success.

We don’t know what something will become until we do it; we need to be willing to do something poorly if we ever can do it well. We will make mistakes, fail, and try again to make progress. This is the lesson we can teach our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Play on at whatever we do, and start new adventures throughout our lives.

Mom didn’t start quilting until she was in her eighties. Grandma Moses was in her late seventies when arthritis made continuing with her embroidery difficult, it was suggested she start painting instead.  Her last painting “Rainbow” was completed when she was 101.

If there is something we want to do, or something isn’t working for us anymore and we have to find another creative outlet, why not figure out how to make it happen? We may think it will take ten years to become good at it, but what can we accomplish in those ten years?

What is possible for our lives? We won’t know unless we take the steps to make something happen.

Courage isn’t an absence of fear. It’s doing what you are afraid to do. It’s having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory. John C. Maxwell

The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. John C. Maxwell

The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one. John C. Maxwell

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