In this Vignette we find many familiar names and we know most of their stories - Hellen Keller, Norman Vincent Peale, Christopher Reeves, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Socrates. What do they have in common? They had obstacles, weaknesses, tragedies. And, they overcame them. I must admit, I haven't always found reading their stories personally helpful. But, there is certainly a lesson to be learned in each of these stories which this Vignette highlights very well. Do the thing you fear the most!
Many authors and motivational speakers have taken up this mantle and pointed out the great benefit in identifying the behavior or action you are avoiding and just getting to it. Habits, after all, are just behaviors which have worn a neurological path in our brain. Science now tells us that we can create new pathways over time. So, why shouldn't I be able to create a new habit which can turn a weakness into a strength? And it begins with an attitude. Perhaps this quote from Dr. Maxwell Maltz is the place to start"
"Your mind returns to reality the pictures that are fed into it".
So I begin anew catching myself looking into the mirror of my mind and paying attention to the images I see. I can change those images if needed. I may not go as far as William Henley's admonition to be "the captain of my soul". But, then again, why not?
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.William Ernest Henley