If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly — G.K. Chesterton

I know that one of my greatest fears is rejection.

If I’m not sure of attaining something, chances are I won’t work up the courage to try. I admire people who seem to be entirely thick-skinned — apparently without regard for what others think of them. I’m not aiming for such an extreme, but I know it would benefit me to learn to care less about the opinions of others.

(I believe I’ve made progress on the past few months: I now have the courage to say whatever’s on my mind…and then I spend the next couple of hours regretting my words ;-P)

A fear of rejection or failure keeps us from doing a lot of great things. Applying for that position or award. Telling your parents the truth. Confessing to someone how you feel.

A well-circulated piece of advice for writers is to write as often as you can, even if you don’t like what you’re putting down on the page. After all, you can edit bad writing. You can’t edit no writing.

Maybe a lesson for me to take on board is to give up the habit of writing only when the mood hits. Instead, it should be a daily routine; an automatism; a job, even.

On a different note…I heard something recently that made me feel a bit disenchanted. My mum told me about a missionary pastor who did something terrible against his family and his own morals. He was of course dismissed from the church at which he was employed, but he has left his wife and kids for good.

I felt shocked and angered by this dude. Mostly it was because of what he’d chosen to do, but it was also because, out of all people, he really should have known better. He was a missions pastor. He taught people how to live. Heck, I probably listened to his words of wisdom and nodded in accordance.

I think it’s the hypocrisy that really hit me. And the fact that no one, not even the seemingly best of us, gets much far away from the slippery slope.

I hope that, as I go through life, I’ll find that not everyone has a dark side. The world would be a sadder place if that were so.

At least I’m sure that what he did was definitely something not worth doing. Heh.




The Mexican fisherman

You may have heard this little story before. I heard it a long time ago but it must have struck a chord in me because every so often it drifts back into my mind :) It reminds me to continually evaluate the meaning of success. Hope you find a gem of thought in this too!

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?” To which the businessman replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions, señor? Then what?” The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”