Despite numerous stories extolling the profound rewards of taking time away, it’s an idea that is not being as heartily embraced as it might be. In fact, many people find the thought downright terrifying.

Because the notion of regular sabbaticals throughout our lifetime has been so ignored in recent times, there’s some confusion over what constitutes a true sabbatical. My definition of sabbatical is time away with a purpose. The purpose of such a time is not to abandon your life, but to enrich it.

In the original concept, first defined in the Old Testament book of Hebrews, a sabbatical was to be taken by everyone, every seven years. During this year off, fields were to lie fallow, debts were to be forgiven, relationships were to be repaired and introspection was encouraged.

Over time, of course, the notion disappeared and today many people don’t even observe a weekly Sabbath, much less consider an entire year of restoration.

Whether you’re in a year divisible by seven or not, here are several signs that it is the perfect time to consider a sabbatical of your own:

° You can’t remember the last time you had a new idea you were excited about.

° You’ve reached all of your goals.

° You’ve reached none of your goals.

° Your kids think you’re a nerd and you suspect they’re right.

° You have a nagging suspicion that you’d be really good at something if you only  had time to learn how to do it.

° You get wistful every time a plane flies overhead.

° Nobody ever asks you what’s new.

° A long-term relationship or career has come to an end.

° You’re ready to find a new hometown.

° You’re tired of being an armchair traveler and want to see distant lands for  yourself.

° You feel drawn to donate your time and talents to a humanitarian cause.

° You need time to do research or start a long-term project.

° Your soul is weary.

If you agreed with any of these, it’s time to let go of excuses and get going. As architect Sarah Susanka reminds us, “What I discovered is that when you make the time and the space for what you long to do, everything else shifts to accommodate it. It never works the other way around. If you wait until there’s time to do what you want to do, you’ll be waiting until your eighty-fifth birthday.”

It is not an exaggeration to say that we spend our days moving closer to our dreams—or farther away. Every moment that we invest in our goals brings us closer and every moment we ignore the prompting of our hearts takes us somewhere else.

When people tell me that fear is a huge obstacle, I am quite certain that they have misdiagnosed the problem. Most of the time we are bewitched by self-doubt, not genuine fear (unless a tiger is about to devour us).

Self-doubt can afflict anyone, of course. When this occurs, the healthy approach is to combat it with action rather than remaining inert. The more alternatives you have for dealing with those tenuous times, the more quickly you’ll move through them.

If you quake at the thought of going out on your own and setting up shop, or are nervous about embarking on a new venture, here are six fearbashers that can reroute you back to the road to success.

° Do temporary work. March into a temporary help agency and get signed up for a short term project. When you get an assignment, don’t  think of this primarily as a way to earn money. Use this project to do some homework.

No matter what business you are sent to work in, observe what goes on in a detached and analytical manner.  You’ll quickly discover that all sorts of mistakes and mishaps (even stupid decisions) will be part of every day.

Now notice that despite this lack of perfection, the business manages to stay afloat. Notice that every business has huge margins for error and it doesn’t bring them crashing to their knees.

You can certainly do better than that, can’t you? So get out there and do it.

° Study a successful immigrant entrepreneur. A high percentage of people who come here from other parts of the world start their own businesses. Imagine how much harder that would be in a strange culture where you may not speak the language.

Yet, many of these newcomers have such a strong desire to build something of their own, a desire that they couldn’t fulfill in their homeland, that the obstacles melt in the face of that determination.

We natives often look like wimps next to the hardworking and committed businessowners who have been drawn to this land of opportunity. Let them inspire you.

° Fail on purpose. Young children try new things without thinking of success and failure. As we get older, many of us avoid any situation where we might not be brilliant. As a result, our world shrinks down to a short list of acceptable activities.

This is not the road to self-actualization.

If you are terrified at the thought of failing, make a list all the things you are an utter klutz at doing. Then do something from that list once a week. At the very least, you may entertain your friends when you throw three gutter balls in a row.

At the other end of this temporary humiliation is all the power you’ll gain by surviving a minor failure.

° Develop a big roar. Next time you’re driving alone in your car, pretend you’re the Lion King or Queen. It worked in The Wizard of Oz and it will work for you, too. No kidding.

° Make Nathan Lane your patron saint. In 2000, the wildly talented Lane starred in his own television series which was downright awful. It was so terrible, in fact, that it only ran for a few painful episodes.

Had it been even mildly successful, Lane would have been taping the series instead of wowing audiences in The Producers, a big Broadway hit for which he won the Best Actor Tony in 2001.

If you try something that turns out badly, think of it as your own failed series—and celebrate the end of your contract.

° Imagine your success. I am convinced that most people fail to go after their dreams or leave their comfort zones because they haven’t taken the time to really think about what rewards their ultimate success would bring them. Instead, they console themselves by saying things like, “Well, this job or relationship or apartment isn’t really that bad.”

However, when you are focused on the rewards that will inevitably come, setbacks and disappointments are easier to handle. Often, in truth, what looks like a setback is just a resetting of the course and may, in the long run, make the journey sweeter.

That’s why it’s so important to be willing to defer short-lived gratification in order to have something grander in the future. But first you must envision it and sell yourself on the new and better life you foresee.

In mid-December, my brother, three sisters and I spent a day exploring current exhibits at the Getty Center and Getty Villa in Los Angeles. This is a normal Winter Family Outing.

All of us love museums and after decades of living apart, we’re now in close enough proximity that art outings are easily organized. In fact, there’s another one coming up to LACMA and Norton Simon.

It some ways it’s an astonishment since we didn’t really grow up with much exposure to art. Somehow we each discovered the joy of creativity and came to appreciate those who shared their imaginations with us.

So, of course, I feel sad (and angry) when I hear about art programs being eliminated in schools.

For years, most business schools have ignored the role of art and inspiration, but some of the most successful entrepreneurs have also been passionate patrons of the arts.

One of the memorable stories in Stanley Marcus’ brilliant book, Minding the Store, talks about this very thing. Marcus, whose father, aunt and uncle founded Neiman-Marcus department store in Dallas, shares a piece from Fortune magazine called “Dallas in Wonderland.”

“As for Neiman-Marcus executives, they too live just one idea: The Store. It’s madcap, or inspired, beginning sprang from an enthusiasm—and almost religious enthusiasm— that has never ceased.

“They are exciting business people because in one sense they aren’t business people at all; and they live the store, not by lacking outside interests, but by transferring them all inside.

“Herbert Marcus quotes Plat0 or Flaubert at you, displays a Canaletto in his dining room and dreams of owning a Renoir.

“It isn’t a matter of being 100% on the job, but rather of being dedicated to some austere and lofty mission.”

As Marcus goes on to explain, that lofty mission was to bring beauty to the lives of everyone (not just the wealthy) living in that dusty cow town.

Inc. magazine founder Bernie Goldhirsh frequently reminded his writers that entrepreneurs are artists and business is their canvas. Exposing yourself to the art of others can be one of the best things you do for your business.

So go visit a musuem this month. Browse in a local art gallery. Or, if you’re feeling really frisky, pick up a paint brush yourself.

Your business will love it if you act like an artist.


Want to spread some entrepreneurial spirit in Texas? Then join me for my upcoming Joyfully Jobless Weekends. I’ll be in Dallas on January 18 & 19, then Houston in February 15 & 16. Y’all come.

Take a look. Apparently Gaping Void and I are on the same wave length today. More Art = More Inspiration

A couple of years ago, I was teaching Making a Living Without a Job at UNLV. Although it wasn’t going to be a large class, I always have a sense of anticipation on seminar days and this was no exception.

After I had finished the first part of the program, I asked if there were any questions or comments. A woman raised her hand and asked a good question which I did my best to answer.

I noticed a man named Rich on the other side of the room suddenly sitting up straighter. As soon as I’d handled the first question, his hand went up.

“I’ve been listening to what you’ve had to say,” he said and paused. I thought a disagreement was coming.

I was wrong. “And I’m happy to learn than I’m doing a lot of things right, “ he said.

Without any prompting, he went on to share his story. “I did everything possible to keep from losing my job,” he said. “I took a pay cut, I worked longer hours, I hung on for dear life. A few months ago, I was laid off anyway. When I left, my employer said they hoped to hire me back as soon as possible and wanted me to leave my office just as it was with my wife’s picture and other personal things. I agreed.”

Then he went on to tell us that he’d spent a couple of weeks licking his wounds and then decided it was time for a new plan. This new plan included starting a service business as a handyman and junk remover.

Rich told us a bit about his what his days are like now. “My wife says,” he laughed, “that she’s never seen me so relaxed and happy.”

The longer he talked the more enthusiastic he became. “Last week,” he went on, “I decided to go back and visit my old employer. I’ve only been gone a few months, but everyone looked like they’d aged two years. I looked at my old office and thought, ‘I’m never coming back.’”

As often as I hear stories like Rich’s, I never fail to be moved by them.

Discovering our right livelihood is often a turning point, after all, one that introduces us to more joy, more adventure, and more extraordinary people than we ever realized was possible.

When he finished his story, I said, “So do you know what the number one regret is of people who become self-employed?”

Without hesitation Rich said, “That they didn’t start sooner.”

He is absolutely right. That’s a regret that can be avoided, of course, but only if you go after your dreams sooner.

Psychologist Alfred Adler concurs. “There is only one danger I find in life,” warned Adler, “you may  take too many precautions.”

We have Charles Handy to thank for popularizing the idea of the portfolio career.

It was a concept Handy first adopted in his own life. He explains, “I created what I call ‘a portfolio life’, setting aside 100 days a year for making money, 100 days for writing, 50 days for what I consider good works, and 100 days for spending time with my wife.

“I mark these days out in my diary. When people phone and ask me to do something, I can then say, ‘I’m terribly sorry, that’s my day  with my wife’.

“It is a freeing way of life. A 100 days a year for me is enough for making money, there is no point in making more; and I find I do as much work in 100 days as I used to in a year.”

Of course, you know that I’m a big advocate of this approach. The single lifetime career is over. Thank goodness.

Your portfolio is as unique as your fingerprint. No two are ever exactly alike. Here are some things to keep in mind.

° Give new ideas a fighting chance.  Few of us know what our best ideas will ultimately be. A smart entrepreneur starts quickly, abandons slowly.

I like Phil Laut’s suggestion that you make a commitment to stick with each new project until it has earned at least $100. (There’s that magic number again.) Then evaluate whether or not to continue.

° Assemble different sizes. In my Making a Living Without a Job seminars I talk about the Mall Model.  Anyone who’s visited a large shopping mall knows that the popular building format has been one that includes a large anchor store on each corner with smaller shops of varying sizes in between.

Your portfolio can mirror that notion with several major income sources and a variety of smaller ones. Not only does this approach expand your skills, it also is a proven way to eliminate boredom.

Bonus idea: create your own Mall Model Vision Map and hang it in your world headquarters. Keep filling up the spaces between your anchor clients with as many smaller incomes sources as you can handle.

° Keep challenging your imagination. Alice Barry introduced me to a fun website that had my mind racing as I thought of new possibilities.  In fact, I’ve come to think of it as a gym for your entrepreneurial spirit.

If you haven’t participated, I urge you to check out, a site that bills itself as  the place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5. Pay Fiverr a visit and challenge yourself to create a $5 offer. Warning: this is also the perfect place to do a bit of impulse shopping.

° Trap ideas as they arrive. “I’ll never forget that idea is the Devil’s whisper,” warned Richard Bach. I suspect you’ve heard the whisper, as have I.

One of the easiest ways to avoid losing a good idea is to have a physical place to store them as they come. It could be a box that holds articles and lists of interesting possibilities or a computer file.

Building an inventory of options not only makes financial sense, it also gives you a place to search on the mornings you get up and aren’t sure how you want to spend your day.

° Play the Ubiquity Game. While some folks are busy ranting about social media as a big waste of time, others are quietly tweeting and friending their way to bigger and better businesses.

I’ll say it again: we all like to do business with people we know and like. If people don’t know you, they can’t like you.

Show up. Participate. Connect. Get busy building relationships with kindred spirits near and far.

Challenge yourself to find new and different ways to get the word out about who you are and what you have to offer.

° Pay attention to yearly cycles. Some of your profit centers will operate all year long, but others will have a season when they’re most robust. Figuring out those cycles makes planning your time more effective.

For example, I discovered that adult ed classes did really well in southern cities in July and August, but slowed to a crawl in places like Minnesota where summertime was devoted to outdoor activities. Once I saw the pattern, I scheduled my seminars to take advantage of those cycles.

° Take inventory regularly.  Review your offerings and eliminate those you’ve out-grown or become bored with to create space for new ideas.

After all, running a portfolio business is about creating something that reflects who you are now—not who you were then. And remember this bit of advice from Charles Handy:  “If somebody asks what you do, and you can reply in one sentence, you’re a failure. You should need half an hour.”

Dragons have been everywhere the past few days as the countdown began to the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Why all the commotion?

A bit of investigation revealed that there’s much to be excited about when the Dragon Year rolls around.

I was particularly intrigued by the bit of the forecast which proclaimed that Dragon Years are lucky for anyone thinking of starting a business or initiating a new project of any sort.

When I named my Saturday project Restore Order, I didn’t realize that I was participating in the Chinese ritual of cleaning to welcome the Lunar New Year.

Then I read an article on Sunday about making preparations. I was delighted to see that my Saturday frenzy had included many of the suggestions.

Sweeping the front entrance, I read, was especially important if I wanted to welcome good fortune this year.

What other rituals could enhance health, wealth and happiness?

I decided to revisit an article I’d written several years ago for Winning Ways newsletter after my friend Jill introduced me to the principles of feng shui. After she bought a new house she also bought a book on feng shui and  said, “I want good energy in this place.”

I began investigating for myself and learned that feng shui masters were concerned with more than where to place one’s bed. They had, in fact, developed a list of principles for improving business.

For instance, to get the new year off to a prosperous start, they recommend greeting a new stranger every day for 27 days. I had no idea why that was important, but thought it sounded like fun so I challenged myself to do so.

Then there were  suggestions for enhancing your workspace. You can add good energy to your business with one or several of these suggestions.

° To invite opportunity to knock, fix your front door. Allow no sticking or wobbling door knobs. (I also have a jazzy welcome mat outside of mine.)

° To further your opportunities, unblock doorways and remove stored items from behind doors. (Clutter delays success.)

° To support your vision and commitment, sit at a desk that is spacious, allowing room for the expansion of your ideas.

° To meet this year’s challenges, see in your mind’s eye the faces of five people who can help you. (You could also post their pictures in your office.)

° To call forth a clear vision, hang a brass chime just inside your office door.

° To think creatively, hang a mirror to the right and to the left of your desk.

° To cultivate good luck, place fresh flowers in your office. (I’m thinking that I’ll gather some of the lovely pear blossoms blooming on the trees outside my office window.)

° Place your desk facing the door with your back to a sold wall rather than a window.

Most importantly, make your workspace a place where you love to be, filled with images that make your heart sing, that remind you of your dreams.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Like other quarterly tax payers, I recently sent in my final contribution for 2011. I put a Love Stamp on the envelope.

That never would have happened in the past. I would have fussed and fretted and grudgingly written out my check.

Although I grew up with constant messages to be thankful and appreciative, those feelings were not familiar friends. Most of the time, I’d compare myself to others and I always came up short.

My classmates were more talented, more attractive, more intelligent. Other people had houses and cars that were far cooler than anything I owned.

The only time I came close to being thankful was when I’d hear a story of tragedy or misfortune. Whew, I’d think, at least I’m not a starving orphan in Africa. Whew, the tornado missed our town.

Stuff like that.

During an especially dark and difficult period of my life, I was horrified to discover some dreadful personal behavior. When my teenaged daughter would arrive home from school, I would begin to list all the mishaps that had occurred during her absence.

Then one day, I heard myself. I felt remorseful and was determined to change.

I came up with a plan. “Let’s make a pact to tell each other three great things that happened during the day as soon as you get home.”

That sounds like such a simple thing, but what happened next was nothing short of miraculous. For starters, I had to pay attention.

But that wasn’t the biggest change. Suddenly, I found myself purposely making sure that I had good things to report.

My focus shifted and before I knew it, good things were happening that I hadn’t consciously instigated myself.

That was only the beginning. I discovered that when I tapped into genuine gratitude, I began to uncover resources that had been hiding in plain sight.

This was heady stuff. For the first time in memory, I began to love my life. I stopped comparing myself to other people.

Gratitude knocked self-pity off its pedestal.

Eventually, I began keeping a Gratitude Journal. That had a surprising gift for me as well. Not only was I consistently reviewing my days and noting the things for which I was thankful, I was creating a resource to stop me when I was tempted to backslide.

On a day when I was feeling less than confident, I’d grab my journal and see page after page of all the blessings that had already shown up in my life.

It gave me my perspective back.

Many people who’ve turned their lives around report that change didn’t happen until they’d hit rock bottom. Emotional pain was the motivater for change.

You could test that for yourself, I suppose. Or you could experiment with practising genuine gratitude right here and now.

Writer Gustave Flaubert said, “The greatest goal in life is the not the attainment of fame. The principle thing in this world is to keep one’s soul aloft.”

Gratitude is the propellant for blasting your spirit into higher realms.

Show your appreciation. Start your own Gratitude Journal. Don’t overlook an opportunity to thank someone.

It’s impossible, after all, to stay grumpy where there’s so much to celebrate.

Steve Merritt grew up in Iowa dreaming of a life of social activism. When he told his high school counselor that he wanted to find a solution to world hunger, the counselor scoffed and said he needed a more practical career plan.

Following that advice, he ended up in the cable television industry earning lots of money and little personal satisfaction.

Eventually Merritt turned his growing discontent into a life-changing event and today he happily heads up a community garden project in California.

Merritt’s story is a great reminder of the dangers of well-meaning advice.

Here are some things to consider when receiving advice so you can sort the wheat from the chaff.

Rule #1: Consider the Source

The most important thing about receiving advice is that you know your source and trust them. I was once reading a newsletter written by a woman I have watched build a lovely business.

One of the articles really struck me as special and I e-mailed her suggesting that she send it to some other publications. (Okay, I confess that violates my own policy of giving unsolicited advice.)

She wrote back saying that she had thought about submitting some of her newsletter material to other markets, but someone had told her that she couldn’t do that since it was already published.

I was flabbergasted. Who would have given her that erroneous advice?

If it was a professional writer giving the advice, they would have known about resubmitting material. If it wasn’t a professional writer who told her this, why would she have listened?

This isn’t an isolated incident. We’ve all probably allowed inaccurate advice to influence us.

Sometimes it happens because the advice-giver sounds authoritative and so we look no further. At other times, maybe out of laziness, we accept negative or discouraging words as an excuse for not giving something a try.

And sometimes we just don’t know if the advice is accurate. (This is a particularly new and thorny problem caused by the Internet where advice is posted but not edited or verified.)

Rule #2 : Get a Second Opinion

While too many opinions or too much advice can serve to confuse us, if you’re exploring unknown territory, some serious research is in order before setting out.

Get advice from people who know what they’re talking about—and then get a back-up opinion or two.

I once got e-mail from a woman who said that all of her life she’d wanted to be a professional caricaturist, but everyone told her she couldn’t make her living doing that.

I asked her if she was getting advice from other caricaturists.

Having numerous opinions from uninformed sources doesn’t make the information accurate. Having several opinions from experienced sources is another matter altogether.

Rule #3: Make the Most of It

When you ask the advice of another person, your initial role is to be a quiet listener or to ask clarifying questions. Whether or not you act upon the advice is a matter for a later time.

When you’re trying to make a decision or need information so you can proceed with a decision you’ve already made, seeking outside input is just part of the information-gathering process. Sifting comes after you’ve got all the information collected.

When you are the recipient of advice, whether you use it or not, don’t forget to say thank you. I mention that only because I’m stunned by the number of people who don’t bother with this courtesy.

The world is full of teachers, experts and amateur advisors—with varying qualifications. Jess Lair once said, “When I’m working on my life, I want the very best teachers I can find.”

Finding the right ones to help you learn what you need to know so you can move forward in your own life is not to be taken lightly. The experience of others can save us time, add deeper insights, prevent us from making costly mistakes.

Ask those who can help, not hinder, your success.





After a career in the insurance industry, Dave left to start his own business. Unfortunately, he chose an enterprise that seemed to be financially promising, but didn’t really come from his heart.

After two years, the business folded—and Dave was ready to pay attention to the dream that had nagged him for years.

What really excited him was the idea of doing seminars and speeches. In fact, he recalls, he spent years going to see every speaker he could.

“I’m not sure I ever heard much of what they said,” he confesses, “because I was always so busy watching how they delivered their message—and I kept wishing it was me on the stage.”

As Dave discovered, we may find our dream by paying attention to someone who is living theirs.

I’ve been doing housework for as long as I can remember. As the oldest of five children, I was handed a mop early on.

While I would never pretend to love cleaning house, I do love the outcome so I do my best to focus on the results I’m going for on housecleaning days.

My daughter, on the other hand, decided it makes more sense to turn housecleaning chores over to professionals. On a visit to her home, I watched in amazement as the cleaners came through her house and had it sparkling in no time.

What really grabbed me was that these professionals approached it in a completely different—and far more efficient—way than I had ever done.

I paid as much attention as I could without interfering with their work and I’ve adopted  many of their methods.

Everyday millions of people get up to do their work. A handful of  them will do it with excellence, joy and delight. Whether they’re fixing a leaky faucet or performing a concerto, when you see such a person, pay diligent attention.

Open your heart and mind to fully appreciate their performance. You don’t even have to analyze what they’re doing or how they do it.

You may, however, silently affirm that you want to deliver your goods and services with as much passion as you see them doing. By noticing and appreciating excellence in others, you expand your own capacity to produce it.

The January 16, 2006 issue of Time magazine had a special section on How to Sharpen Your Mind. One of the articles in this section was a profile of financial guru Suze Orman who has built an information empire as an author, columnist, speaker and TV personality.

So she must be a multi-tasker to accomplish all this, correct?

Not at all. Orman is a master at focusing on one thing at a time. “I came to this conclusion after watching the way racehorses win,” she says. “They come out of the gate with blinders on and go for the finish line.”

Orman does the same. “I don’t care what my competition is doing, I don’t care how their books are selling. All I care about is what I do, and I do absolutely nothing else while I am doing it.”

The reason why we fail to see much of the excellence around us or fail to focus like Suze Orman does is that we live in a world that’s loaded with distractions. Cellphones ring,, sirens blare, traffic and airport noise increases every year, and our attention is diverted without our even noticing.

While we may not be able to eliminate every distraction, we can practice paying closer attention to the things that inspire or inform or teach us—and lower the volume on distracting things.

Do so and you’ll be enhancing your capacity to focus.

The rewards are great as Danny Gregory points out  The Creative License. He writes, “The world is always full of  opportunity, of possibilities, of stimuli, of pots of gold.

“When you finally start to look around, to see clearly, to live in the now and dump your baggage, you can’t help but notice. When you notice the world, you notice it noticing you.

“You hear lyrics to songs you used to fast-forward through. You read poems carved in monuments. You open your fortune cookies. Small wonder the world suddenly seems to be flowing your way. It always did but perhaps you were too busy paddling upstream to notice.”


Blogs and ezines have been filled with messages urging us to get those goals and plans set for the new year. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.

Not only is goal-setting a popular tool for gaining focus and clarity, it’s also a fine time management tool.

Far fewer writers have been recommending that we incorporate serendipity into our plans. That’s not surprising since the popular definition of this word suggests that it means a happy accident, something unexpected.

That seems contrary to the Get Focused on Concrete Goals advice.

However, as I learned from Marcus Bach’s The World of Serendipity, there’s more to it than that. As Bach points out, the word originated with a story by Hugh Walpole written in 1754 and called The Princes of Serendip.

This tale featured three young noblemen who traveled the world, rarely finding the treasures they were looking for. Nevertheless, they continually ran into other treasures equally great or even greater which they were not seeking.

In looking for one thing, they found something else. “Even though their goals eluded them,” writes Bach, “they were more than rewarded with their wayside discoveries.”

What Walpole was writing about goes well beyond the occasional happy surprises. The key to having regular experiences of serendipity does not occur if we’re sitting on our sofa wishing something exciting—a windfall, a new opportunity, perhaps—would drop into our laps.

Serendipity happens when we’re on our way to a dream, actively engaged in doing what we can to bring it to life. Along the way, we may discover something bigger and better comes to us, something that more than compensates for our failure to reach the original goal.

Marcus Bach shares how serendipity has played a role in his writing career. He says that  he always sends out a new manuscript with high expectations.

“But every once in a while a manuscript comes back. It is then that my faith in serendipity comes in. I affirm that though I did not reach the initial goal, there will be a wayside goal just as good, or better, waiting for me.

“In some twenty-five years of writing, every manuscript of mine that was rejected eventually turned out advantageously for me. Either I improved it, profited from the rejection, placed it elsewhere, adapted it for radio or television.

“I can only conclude that if things work this way with manuscripts, they work this way with life if we are sincerely serendipitous and hold to great expectations.”

So by all means keep designing new quests and see where they lead, but stay alert to all the unexpected rewards of the journey.

Justice Cardozo concurs. “Like many of the finest things in life, like happiness and tranquility and fame, the gain that is most precious is not the thing sought, but one that comes of itself in the search for something else.”

Sounds like a paradox, I know, but that just adds to the fun.

Have you noticed?