Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten” [G. K. Chesterton].
Go out there and slay some dragons!
Think back to when you were a child and you had a favorite story book. Do you remember?
It was the one with the smudges, dogged pages, and worn cover.
It was the one you spent hours reading. You were amazed by the illustrations; delighted by the story; emboldened by the hero’s courage. You cheered as the enemies became victims of magical plans.
One of my favorites books was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with Mickey Mouse in the title role. I loved the story of a young character, home alone, misusing his power. Sure, it was great fun at first but, as my friend says, “Too much laughing leads to crying!” And before the young apprentice could wreak more havoc or create another army of servant brooms, the sorcerer returns and saves the day.
Once upon a time we believed that all things were possible. That dogs could talk and spiders could spell and a mouse named Mickey could cause brooms to come to life and cows could jump over the moon.
But somewhere along the way we stopped believing in things we couldn’t see. We came to believe that magic and fairy tales were for children. We outgrew the belief that dreams could come true. And although we were still compelled to fight dragons (as adults we give them different names), we no longer expected to win the battles.
Life can be like that.
The truth is, you still have within yourself the power to storm castles, slay dragons, save the day, and change the course of your life. Magic still exists. The adult-version is called self-confidence and action, belief and positive attitude, determination and courage.
What story will you write today? One where you are banished to the tower in a distant castle? Downtrodden, held hostage by unfulfilled expectations and disappointments? Waiting for a mysterious stranger to come and save you?
Or, one where you grab life by the tail, fight your hardest, slay the dragons, and make dreams come true?
How could your life change if you had the courage to take one step toward your future, instead of putting things on hold, waiting for Prince Charming to arrive?
Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales
whose gates are guarded by dragons:
we must fight in order to conquer it.
Be willing to go after what you really want. Fight for it. Slay the dragons. Be determined! Realize “you may have to fight a battle more than once to win” [Margaret Thatcher]. Keep fighting . . . victory will be worth it in the end.
Whatever you are, write a good story today!
Stevens Creative Consulting
One of my favorites essays. Originally posted 2/19/10.