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I'm not a very crafty person. I want to be. I mean it's not that I want to make napkin holders, or Styrofoam wreaths.
I want to paint. I bought all the stuff I need, but I haven't started. I even have a video called, “How to get started.”
I need one that says “how to get started to get started.”
I do spend time in craft stores. Mostly the big chain stores where they mark everything up and then give you a big discount, bringing the cost down to where it should be before discounts.
Anyway, it was there that I learned a big lesson.
Sitting in the aisle near the yarn was an older woman. Apparently she lives there because her name was painted on the back of the wooden rocking chair.
I pretended to be shopping for something nearby because I wanted to hear what she was saying to a lady who joined her. I guess she was there to teach.
“No! That's not how I showed you!” she scolded.
The woman she was teaching giggled nervously.
She wasn't being mean. I believe she was related to my sixth grade teacher who would throw a chalk eraser across the room to hit a kid in the head who fell asleep.
It was her “teaching style.” Now teachers just need to be psychologists, parents, guards and babysitters. The world's so much better now.
Anyway, the woman finally got nerve enough to leave.
“Okay, I got it. I'll be back tomorrow to buy the things I need,” she said.
“Will you remember what I told you?” the teacher asked.
“What's the most important thing?” she quizzed her.
She paused too long to answer. I believe a second went by.
I leaned in to pick up on this. I mean, if ever I decided to take up knitting, I would need to know “The most important thing.”
But what she said triggered an entirely different response in me.
“Everything begins with a knot!” she said.
Then holding both her index fingers up she added, “Two soldiers!”
The student ran off.
I quickly turned away when she glanced at me. I was having sixth grade flashbacks.
Still, I smiled. I loved what I heard.
It registered in my mind like this...Everything begins with a “NOT.”
Everything I want to change has to begin with a “not.”
“I'm NOT going to quit!”
“I'm NOT going to complain, I'm going to do something about it.”
“I'm not going to win if I don't lose once in awhile.”
“I'm not going to succeed unless I keep trying.”
“I'm not going to lose weight until I gain good eating habits.”
A long time ago I learned another “Not.” I kept hearing from people about the many ways they tried to accomplish something without succeeding.
I began asking them, “What is it you're NOT willing to do?”
The answer to most failed attempts lies not in what you are doing, but in what you are NOT willing to do.
If self employment requires commitment 24/7 but you want a 40 hour a week job, You are NOT willing to do what it takes.
If reaching your goal means you will fail several times first and you give up after one or two tries, then you are not willing to persevere.
Stop looking at what you do and ask what you are NOT willing to do.
Everything begins with a “Not!”
~ By Bob Perks
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