Far too often we see the mountain as the struggle and not the journey. We allow the steep struggle uphill to blind our path and cloud our goals. The journey should shape us but not stop us.
Our stories of struggles and victories are waiting to be told. Who better than to tell our stories than us? Far too often we let our stories be told for us. We let unknown authors write our paths. The world turns, and we turn with it.
Story writer, Adam Braun, shares his story in The Promise of a Pencil, which began when traveling as a college student to India. He asked a begging boy on the street what he wanted most. The boy told Braun that he wanted a pencil. From there, Braun has changed his path and the lives of many others. Pencils of Promise has since built more than two hundred schools all over the world. Braun shares his story and path to help others to be inspired, ignite their own passion, and find their ways.
Some of Adam’s inspirational excerpts…
For anyone going through a restless period in life, looking to make a change but not sure how, start with an ambitious but attainable goal. I set out to build just one school. Only after I realized that it was possible and how much of a difference it made in the life of others did I focus on enabling anyone else to have the same experience too. The key is to think big and then take small, incremental steps forward day by day.
Start by changing the subjects of your daily conversation from the life you are living to the life you aspire to create. By speaking the language of the person you seek to become, you will soon find yourself immersed in the conversations that make you most come alive. You’ll sense the energy you emit attracting similar energy from others. Your conversations will lead to opportunities, which will become actions, which will become footprints for good.
But you can’t keep saying, “I’ll get started tomorrow.” The world has far too many problems, and you are way too smart and capable to not tackle them. Your time is now.
As humans we are natural storytellers. We weave narrative into nearly every relationship we build and value. …Regardless of age or status, if you’re not satisfied with the path you’re on, it’s time to rewrite your future. Your life should be a story you are excited to tell.
It requires strength of imagination. It relies on that ability we each possess to suspend belief in the restraints of today to enable the possibilities of tomorrow. Most of all…each morning that we make a choice to bring positive or negatively into the world, and that with every single person there lies an extraordinary story waiting to unfold. (p.249-251)
Stop. Pick up your pencil and have the courage to share it with others. Write your own story. Find your own path. Let your imagination guide your way. You are your best storyteller of you. Write your path. Today.
Thanks, Adam Braun, for sharing your story – your change. It all begins with a pencil.
Braun, A. (2014). The promise of a pencil: How an ordinary person can create extraordinary change. New York, NY: Scribner.