Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Will Persist by Og Mandino

I Will Persist by Og Mandino

I will persist until I succeed.
In the Orient young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner. Each is brought to the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance. The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade. Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed. 

I will persist until I succeed.
I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny. 

I will persist until I succeed.
The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner.
Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. 

I will persist until I succeed.
Henceforth, I will consider each day's effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. So it will be with my efforts of today.
I will be liken to the rain drop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devours a tiger; the star which brightens the earth; the slave who builds a pyramid. I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking. 

I will persist until I succeed.
I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless and retreat; for they are the words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure. I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head, for I know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows. 

I will persist until I succeed.
I will remember the ancient law of averages and I will bend it to my good. I will persist with knowledge that each failure to sell will increase my chance for success at the next attempt. Each nay I hear will bring me closer to the sound of yea. Each frown I meet only prepares me for the smile to come. Each misfortune I encounter will carry in it the seed of tomorrow's good luck. I must have the night to appreciate the day. I must fail often to succeed only once. 

I will persist until I succeed.
I will try, and try, and try again. Each obstacle I will consider as a mere detour to my goal and a challenge to my profession. I will persist and develop my skills as the mariner develops his, by learning to ride out the wrath of each storm.
I will persist until I succeed. 

Henceforth, I will learn and apply another secret of those who excel in my work. When each day is ended, not regarding whether it has been a success or failure, I will attempt to achieve one more sale. When my thoughts beckon my tired body homeward I will resist the temptation to depart. I will try again. I will make one more attempt to close with victory, and if that fails I will make another. Never will I allow any day to end in failure. Thus will I plant the seed of tomorrow's success and gain an insurmountable advantage over those who cease their labor at a prescribed time. When others cease their struggle, then mine will begin, and my harvest will be full. 

I will persist until I succeed.
Nor will I allow yesterday's success to lull me into today's complacency, for this is the great foundation of failure. I will forget the happenings of the day that is gone, whether they were good or bad, and greet the new sun with confidence that this will be the best day of my life.
So long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles of success; if I persist long enough I will win.
I will persist. 
I will win.

Have you visited me here?
N S Davis Art Website
Nathalie Davis web site

Saturday, October 22, 2011

First iPad sketch

I just got an iPad. One of the primary reasons I wanted one was to use it as a sketchbook. Well, that and I really like technology... Also I can carry several Bible versions with me, and it's much easier to read than on my iPhone...

So this is the first real sketch I've done. I saw this adorable little girl in the
Nordstom catalog. It was done in the free version of the Sketchbook app... I liked the app a lot and will probably buy the full version but before I do I have several other apps to try.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do or Do Not. There is No Try

OK so I admit to being a bit of a geek. If there is anyone reading this who isn't familiar with  "Do or do not. There is no try."  it is a very famous and often used quote from the great Jedi Master Yoda in the movie Star Wars, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.

Everyone loves Yoda. In the movie he is full of wisdom, mild mannered, gentle yet formidable. You just know you do not want to cross this gentle creature as he could probably vaporize you on the spot - you respect Yoda! You listen to Yoda.

I have no problem with Yoda. He is a wonderful fictional character in an extremely entertaining movie.

However, I do have a problem with this quote.

I hear it quite often, as apparently I am prone to say "I will try" this or that. That statement seems to be completely unacceptable to many people, who perceive it as being negative thinking. Those who ascribe to this quote - which seems like almost everybody in my circle of acquaintances all feel the necessity to correct me and quote Yoda when I say I will try something. It is just too negative for them.

Really? Negative?

I have a whole different take on this.

The word "try" is filled with positivity and potential - it holds forth opportunity to experiment, to goof around, to get into things I haven't done or - Should I say it? things I haven't tried before. The word itself is strong and full of energy. It means persistence and perseverance and commitment. At least to me it means those things...and more.

When I say I will try something it is coming from a place of hope, faith and belief. Try as I might to comply and conform I simply cannot bring myself to buy into thinking that "I'll try" is negative thinking.

For example I have a 1 year old grandson who is learning to walk. He gets up, he falls down, he gets up again and he falls down again. What is he doing? he is TRYING!  If I said to him - "Do or do not. There is no try" what would the outcome be? He would get up, fall down and STAY there - because he "did not," and after all there is no "try" - so no point in getting up again. The process would be repeated when it came time to learn to ride a bike, learn to read, play a sport, or anything else. (Of course that would all be rendered moot since he would never have learned to walk or do anything else in the first place if following this line of thinking) He would be trapped in failure  - with no hope of ever succeeding because - there is no "try."

Here is another example to prove that trying is based in hope, faith and/or belief. If someone told me I would not get hurt if I jumped off a tall building I would have to weigh my options before I made the decision to "Do or not do." I would choose 'Not do" of course  (as any sane person would) - because I have absolutely no hope, no faith and no belief that it is possible or true. In this case it would be "There is no try" and for good reason. However let's say it's a tree I was invited to jump from with out getting hurt - that would change the decision making process. I DO have hope, faith and belief that indeed I could possibly do it without getting hurt. There is risk of course, I could sprain an ankle, or break a leg or injure myself some other way but the risk may be worth the try. There IS a "try" - Yoda is wrong! (Oh my goodness - this is a blasphemous statement to a Star Wars fan!)

I can't help but think of Thomas Edison. Would we still be burning oil lamps if he ascribed to this quote? Here is a man who believed in trying - and continuing to try! He was a man of faith, perseverance and determination!

It has been reported that Edison failed (or might we say tried?) over 6,000 times before perfecting the first electric light bulb.

Perseverance pays. Trying and continuing to try is positive, faith and hope in action.

There is only "no try" without hope, faith and/or belief in the possibility of success. And repeated tries often lead to success. To keep trying is to persevere, to persist.

When I sin (miss the mark) do I sit down and give up, as a failure? Because there is "no try"? Absolutely not! Because I have faith, belief and hope that if I repent, ask for His help  and continue to practice (i.e try). I can and will get it right. I have hope, faith and belief that like the  Loving Parent that He is, YVHV my Father is once again picking me up, brushing me off and cheering me on.  I have hope, faith and belief that I can improve, I can get it right, I can succeed - IF i continue to try.

Sorry Yoda and all my Star Wars fans, I am not buying into this ultimately defeating and discouraging statement, I'll go with this  quote:  "Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, Try, try again".
[1840 T. H. Palmer Teacher's Manual 223]

And so I will go back into my studio and try once again to create a new, interesting and meaningful painting. Whether I "do or do not", whether I succeed or fail, I will continue to try.

"Let us not become weary in doing good: for in due season we will reap, if we don't faint." (Galatians 6:9)

Have you visited me here? N S Davis Art Website Nathalie Davis web site