I’ve thought over if I was going to attempt another Project 30 Days, and have decided I’ll have a go. This month is to try to find inspiring quotes relating to and about confidence. I figured I’d look for one each morning, think about it throughout my daily routine, and give you an update on it at night, before sleeping. Hopefully I’ll be able to think of more innovative post titles for this project than for the last one!
Anyway, I’ve found this really great website that has a whole bunch of quotes about different topics, and today’s quote comes from that website. Take a look at the following:
“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.”
~Henry Miller, Sexus
Now, I know this is a long one, and a lot to take in at first. I had to read it a couple of times before grasping the entire meaning. Here are my personal views on this particular piece of text.
First, focus on the first statement. Every day, we slaughter our own impulses. To me, this was completely self-explanatory. I took it to mean that we are our own worst critics. We’re always saying negative things about our particular desires to do good, or strive for progress. If, for instance, I have a desire to become a concert flutist and perform around the world, chances are the first thing I’m going to say to myself is, “Yeah right.” Those two little words, that one tiny thought, is a direct hit on that impulse. Add those little things up–I don’t have the money, I’m afraid to travel, I can’t play well enough, I don’t have the endurance, I’ll never be as good as my role models–every one of those ideas is like shooting a tiny arrow into that impulse. Enough arrows, and that impulse will fade away, and you will lose the desire, as well as the motivation. In short, I’ve got to lighten up on the pessimism when venturing into uncharted territory.
Now, the second statement is longer, and a little more complex. This one simply says that the result of slaughtered impulses is how we look on other people’s works, particularly those we admire. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I feel rather envious of those flutists who are younger than I, who have made it into a highly acclaimed orchestra, or even those who are older–I wonder why I haven’t lived up to that kind of excellence yet. It makes me wonder what on earth I’ve missed, and then I realize that in many cases, my lack of self confidence and faith in my own abilities has held me back. In short, it’s our own self doubt that is preventing us from getting further up the ladder, and we tend to recognize this fact most keenly when seeing other people walk right past us in the line of progression.
The third statement is also simple. Every man is capable of uttering the most profound truths. All he has to do is become quiet. Get rid of all the noise of “what if,” and seek for “what is” instead. Once you know where you are, what you are, then you can run with it, with confidence. When you become honest with yourself and accept who you truly are, it’s then that you can allow yourself to truly shine how you were meant to shine.
The fourth and fifth statements in this quote are thankfully short, and very simple. They say we all come from the same source, the same block of wood, so to speak. The author labels The Source as Creation. To me, this relates to God, and as a result, we all have a part of him there inside of us. You, readers, can label The Source how you most see fit. From my point of view, though, I consider the source to be God and associated crew. With me so far? Hope so, cuz here comes the best part!
The last statement is, I think, the longest, and yet the most revealing of the entire quote. After saying that we come from Creation, it reiterates all the kinds of people there are in this world. Kings (people of power), poets (writing in general), musicians (art in general) are all part of the same block of wood. All we have to do to find that talent, that ability to shine, that perfect self confidence, is to open up and discover what is already there.
So, those of you who tell yourself and other people that you have no real talent, think again. It might not be music, or poetry, or art, but who says those are the only things in which people can be talented in? What about those who know how to hold good conversation? What about the talent to defuse a tense situation? What about the talent of making people think about and refine their own belief systems?
Honestly, with that quote in mind, there’s really no reason for such talk. So, guess I have to scratch those kinds of statements off my list! Time for me to quit stifling the tender shoots and start having faith in my own criterion of truth and beauty.
And with that, I close. See you on the other side of morning!