Show, Don’t Tell

I’ve been thinking a lot about this C.G. Jung quote lately — especially last night, and especially this morning, both of which were exceptionally difficult for me for various reasons. I often teach and talk about doing good and extraordinary things with your life, and today this quote is something I’m trying to apply to everything I’ve ever said, by my own example.

I have made promises to friends and family close to me; promises to be strong, for them and myself; to try to be my best self; to never let them down; to just…be there. And all of those things sound great and noble and wonderful — and none of them comes with a caveat.

I didn’t promise to be strong — unless I had a really awful week; I didn’t promise to be my best self — unless obstacles rose up around that let me justify doing otherwise; I didn’t promise to never let them down — unless they hurt or offended me, or I had other priorities, or just because it was too much effort; and I didn’t promise to just be there, whenever or wherever they needed me — unless it was just too hard to do.

I just promised I’d do it. If I don’t, nothing I’ll have said about doing it will ever matter. If I do, then that’s all that matters.

Not every promise can always be kept, all of the time. But there’s a clear distinction between the true desire to make the effort, and simply not wanting to try. I have the true desire to make the effort, because I am more than just my words, I am my actions. And I will do my best to keep all of the promises I have made to the people who mean the most to me. Because that is what an Awesomist does.

May you have it in yourself to do the same. I believe in you. Go forth, and be Awesome.

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About caveo

James has written and illustrated six books in the bestselling series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica: Here, There Be Dragons; The Search For The Red Dragon; The Indigo King; The Shadow Dragons; The Dragon’s Apprentice; and The Dragons of Winter. The series is now being published in more than twenty languages. A seventh volume, The First Dragon, will conclude the series in November 2013.

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