Category Archives: Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board: The Three Symptoms of Killing Our Dreams

I have a confession to make. I am in a rut. It’s the fork in the road, Searching Place, can’t seem to stop myself from spinning in circles kind of rut. And I’ve come to the conclusion that this may very well be the feeling a volcano gets before it is about to explode. But as my optimistic self chooses to believe, the explosion from a rut-captivated person can only lead to greatness. With that said, I, my friends, am about to explode.

In moments like these, I can always count on my very favorite writer and mentor, Mr. Paulo Coelho himself, to grant me with the reminders I constantly need to hear. His ideals wrapped in romanticism, blind faith and true belief that we all hold within us the capability to make our marks on the world tugs at my heart and mind every single time. But what gets me most is when he talks about dreams. Dream your dreams, he says … live them, nurture them, protect them, he says. But don’t you dare kill them.

With that said, I introduce you to the excerpt that is ringing loudly like sirens in my ears:

The Three Symptoms of Killing Our Dreams
By Paulo Coelho

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The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the Good Fight.

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the Good Fight.

And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams – we have refused to fight the Good Fight.

When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a short period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being.

We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychoses arise. What we sought to avoid in combat – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice.

And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breathe. And there’s nothing left to free us from our certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of our Sunday afternoons.

: : : It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting : : :

–The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

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Inspiration Board: 33 Ways to Stay Creative


: : : If my hands could hold them you’d see, I’d take all these secrets in me and I’d move and mold them to be something I’d set free : : :

— Let the Rain, Sara Bareilles —

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Inspiration Board: Sarah Kay on Long Distance Love

It’s official. I’m suffering a horrible case of the beginning-of-the-week blues. And in times like these, I can do nothing more than submit to the cycle of life and accept the fact that sometimes, even the “inspirer” needs some inspiring. Looking around my pretty much bland cubicle, I realized two things. 1. I’m in desperate need of redecorating. And 2. I need to start an inspiration board.

Now, the thing about me is, although I love being the source of opening up people’s minds, I can’t help but share the things that motivate me most. So I decided to start a new section on my blog for glum days like these: the Inspiration Board series.

As the morning dragged on and the sad fact of low motivation dawned on me, my quest for inspiration began as I searched high and low for that something that was able to unlock my jammed door of potential.

I have to admit this search actually wasn’t too hard, because, I’ll tell you a little secret. I have a go-to. Sarah Kay, the spoken word poet and co-director of Project Voice, a national movement to inspire youth self-expression. Ever since I saw her perform her poem, “If I Should Have a Daughter” (also known as “Point B”) at a TED conference earlier this year, I had fallen in love.

She has this way of performing phrases and painting pictures that makes you feel like she’s taking the words right out of your heart and pouring them out on stage.

So in a frantic cry to gain some insight from my inspirer, I quickly typed in her name in the YouTube search for SOMETHING I hadn’t heard before. And there it was…the perfect poem that spoke to the very hopeless romantic in me and I’m sure, in so many more of us…Long Distance Love. Listen, enjoy and be inspired.

I have always fallen in love with far too many postage stamps. When you appeared on my doorstep wearing nothing but a postcard province…no, appeared is the wrong word. Is there a word for sucker-punching someone in the heart? Is there a word for when you’re sitting at the bottom of a roller coaster and you realize that the climb’s coming, that you know what the climb means, that you can already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall before you even moved. Is there a word for that? There should be.

You can only fit so many words in a postcard…only so many in a phone call…only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness.

It’s hard to build a body out of words. I have tried. We have both tried.

Instead of holding your head to my chest, I tell you about the boy who lives downstairs from me; who stays up all night long practicing his drum set. The neighbors have complained. They have busy days tomorrow but he keeps on thumping through the night convinced that practice makes perfect.

Instead of holding my hand, you tell me about a sandwich you made for lunch today; how the pickles fit so perfectly with the lettuce.

Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.

Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer to Carnegie Hall, even I know that. Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer. You never get any closer.

Is there a word for the moment you win tug-of-war? When the weight gives in and all that extra rope comes hurdling towards you; how even though you’ve won, you still wind up with muddy knees and burns on your hands. Is there a word for that? I wish there was.

I would have said it when we were finally together on your couch, neither one of us with anything left to say.

Still now, I send letters into space hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the description in my poems. That he will place the stack of them in your hands and tell you, there is a girl that still writes to you… she doesn’t know how not to.

: : : There’ll be days like this, my momma said. When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises; when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape; when your boots will fill with rain, and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment : : :

— If I Should Have a Daughter, Sarah Kay —

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