Pogo once said it best: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Sometimes we are, indeed, our worst enemies. It’s easy at times to fall back into the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” that keep us from progressing. Positive thinking seems to equate to forward thinking, which by definition implies that one shouldn’t dwell on the past. I love the line from Tony Blair’s recent speech about leadership: “I have not got a reverse gear.” Adopting a forward-motion-only attitude can only encourage better progress in life.
One of my passions has been books…reading, writing, collecting, selling…doesn’t matter. I started selling used and rare books on the Internet back in 1993, and 4 years ago actually quit my partnership in a writing and design firm to devote full time to this passion. As it turned out, I was allergic to starving, so I had to stop bookselling and go get a, gasp, “J” thing…one of those indentured servitude ventures commonly known as a “job.” But I always felt that I “shoulda” made it work, that I “coulda” done things different, and I “woulda” been happier if I had stuck it out and made it successful. Granted, the most enjoyable aspect of bookselling on the Internet was the ability to converse and sell a book to someone in Ireland while siting in my pajamas with a stocked refrigerator just a short walk away.
As I attempt to quiet my barking dogmas, I’ve come to realize that I shouldn’t give up my passion of life among books, and so I’m going back to bookselling but on a part-time, avocational path this time. While I’m not giving up the job (I may like working in my pajamas, but I’m not crazy), I am following my heart and my path as Carlos Castaneda once said:
> Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but once has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other one will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.
So now, for at least a small corner of my internal dogpound, my dogmas are as happy as yorkies high on yummy treats. The enemy may be us, but when we negotiate the right kind of peace treaty with our internal enemy, all becomes quiet on the front.