Do you carry around little stories, phrases, life sayings that are good reminders for keeping a good perspective? I was cleaning out a drawer, with Tai Chi forms and principles that I’ve developed for class. In that drawer, I re-discovered a piece that I’ve been referring to for at least 30 years. It’s so good for the start of a new year, so I want to share it with you. I don’t have a date but I do have the author, Wanda Cavanaugh, at Tandem Computers when she wrote it:
“When I hear the line ‘Oz never did give nothing to the Tinman that he didn’t already have,’ I think about what I learned from the childhood classic. It’s been stated in a dozen different ways, but the main point is that the person with the ability to change and control our lives is ourselves.
Be it problem solving or happiness, we often don’t know where to look or how to find what we want unless some outside event or person enlightens us. It may be a friend asking ‘why’, overhearing a chance remark, reading an article or anything else that starts our minds thinking along new lines and removes the barriers that have kept us from seeing these possibilities before, but usually it comes from the outside.
If I were to give advice to someone looking for a new career, a new idea, a new plan for something, a new hobby, I would say three things:
- The answer is in you
- Look for the thing that will help you discover it
- Be ready for it
Like the Tinman and Dorothy, we won’t get anything we didn’t have the ability to get before. Like the Tinman and Dorothy, we may not have recognized these possibilities in ourselves. Diplomas and red slippers are marvelous devices for giving us the courage to try things we might fear to try. Even intangible things can help such as a pat on the back, a passing comment, allowing your mind to wander, or a deadline that makes you charge a little harder. The real key is to be like the characters from Oz, to be ready to receive.
Life is like a trip through Oz where you must let yourself hear and accept the ideas as they come to you or you will never get a heart, a trip to Kansas or Oz, a brain, or whatever it is you’re looking for.”