It seems to me that it’s obvious what made George Bernard Shaw famous. This Irish playwright was talented – right? One way to think in a new and healthy way is – dare to be wrong with the answer that you think is right.
Well, guess what? I was amazed to find out what he did to get attention so that the world would read his literary work. When Shaw was a new writer on the scene, he wrote an essay, Quintessence of Ibsenism. Shaw was an ardent socialist, and this essay was supporting Henrik Ibsen’s theory on social hypocrisy.
Did Shaw quit, toss the essay in the bottom drawer of his bedroom bureau, and get a job working with his father as a grain merchant? No way!
Do you know what George Bernard Shaw did? He spent all day, every day, stirring up business. He made it his first order of business to travel to bookstores, to general stores, to schools, to reading clubs, and to libraries in London (he’d moved there from Dublin).
When Shaw would arrive at a reading club, bookstore, library etc. he’d pretend he wasn’t himself (as if anyone noticed), and he’d ask everyone the same question, “Do you have a copy of George Bernard Shaw’s essay?” No matter where he went, he got the same answer: “George Bernard Shaw – I’ve never heard of him.” Shaw would respond, “That’s odd that you never heard of this great writer, and you own a bookstore … or you consider yourself a literary scholar?” How’s that for attitude?
Shaw would even return to the same stores, schools, libraries a month later (dressed differently and with glasses on the second time); he’d inquire again. Shaw even took to stopping folks on the street to ask them if they’d heard of this new dynamic author, George Bernard Shaw? Talk about taking total control over your life!
Eventually, single-handedly, he stirred interest in this fellow, George Bernard Shaw. Eventually he became one of the finest writers of his era. He created the demand. Shaw believed there was no circumstance over which he could not take command. Shaw knew he had no immunity over failure, but he did have the power to turn the adversity into an enriching opportunity.
Clearly, reality knocks you down, when you’re trying to soar higher. Reality wants to know if you’re willing to get up and fight for your right to be successful at whatever is important to you. George Bernard Shaw saw what reality was up to, and did something about it when he got knocked down. Do you do something about it, or do you wail out “Poor me!” People who get up and do something new, are people of destiny.
Reality never delivers a knockout blow, unless you allow it to. Failures really are only temporary defeats. Permanent failure is a result of psychic hypnosis – where we react by quitting before we even begin, or we quit after the first try for sure. You declare yourself ‘out’ … not reality.
What’s psychic hypnosis? It is the spell that you are cast under, after hearing 60,000 NO’s from age two to six. And they still keep coming … from birth to death, NO’s come at you. They pose a constant challenge by trying to count you out of the game, and get you to agree, when you are knocked down by reality. You’ve not forgotten those 60,000 NO’s have you?
A new kind of mind comes into existence when you really see the difference between pretending you’re trying to get ahead, and getting ahead! I pretended for years that I wanted to get ahead. When I was younger, I was a great talker, but a lousy ‘actualizer’. I was so good at pretending that I was up to something (when I wasn’t), that I even fooled me!
Student: rob, what did you learn from George Bernard Shaw’s biography?
rob: Shaw taught me that there are two things I must not allow to interfere with my aspirations and aims – OTHER PEOPLE AND HARMFUL THOUGHTS. I also learned that HARMFUL THOUGHTS are the more dangerous of the two.
Seeing through yourself means to know things about yourself that others may not notice. It’s said that no one noticed George Bernard Shaw’s tenacity … but he surely noticed it, didn’t he? I notice about myself that I’m willing to do what I don’t want to do when it is necessary that I do it to succeed. I don’t think most folks notice that about me; because I turn everything into a passionate labor of love, they think I like doing all of it. Nope, I don’t like doing all of it.
- What have you noticed about yourself that others haven’t noticed?
- What can you offer other readers with your personal comment about this blog?
- Can you share a lesson you learned from a temporary defeat?
Thank you & blessings, rob
“Best Comment of the Week”. This weeks best comment comes from Stephanie. The runner up is Alan 007. Thank you both for your honest, heartfelt sharing. See their comments here.
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