Life is a Laboratory

by Jack Canfield

Everyone has a dream.

Many of us simply lose sight of it or let it go because of some earlier disappointment, rejection, or lack of progress.  The natural tendency is to protect ourselves from getting hurt again, so we deny our dream, afraid to reach out for the people, resources, and opportunities that could support it.

I want to share a quick story about my friend Catherine Lanigan.  She had earned a college scholarship on her strengths as a gifted writer. Catherine’s Harvard professor gave her an F on her first short story and convinced her she had no talent. She wrote nothing more for 13 years.

Then one day in her small Texas town Catherine visited a movie set. When she expressed her desire to be a writer, one of the scriptwriters shot back, "B.S.! If you wanted to be a writer, you would have written."

When Catherine explained how her professor discouraged her, the scriptwriter replied, "An academic guy? What does he know? I write for a living. Tell you what. You go home and write something and send it to me, and I’ll tell you if I think you have any talent in the real world of commercial literature."

A year later, Catherine finished her novel and sent it to the scriptwriter, who loved it and sent it to his agent in New York. The agent also loved it and asked to represent her work. Catherine’s first novel was followed by numerous others including Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile, which became a major motion picture.

Is there a dream buried deep within you? If so, you owe it to yourself—and the world—to fully express it.

First you need to get in touch with your dream. When you get in touch with the essence of who you are and what it is that really wants to come through you, it propels you forward, allowing you to overcome any obstacle, no matter how big.

Secondly, gather feedback from many people (but don’t let someone else’s opinion bury your dream as Catherine did for so long). Whether you’re venturing into a new career, proposing a project in your community, or developing a computer application, get as much feedback as you can. Weigh it; then follow your own instincts.

Finally, try things you’ve never tried before to see what works. When we were kids, we’d try anything, but now? Today a child having a computer problem will hit every button to get it to work. Many adults fear touching the wrong button will break it.

Embrace a spirit of curiosity and playfulness in your pursuit. If one thing doesn’t work, try another. If that doesn’t work, try something else. This can be great fun. Imagine life as one big laboratory—and keep experimenting until your dream yields the results you want.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

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