September 9
  And I recall an account of Trollope
going up to London to pick up a
rejected manuscript from a publisher,
getting on the train to return home,
laying the bulky bundle on his lap
face down, and beginning a new book
on the back pages of the rejected one.



Today's Meditation:

Now this is a man that I would love to say I have some similarity to, but I'm not sure that I can.  This is a beautiful story of not letting one's situation get one down, and making the best of the way things are. . . and not giving up just because an obstacle arose in one's path.  So the novel got rejected--big deal.  I'll write another one!  That's the only kind of attitude that truly helps people to advance in life, to grow from where they are to becoming someone or something else.

For Trollope, the writing was a driving force in his life, and it was something that he probably couldn't have given up even if he had wanted to, for he was dedicated to it.  That level of commitment to his craft was what allowed him--or forced him--to begin a new novel immediately.  Writing was simply a part of who he was because he had committed himself to the art, and it was that commitment that helped him to find the strength and courage to persevere.

We all face obstacles and setbacks.  They are valuable lessons to us in life, for they have the potential to help us see where we can improve if we want to do things better--be better writers, better cooks, better friends, better parents.  It's person who gets on with things and doesn't let the obstacles bring him or her to a standstill that keeps moving and eventually succeeds big time.  When things get bad for me I often picture Trollope in that train, writing away on the paper that held his rejected novel.  In every adversity, in every setback, there is something there for our future, and it's up to us to find it and make it work for us.  Otherwise, we just allow ourselves to be victims and we start letting life slide by without getting out of it all that we can.

Questions to consider:

How many people do you know who would have given up writing after a difficult rejection--or at least set it aside for a long time?

Why is it sometimes difficult to start again at something at which you've yet to have significant success?

How can setbacks and adversity actually be positive for us?

For further thought:

Most very successful people can remember that their success was
discovered and built out of adversity of some kind.  It's not the
problems that beset us--problems are surprisingly pretty much
the same for millions of others--it's how we react to problems
that determines not only our degree of growth and maturity
but our future success--and, perhaps, much of our health.

Earl Nightingale

More on adversity.


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