Showing posts with label potential. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potential. Show all posts

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Treasures Lie Buried Just Beneath the Surface?

by Douglas Clark

I was reading an article about Mayan ruins in Guatemala where archaeologists are exploring the intricacies and wonders that lie within the pyramid walls. In these ruins a frieze was found carved in great detail. Apparently about 1400 years ago, Mayan artisans carved out their beliefs and cultural identity in the rock used to build their temples. If you know anything about Mayan civilization, their culture and identity died out almost a thousand years ago. Fascination took over as I read the article. Imagining those archaeologists uncovering the amazing artwork, which sat covered in jungle growth, unknown, untouched and undisturbed for centuries, amazed me. Think about it. The skill and dedication that went into crafting such wonderful work went unappreciated for so long. Empires rose and fell, cultures flourished and died, the lives of countless people marched on, and still not a soul knew of the amazing work, just out of sight. But it sat there and waited, just beneath the jungle foliage.

It makes me wonder what’s just underneath the veneer of our lives, that mask that hides our true selves from the world and ourselves as well. What do we have to offer, that is just under the surface, but of which we’re totally unaware? One of my longest held fears, for lack of a better term, is that I won’t live up to my own potential. It’s a curious thing to think about how much you might accomplish compared to how much you have accomplished. Every once in a while, I sit back and remember the dreams I dreamed of in the yesteryears of my life. In some ways, I am totally and woefully off track and behind schedule. We all know my book isn’t published yet. I haven’t been around the world (thanks to the Navy I’ve made it half way), and a whole host of other things not yet achieved. But, I managed to accomplish much in the last decade or so. In just the last year I actually Finished my novel, which is light years ahead of where I was just two years ago. I set out to write that story, and wrote it I did. Which brings me back to potential; I always knew I could do it; the trouble was actually Doing it. It may very well be that my novel could sit undiscovered for years, centuries in fact like our Mayan friends’ stellar work. But does that really matter?

What are we here for? Fame, adoration, validation from others? Okay, maybe that would be cool for a while, but how meaningful would adoring fans and platitudes be if we truly didn’t have our heart in what we were doing? To me fame without substance is a hollow endeavor. What do you think?



Thanks for reading.
Questions and Comments are welcome.






Thursday, October 4, 2012

Don't Fear the Emptiness


I’ve often heard that when writers start a story the blankness of the white page can be a daunting adversary. I have experienced a bit of trepidation, anxiety even, when it comes to filling up all that white space. In fact, I even used to write on yellow legal pads just to avoid having to look at the emptiness of white. However, some writers find it paralyzing almost to the point where they quit writing all together. Now I suppose that painters and sculptors have similar problems at the beginning of a new project as well. Not all mind you, but some may. Personally, I’ve found a way to combat that paralyzing problem. Do you know what it is?

I write. Well, duh, that sounds simple doesn’t it? And a bit too obvious right? Let me explain. In my experience staring into the white, I’ve noticed that somewhere in my head I was worried about what might actually make it out onto the page. Questions would start creeping up on me and haunting my thoughts.  What if it’s all crap? What if I get stuck? What if it’s boring…?  You know what I say to that? So what! Really. Listen, I’ve been an editor for about eight years now, and I’ve learned a few things about polishing up narrative that is, how shall we say politely, less than stellar. Put more simply, you can’t improve something that isn’t there. So get something down on paper, no matter how horrible it may seem. You can clean it up. Hell it may turn out that what you wrote is crap, but it could lead you down a better path toward something that turns out to be gold.

This philosophy doesn’t have to be restricted to writing alone. Doing something, anything, is better than waffling over the possibility of failure and not doing anything. I believe that the only true failure is not trying. Lack of effort is the enemy of Potential. Nike always said ‘Just do it’. The wisdom of that simplicity is astounding. So, give it a shot. Try. Make an effort, and don’t fear the emptiness. Fill it up!

                                                         Photo is Feeling of emptiness
                                               Check out Ben Goosen's full portfolio. 

Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.

-Frank Tyger.


What is self-reliance and why is it important?  There are a lot of things in this world that you may be responsible for: bills, education, work, family members, but most of all, you are responsible for yourself.  Most people would agree with that, but in practice, many disregard their own personal care and supplant it with other chores and duties claiming that to be responsible.  But think about it, you can’t possibly take care of anyone if you can’t take care of yourself.  That is what self-reliance is all about; taking care of yourself.  Now I’m not talking about being selfish and blind to other people.  Learning to handle things on your own, depending on your own abilities, skills, and discipline are vital. 


There’s a powerful lesson in learning how to do things for yourself.  Once you have grasped the concept of self-reliance, you’ll thirst for challenges to overcome and conquer.  But how do you get there? Having self-reliance starts with believing in yourself and your potential.  Now you don’t have to be successful in every endeavor to be self-reliant, you just have to believe you can try.  Be warned though, making the attempt opens up the possibility of failure.  As strange as it may sound, that’s a good thing.  It may sound cliché but most people learn more from failure than they do from success.  I like to say, Success is born from a thousand failures.  Sounds catchy, doesn’t it?  Anyway, it may seem scary to strike out on your own and try something new, but it’s worth it. 

I used to shy away from challenge.  Honestly, I would basically hide in my room avoiding things that would cause conflict or contention.  It was safe, but boring.  It provided no stimulation or growth.  See, it’s easy to recede into the background of your own life.  Nobody is going to force you to do much, except maybe follow the law, but above and beyond that, no.  You have to be the driving force in your life.  And that’s the greatest gift in the world.  Develop your own sense of self-reliance and you can trust yourself to steer your life on toward your goals and mission.  First you have to believe in yourself, once you do, you can rely on yourself as well.  That’s a powerful force in creating a positive personal future.  Give it a try!


child with boogie board at beach

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What’s really important?

Douglas Clark

-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

That may seem like a simple, even trite question to ask.  If you give it more than a passing thought, the deeper meaning of it starts to shine through.  What is really important?  I mean the life-long stuff, the things that make you want to get out of bed in the morning, the stuff that gets your heart pumping, your body moving; those things. 

I’m not talking about getting up and getting to work, paying the bills, or making sure you get the laundry done.  The day-to-day minutia of life is important on a small scale, but there should and Must be a deeper meaning in your life (your Mission) to make it all worth it.  Now it might come as no shock that a lot of people don’t have a mission, or what some might call Passion.  They drift through life without any foundational drive or motivation.  Is that you?  I must admit, there have been times where I felt completely directionless, lost even.  There have been times where I could see the path before me clear as day, and hated the direction it was leading me in.  See, it’s not so much enough to have a passion and direction, but you must be willing and wanting to go down that road as well.

How do you decide?  Well, it has to be important to you; the whole thing, not just the end goal.  To have meaning and value, the process of getting from your dream to your reality must be endurable and enjoyable, at least on some level.  I’ve spent many a moment pondering what was important and what wasn’t.  At the very foundation, I know it’s important to at least attempt to live up to my potential.  Sometimes that can be hard, especially if at some point you realize you were reaching.  Mistakes are worth it most of the time. But Only if you learn from them. When you do, you’ll start to realize what is really important!



Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...