I hesitate to say the name, "Micheal Moore." Whatever the response, it's bound to be a strong one. When we use loaded words, people react with such emotional explosion they pay little attention to what you are trying to say. Still I must say, "Micheal Moore" because he exemplifies my topic.
We avoid loaded words when talking with colleagues, or friends, or clients. "No religion, politics or ....." What's the other thing? Not taxes and death. Hmm. Can't remember. It's an adage reminding us, in any case, to avoid high-powered connotations unless with company where those topics are all right. Take practically ANY arguing couple and their fight will be littered from start to end with all kinds of words each KNOWS perfectly well will make the other hit the ceiling. Really, it's better not to use those.
This isn't about Micheal Moore, though whether you like his message or not, he's an enterprising individual who stands up for the People in the manner he believes is right, and says what he thinks. That's All-American and always has been. He has suffered a lot for it. Most heroes are stoned and criticized by the people of their time, in particular those with an investment in the status quo. But see, here I am talking about him and I said I wouldn't. Half of you have pressed "delete" already.
I want to talk about following our dreams.
I was listening, yes, to Micheal Moore, on the radio, and here's what he said. He became a movie maker because he had just lost his job, he was sitting around jobless watching TV as the jobless tend to do, and the news came on, announcing that the car company was laying off another ton of workers in Moore's hometown. Moore said to himself, "That's going to ruin so many people! I should make a movie about that!" Even though he knew nothing about making movies. And now here he is. The recipient of an award, and the director of the most watched documentary of all time. He's also started exercising and eating a healthier diet, convinced to do so by his most recent research and film, Sicko, which comes to a theatre near you next week.
So I'm thinking about writing a book, is my point. I mean...there's sitting around the living room listening to world events. And there's being PART of world events. Being a VOICE. I've steadfastly avoided writing a book since more than ten years ago, when I won a tri-state non-fiction writing award. I think WINNING that award faced me with all kinds of responsibilities, dreams, possibilities, fears and opportunities I wasn't ready for. I mean, when you step up the plate, there's an expectation you swing, and hit the ball, run the bases, and score! That expectation...it makes me afraid. Success, the response of others--those do too.
Now if you sit in the dugout, enthusiastic about the game but not PLAYING, or you keep score or bring water, that's a different thing.
Micheal Moore, love him or hate him, is OUT there. He's living the life he wants. He's taking a lot of crap about it, some serious threats, big disruption to his life, as well as fabulous support, awards, and opportunities. He hasn't quit.
I quit serious writing after that award because my roommate (and okay three other people) threw a jealous fit. Maybe I quit because of the resounding applause. Or both. Both come to anyone who steps up to that plate. As Coach mentions, Babe Ruth had a record for strike-outs, as well as for home runs. He took some heat; he took some glory.
Many of you know exactly what I mean when I say that the very ACT of dreaming-- to hope, to dare, to risk, to put yourself out there--and achievement of success-- exact their prices. Our world is full of talented people who die, as the adage goes, "with their song still in them." Not for lack of ability, or ideas, or talent, but because they didn't step up to the plate.
It's a long (and unnecessary) story how I came to be mortified of the limelight. It's the fault of Micheal Finkelstein and my sixth grade class. You see I was the new kid, and I beat Micheal Finkelstein in the reading contest. No one since kindergarden had done that. Picture a mob of sixth graders carrying fire lit clubs, yelling, "Death to the new kid!" Yeh. It happened just that way. So you see why I'm hesitant to hit a home run. Then you HIT home runs and they'd pitch a fit if you don't. It's a quantary. No, you have to be like Micheal Moore. Love me, like me, despise me, I'm still going after my Dreams.
I am ready, possibly, to take a deep breath and "stop being an elephant who wants people to believe she's just a mouse," as someone once told me. I am ready, possibly, in no small part because of the deeply caring, funny and supportive way this community has responded to my path in Tools, and to my writings.
I admit I was scared at first. I actually went running to Oliver and Coach, "There's all these views on my profile!" I was in a mild panic. You can hardly pretend to be a mouse if people are going to push you right up front like that. Coach pointed out it was my OWN actions, blogging, causing the views. (He can be so irritating). It's been a safe experience, here, to write again.
So throw some tomatoes. Roar with applause. Be bored and uninterested. It's all good. Your interest and care is fantastic. I can (possibly) take it, and remain unwaveringly dedicated to pursuit of success. Cuz...I've got my Checklist. @2007
Tags: success, fear of, Micheal Moore, Babe Ruth, heroes, quitting, writing, dreams, response, loaded words, elephant, mouse, Book, Checklist