Will Smith is an inspiring guy. When he was thirteen, his father asked him and his younger brother to knock down a brick wall. When they had done this, he asked them to rebuild it. They replied that this was impossible, but a year and a half later, they had succeeded. Perhaps his willpower is a reason for his huge success since then.
“The keys to life are running and reading. When you’re running, there’s a little person that talks to you and says, “Oh I’m tired. My lung’s about to pop. I’m so hurt. There’s no way I can possibly continue.” You want to quit. If you learn how to defeat that person when you’re running, you will know to not quit when things get hard in your life. For reading: there have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.”
Reading, probably unlike running, will always be available to me. Will Smith’s view of reading matches the essence of my blog: finding your current problem or situation in a book, and learning where to go next.
Odysseus had the courage to persevere and find his way home, undeterred by all the setbacks in his way. Can my journey through anxiety really be as hard as that?
Alba from Isabel Allende’s The House of The Spirits survives being imprisoned and beaten by “writing a testimony in her head” to distance her mind from reality. If she can get through that, there’s no doubt that I can persevere through my tiny problems.
There are ways that we can all strengthen and challenge ourselves, even if not by running. It’s up to us to find what that is. But to begin with, there’s so much to be found in a good book.
Enjoy more from me
- Retreat into my new book, Your Life in Bloom: Finding Your Path and Your Courage, Grounded in the Wisdom of Nature.
- I'm also the author of Mountain Song: A Journey to Finding Quiet in the Swiss Alps, a book about my time living alone by the mountains.
- If you love books, are feeling a little lost right now, and would love some gentle comfort and guidance, join The Sanctuary, my seven-day course to rebalance your life.