6 February 2012
Do yourself a favour and read the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. It’s a story about a woods-guide who is tasked with a quest to save the world. He accepts out of a sense of responsibility, but feels wholly inadequate and is convinced he’s the wrong man for the job.
Throughout the story he repeatedly performs unbelievable feats of magic whilst simultaneously refusing to believe that he has magic. After a while the novelty of his modesty wears off and the reader starts thinking, “Get over yourself. You have magic, you are a wizard, deal with it.”
Eventually he accepts that he is a wizard. But then he finds himself using his magic too much, and feels himself becoming a slave to his own powers. In the nick of time he pulls back from the edge and learns to control his urges, realizing that the secret is a combination of confidence and humility.
This is the story of life. We all have three possible plots:
- Lifelong denial of the magic, unhappy life, death.
- Initial denial of the magic, acceptance, overconfidence, explosion, death.
- Initial denial of the magic, acceptance, overconfidence, humility, balance, death.
The secret is to balance confidence (release the magic) and humility (control the magic.)
Both come not from consciously trying to be confident or humble, but being simply aware.