Category: Inspiration

Fast Road to Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, where many young people dream of immortality, while stumbling flat on their face.

Back when I was a young naif, burning with ambition, I imagined that the world was my oyster. Because that’s what all the adults told me, and I was stupid enough to believe them. I wanted to pry open that oyster, and find a fast road to fame.

But for some reason, none of my crowbars worked. They just bent when I stomped on them. And that damned oyster kept its mouth tightly sealed. It clammed up, so to speak.

I’ve never been a big fan of seafood anyway, so viewing the world as my oyster was probably not the wisest thing to do. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and was a disgusting concept to swallow. But I was a young idiot. Naive to the ways of the world. I was grabbling about in the dark, heeding the advice of other idiots, like the proverbial blind man following the blind.

Nowadays I like to assume that all my decades of sparring with this world has wised me up. And if I could go back in time and give that stupid young man I was, some advice on how to quickly achieve fame, here’s what I’d tell him:

“So you want to be famous, eh? Well young man, I’ve learned that there is no faster road to fame than ordinary work. Just do what needs to be done. Do it carefully. Be effective at what you do. This is rare enough to catch the attention of others, even when it seems ordinary to yourself.

“The movers of the Earth will first take notice. They’ll recognize a bird of their own feather. And when they’re convinced you belong to their flock, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief. It’s hard work to move the Earth. It’s nice when a reinforcement arrives.

“The free-riders will notice that you’re keeping company with these movers and shakers. Blessed with charm and imperious demands, they’ll soon throw their qualified moral support behind you. They’ll award you with a poisoned chalice brimming with praises and honor. They’ll thank you profusely for all you do for them. And they’ll grumble behind your back whenever you take a rest break.

“After the free-riders contribute to your popularity, the paper tigers will be roused from their slumber. They’ll see you as a threat to their power over the free-riders. Their hearts will tremble with fear, but their throats will roar with ferocity. They will lop off your head if you don’t lower it, and skewer your guts if you drop your shield. But if you maintain your wits and courage, you will successfully defeat them, for they are made of paper. They thrive on witlessness and panic.

“The sheer noise the paper tigers make over you will raise your popularity to the level of fame. Perhaps it won’t be worldwide fame, or national fame, or even regional fame. But you will at least become famous within the circles you frequent. And yet, what will you have done to become so famous? Just ordinary work, that’s all. Ordinary work, with no ulterior motive. Work that somebody had to do, or it wouldn’t get done. And work carried out with love in your heart, a passion for perfection, and a resolve to succeed against all threats.

“So carry on. Do what needs to be done. Travel the road that is open to all, but used by few.

“And fame will soon follow.”

Speck of Dust

There’s a lot of self-important people running for office these days. Lest we think they’re better than us, or we, them, here’s a little poem to contemplate:

Speck of Dust

I’m just a speck of dust in the wind,

Blowing about and mixing in;

Sometimes part of the hard red clay,

Sometimes lifting and blowing away.

I’m one in a million

Trillion quadrillion,

To the power of sextillion

Octillion nonillion.

Compared to the whole, there ain’t much of me.

But that means I have lots of company.

We swirl in a cloud on a blustery day.

We come together and we ebb away.

I follow the breeze, this stream of air,

As it carries me hither, thither and there.

I can shine in the sun or hide in the gray,

But I can’t prevent being carried away.

Wherever I go, and whatever I see,

Will pass as I blast through eternity.

There’s never a place that I’ve blown through twice,

And never a breeze that didn’t feel nice.

So if some dust ever lands near your eye,

Please brush it away and allow it to fly.

For a speck of dust loves to roam.

With the wind as its path and the sky as its home.

How To Catch a Unicorn

Unicorns come in many shapes and sizes, and are never what we expect.

I’ve had the good fortune of catching a few unicorns in my life. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had to climb a long learning curve. But I’ve gained much experience, and now I’d like to pass along some of the lessons I’ve learned from my many years on the hunting trail.

First, you must always remember that there’s no sure-fire formula for catching a unicorn. Unicorns are intelligent and elusive creatures. They quickly figure out your hunting techniques, and so after you’ve caught one or two, they’ll never let you catch another again. At least not with the same techniques. Unless you wait a long time, and rely on their forgetfulness, for unicorns can be forgetful.

But if you’re impatient like me, then your best bet is to constantly change your hunting methods. Don’t rely on a single formula for very long.

I use bows and arrows, carbine rifles, snares, lassos, pit traps, gentle persuasion, and hand grenades. I hunt upwind, downwind, crosswind, and sometimes I shoot the bastards by helicopter. I’ve chased them down on foot, horseback, and motorcycle. And I’ve flushed them out of cover utilizing battue, hound dogs, and mating calls.

There’s no one simple formula that reliably catches unicorns for very long. You’ve got to mix it up, constantly using your thinker to devise new plans.

Of course you know from my blog page WHAT’S A UNICORN?, that I define a unicorn as anything that’s unique, whether it be a unique thought, experience, or life situation. Unicorns feed our hearts, minds, and souls with variety and life, and dispel the hunger of boredom.

That’s why the same hunting technique stops working after awhile. It becomes too predictable. Uniqueness is anything but predictable. Uniqueness must have variety.

So if you want to kill your boredom by catching unicorns, keep trying new and different things. Open your mind and let them out. Have some courage and reject convention. Step out of the box and skewer it with a unicorn horn.

Keep at it and you’ll find one just around the corner. Perhaps not the next corner, but somewhere down the line. As long as you don’t give up, then when you least expect it, a one-horned beast will spring out at you, frothing and snorting.

It will be a fearful sight. Steel yourself. Try not to turn and run. Avoid the danger of the pointy horn, so that neither you nor anyone else gets hurt. Then grab that fucker by the mane, and swing yourself up on its back.

And go for the ride of your life.

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