Years ago I had a sign on my desk that read, “If you don’t do it, you’ll never know what would have happened if you had done it.”
As a matter of fact, it was one of the things that motivated me to publish my first book, Handbook to a Happier Life.
I didn’t set out to be an author. I was simply writing this newsletter as my way of sharing ideas that had worked for me, in an effort to help someone else.
When I started thinking about the possibility of having a published book, imagining myself signing books at events, seeing a book written by me in a books store, looking at that sign throughout my day was one of the things that kept me moving forward, even though I knew little or nothing about publishing or selling books.
The idea that not pushing through my fears and publishing the book would mean I would never know what might have happened, would gnaw away at me every time I saw the sign.
Since I’m someone who likes to see things through – heck, I’ll even sit through a bad movie just to see if it gets better – I couldn’t let this go.
If I didn’t do it, in this case the “it” being publish my book, I’d never know what would have happened if I had done it, was unacceptable to me so I forged ahead.
To say the result of this small act was life changing is a huge understatement. It completely changed my life.
This is why I encourage, nudge, cajole, even “bug” people to follow their dreams. If you don’t, you’ll never know. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on everything you might have enjoyed had you followed your heart and done it.
Where would we be if Bill Gates had stayed in college and gone on to work for IBM? What if J.K. Rowling had decided to give up and get a job? What if Billy Joel and Jim Carrey had quite when the going was rough instead of seeing it through? Both overcame enormous obstacles to achieve success.
What if two of my role models, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, had taken their agent’s advice and given up on “Chicken Soup for the Soul?”
We never know how magnificent our life can become if only we do that one thing that keeps tugging away at our hearts and minds.The one dream that keeps popping into our consciousness. The one that just won’t go away.
What are your dreams? What’s stopping you? Chances are, there’s nothing stopping you aside from your own fear about not succeeding.
Face your fears. Take a small step toward your dream. Reach out and ask for the help you need. Read a book, attend a seminar, visit a Web site. Find and connect with people who have the knowledge and expertise you lack.
When I published Handbook to a Happier Life the people in the small press forums and publishing associations were invaluable in providing me with the knowledge I needed to succeed in the publishing industry. I connected with and, eventually, became friends with the top people in the field.
Did I know all this when I began? No way! I just acted on faith and followed my heart and I’m suggesting you do the same.
Remember: “If you don’t do it, you’ll never know what would have happened if you had done it.”
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