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What do you do when you’re talking to a wall?
What do you do when the tree you fell in the forest you own makes no sound other than to yourself?
What did Van Gogh do when the only painting he sold was to the sister of a friend?
He must have laughed at his predicament.
Somewhere in his soul he had sold himself that what he was doing was important.
Day after day, he must have quit, then roused himself from despair to paint that one last painting and to do it more vibrantly than the one before.
Yes, we might ask, but what if we’re a fool, deluding ourselves of our uniqueness? Or the quality of our work?
Where is the line between foolishness and the bold stroke of genius?
What are the clues?
Clearly mass appeal can never be on the list. If we were rich and famous, we wouldn’t be asking the question.
Can we ever know?
If we could, success would be a cakewalk.
Many years ago, the owner of a famous home improvement store related a story of the first day that his store opened. He stated that a person came up to him and said, “I drove all night to get to the store.”
“At that point,” said the owner, “I knew we had a winner.”
What this means is that the day before he opened his store, he didn’t know he had a winner. He was just like everyone else.
He was scared.
He was lonely.
He was insecure.
What drove him then to stay the course, to spend the enormous capital that it took to open that store?
Somewhere down deep in his soul, perhaps unarticulated to the conscious mind, he said to himself: This is where God wants me to be.
This is where my home is.
I will defend this rock to the death.
I will fix my bayonet.
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