The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, December 26, 2011

TAGR Principle #2: FAITH

The Second Principle: FAITH

When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly

Patrick Overton

It should be obvious to anyone who has been with me for a while that the principles of Think And Grow Rich are entwined deeply into every aspect of my life and teaching. The second principle, "Faith" is the same as the eighth principle of the Hero's Journey.

Defined as "evidence of thing not seen" this can be interpreted as a spiritual connection, or simply the capacity to believe that things, situations, and people can and will improve.

Any day that you wake up believing that today will be better than yesterday, this week better than last week, this month better than last month...

You will have energy, aliveness, joy, and creativity. The morning you wake up believing your best days are behind will experience depression, fatigue, hopelessness and a shroud of negativity that cloaks your mind like a wet dishrag.

YOU MUST BELIEVE. If you want to find love, change your finances, get into shape, or learn a new must believe.

This is why desire is so important. You have to want something so badly that you are willing to "buck" the evil, negative voices in your head. The ones that say the past is the best of your life, that men and women are unworthy of trust, that you are broken and finished.

To be specific:

1) In writing, almost everyone I knew and everything around me said I could not have the career I wanted. I committed to writing, finishing, and submitting 100 short stories, and papering my walls with rejection slips, before even considering quitting.

2) In martial arts: I was dealing with so much fear, pain, and negative belief around the arts that it took me NINETEEN YEARS to earn my first black belt. The emotional agony was excruciating. I'd been so hurt and shamed for being small and gentle growing up that my self-image as a weak, defenseless artist was totally at odds with my goal of becoming a warrior.

3) In love, I made such mistakes in my early life that there was a specific moment, alone in a bare-walls apartment a thousand miles away from my nearest friends and family, I clearly, CLEARLY understood the desire for suicide.

The connection, the way through, the only salvation was faith. In myself. In the world. In my companions. And yes, in a higher power. That works for me. It may not for you. But you will need faith, of some kind, to see you through. Belief that there is more than your self image, more than your current concept. More than what you can touch and taste and hear.

Faith is knowing you've been down before, and gotten back up, dammit. You can do this. You MUST do this.

You're the only one who can.



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Althea said...

Thank you. This was on time. And I read Tananarive's keynote address at the 2005 Maui Writers conference. Also on time.

Althea said...

And please tell me you've watched "Avatar: The Last Airbender" on Nickelodeon. It's a superhero, hero's journey, spiritual fantasy all in one.

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