“If you go to a tree with an ax and take five whacks at the tree every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s an oak or a redwood; eventually the tree has to fall down.” ~ Jack Canfield
“Just as your car turns more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” ~ Brian Tracy
A few days ago we watched Woman in Gold with Barry’s parents. It’s a movie I’ve wanted to see for quite some time. It’s based on the true story of Maria Altmann and her battle to recover five extremely valuable paintings by Gustav Klimt that had belonged to her family. The most famous of the paintings is of Maria’s Aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer, also known as The Woman in Gold. The paintings, now considered Austrian national treasures, were confiscated at the beginning of WW II by the Nazis just after they peacefully annexed Austria. Maria witnesses the degradation of her fellow Jews until finally, it’s her family’s turn. The Gustapo comes. She, her new husband, and parents are under house arrest in an apartment stripped of all valuables including the paintings.
I won’t tell all the details of the story. It’s enough to say that what struck me about the movie was the amount of effort and years it took for Maria and her young lawyer to win their case and get the paintings back from the Austrian Government. It’s a David and Goliath story in which Maria and her lawyer, Randol Schoenberg took one step, then the next for nearly ten years not knowing if they would win or lose. In fact, no one thought they would win the case. Even Maria wanted to give up at times but Randy wouldn’t let go. In the end she won a huge victory for herself, her family, and for other Jews as well.
We each have those things that we want to accomplish. They are probably not as large a task as fighting an entire government to reclaim our stollen possessions, but that doesn’t mean they are not important. At times they seem too big to accomplish, but like any large task, it’s important to keep plugging away to finish the job.
I’ve been actively working on my first novel for about seven years. It’s nearing completion and I’m so delighted that I just kept working on it each day. Even though I still need to finish the polishing, I feel a deep sense of accomplishment which motivates me to continue on with new writing projects.
I’m also determined to apply the “just keep swimming” principle to other things in my daily life. There are so many people who need help, so many situations that need to be addressed. I feel overwhelmed at times to know where to put my efforts. Yet, I remember that it’s better to choose one or two areas where I can make my contribution rather than running around accomplishing nothing. Others have talents to meet the challenges that I can’t solve and I’ll trust that progress will be made.
I hope you find reasons to keep plugging away at your dreams, and find cheerleaders to help you keep swimming in 2017.
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Lucinda Sage-Midgorden @ 2017