These are the words most spoken by teacher Byron Katie in her work with others.
About 28 years ago when I was struggling with a fractured relationship with my stepson, my friend Adrien asked me this question and three more: Can you absolutely know it’s true? How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought? And, Who would you be without that thought?
A week doesn’t go by without me using the Byron Katie tools (wwwthework.com) to help me find some peace in everyday living. When I need to come back to myself and find the part of the problem that belongs to me, it’s Byron I turn to.
This morning I scrolled her website to glean some insight into something that’s been bothering me. I clicked onto a YouTube interview with her and Lewis Howes. Nearing the end of the interview, Lewis asks Byron if she had to take all of her work with her when she died and was only able to leave three messages behind, what they would be? Her answer: 1. All problems are imagined. 2. The Universe is friendly. 3. It’s obvious to anyone with an open mind to see. While I don’t profess to understand the depth of meaning to her three statements, I can marshal a small inkling to what those words mean to me.
This initiated me to question what I would leave behind. Easy to be flippant and say – drink great wine, laugh long and hard, and remember to clean your teeth. Truth in all of these, but my deeper answer for today is: 1. Find your talent. 2. Get off your arse. 3. Enjoy the ride.
People often tell me they don’t have a particular talent, so I ask them what gives them great pleasure? From there they are able to navigate their way back to their innate creativity. Creativity isn’t some lofty practice, if you are a problem solver, you’re already highly creative. Every time you come up with a new idea or solution to a problem, the creative process is activated.
Even though I have written thirty books, I don’t see myself as a highly talented writer. That’s where number two comes in: Get off your arse. Several years ago, at a screenwriting Summer School at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, I meet Steve a very talented writer. Where most of us struggled over the words we had chosen for our scenes, he seamlessly wrote great copy first go. It was a privilege to see such unbridled talent in action.
Over the coming years, a handful of us kept in contact. We sent each other our work, supporting and encouraging each other. Not long into our collective journey Steve dropped out of the group, said he didn’t have what it takes and slid into the hospitality industry. It was then I realised that everyone doesn’t have the drive and the determination to keep going.
I believe that if we have even the smallest talent for something, we have to champion this for ourselves every day. Some creatives are a bit precious saying, ‘I’m the artist, it’s not up to me to advocate my work.’ Really? If we don’t believe in it and strive to support it to find its home, then how can we expect others to?
Which brings me to number three: Enjoy the ride. When interviewed about his life view, actor Barry Humphries said, ‘I’m just looking forward to the next wonderful thing to happen.’ These words of hope have sustained me through many difficult periods in my life. Through applying our talent, big or small, we can learn, grow and move forward with greater strength, personal power and enjoyment.