Does it seem possible that your blog will be a success? I’ve struggled with the enormity of the goal. I’ve learned a few lessons about the impossible and possible from Don Quixote, Michael Hyatt, and Daniel Harkavy.
If Alex Trebek says, “Tilted with windmills,” you’ll say, “Who was Don Quixote?”
And for years, even though I majored in Spanish, spent time in Spain, and teach literature, all I knew about Don Quixote involved his crazy fight with windmills. But not anymore. I recently finished listening to all 39 hours of Miguel de Cervantes’ book, translated by Edith Grossman and narrated by George Guidall.
I didn’t expect to learn anything about modern psychology (and blogging) from reading about a crazy old man who attacks windmills. But I did. Because Don Quixote not only chose an identity, but he had someone (not a noble) knight him, and he set off on crazy adventures to right wrongs that didn’t exist.
Throughout the story, the barber and the priest try to rescue Don Quixote and bring him back to his small farm. They want him to resume his life of congenial conversations and study—but give up reading novels of chivalry. His friends firmly believe that books of chivalry have turned Don Quixote’s brain to mush.
At the end of Book One, the barber and the priest use Don Quixote’s belief in the impossible—enchantment—to make his rescue possible. They set the scene of enchantment for him, make the proper suggestions and implications, and convince him he has fallen under the spell of enchanters. They use the enchantment ruse to convince him to enter a cage on the back of an ox cart and journey home.
The Secret to Making the Impossible Seem Possible
Because Don Quixote saw himself as a valiant knight-errant, he spoke and acted like a knight-errant. Despite his often bumbling, misguided actions, his speech and manners clearly mark him as different from those around him. When his sidekick, Sancho Panza, sees a barber’s basin, Don Quixote sees the enchanted helmet of Mambrino.
At other times, Don Quixote confuses everyone with the intelligence and sagacity of his observations. No one understands how an insane man could possibly have wise conversations. They don’t understand the power of the mind to turn the impossible into the possible.
In their book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy suggest writing aspirational statements as if they are already a reality (p 90-91). Saying, “I want to be a successful blogger,” leaves you stumbling around in the dark with more questions than answers.
But envisioning the future as the present, or the seemingly impossible as the possible, helps us chart a course towards the positive future. Envision the possible this way: “I write and publish to my blog on a regular basis and the words I write inspire people to take better care of themselves. I regularly guest post on other people’s blogs and my blog traffic doubles each year.”
By writing in the present (instead of the ‘I want to be…’), we help ourselves narrow and define our focus. We can then look at our vision and determine what changes we need to make or actions to start in order to make that vision true.
Don’t Be Like Don Quixote
Don Quixote had it all wrong when he set out as a knight-errant. He had head knowledge from reading hundreds of books about knights-errant, but without a clear vision, he wandered aimlessly wronging rights more often than righting wrongs.
In order to explain his mistakes, he saw them as the works of enchanters. I’ve fallen prey to the Don Quixote way of operation a time or two in my blogging journey. When I set out to blog, I had no real vision and suffered countless disappointments along the way. I blamed my lack of blog growth on stingy readers, bad blog hosting, and unsupportive communities.
Rather than ruminate about the past, I choose to envision the future. By doing so, I can turn the impossible into the possible.Don't waste time in the past, envision the future to make changes possible. #goals #blogger #amwriting Click To Tweet
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the need to experiment with different graphics services in order to improve your blog.