Oh! The Places You’ll Go! If Only You Try!
One of my colleagues Dr. William Baker shared this story with me recently. It reminded me that greatness takes great effort.
“While browsing the book section of Costco last night, I ran across the latest Dr. Seuss book What Pet Should I Get?
At the back of this book is a short section that tells how this book came about. You probably already know that Dr. Seuss’s wife discovered it after his death. A segment of this section reads as follows:
‘Ted Geisel was a perfectionist. He could spend months developing a character, days talking about the placement of a comma. ‘I know my stuff looks like it was rattled off in twenty-eight seconds,’ he said, ‘but every word is a struggle and every sentence is like the pangs of birth.’ Ted once estimated that for a typical sixty-four page book, he would produce over a thousand pages of text and images. He revised his text over and over and over again.’
Too often people think that popular writers must have a special gift that enables them to compose polished text with a minimum of effort, while the rest of us struggle for hours to put together a simple string of coherent words that captures the message we want to convey. Maybe this Dr. Seuss quote will help dispel that myth. Perhaps the gift of popular writers is the gift of persistence.”
I agree. It is easy to think that hard things come easy to other people, not us. The truth is, great things take hard work, lots of persistence, and as I learned from Harry Potter (a.k.a.JK Rowling)–a belief in oneself.