Sometimes wisdom smacks you in the face.

And sometimes, it smacks me in the face when I least expect it.

It was not a dark and stormy night, but a Friday night (in which I normally slip into my fleece pajama bottoms and give in to the guilty pleasure of watching Ghost Whisperer or catching up on crits.) I lugged a crock of meatballs, along with two budding scouts, to the annual Blue and Gold Cubscout banquet (food, awards, fellowship, you get it, right?).

I socialized like a good parent. I laughed. I tried to fit all the different potluck foods on my plate with not much success. I tried to ignore the sound of fifty or something odd boys blowing into party horns that were favors to celebrate the 100th year of scouting. I clapped at the awards. I got teary eyed watching the pack leader as his son become an official boyscout. 

And then I listened to the guest speaker.

Captain Don Wright. He talked about  reaching his dreams and the hard work it took to get there. The pinnacle of his career? He was given the select honor of flying the high-altitude reconnaissance airplane, the U-2 over enemy territory.

Pretty cool, huh? I thought so too.

I always feel an awe when I meet people that lived through the depression and WWII. Because all I did was read about in a history book. They lived it.

Captain Don Wright was an engaging speaker. And he ended his speech with such obvious words of wisdom. He said,

“The higher you want to go with your career, the more competitive it gets, and the harder you have to work for it.”

And this where you all nod your head and think, so true, so true. He claimed to be a regular guy. A regular guy, who knew what he wanted and went after it. So, be inspired. He self-published his story in LIFE IS A PIECE OF CAKE. A book I might have to stroll down to our local Indie book store and take a look at.

I ended my night. I waved gaily and pulled my kids out during that narrow window at social events to leave right before my kids scatter. And honestly, the party horns were driving me crazy.

Has wisdom smacked you in the face lately? Pass it on.

20 Responses to Sometimes wisdom smacks you in the face.

  1. kasie west March 24, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    I love inspirational stories. They always motivate me to work that much harder. Thanks for my inspiration for the day. 🙂

  2. The Alliterative Allomorph March 24, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Hmm … has wisdom smacked me in the face? I haven’t even been standing in a 5 meter radius of wisdom for a very long time. I’m surrounded by a country full of Greek women obsessed with hair and make up. I know there are cultured people out there, but somebody please lead the way! The only wisdom I’ve encountered recently has smacked me in the teeth.

  3. Sara March 24, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Ooo… That is awesome!

    The most recent thing I can think of is sitting in on an agent roundtable over the weekend… Ever agent mentioned how crucial it is to have a critique group!! Which is wisdom I already had and will try to pass on to anyone who writes and who will listen =)

  4. Laura March 24, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Kasie – His point made me realize how hard I really need to work!

    AA – Hopefully wisdom “smacks” you in the face soon and you can share it with us!

    Sara – An agent roundtable would be nice too. And yes, crit groups are necessary!!!!

  5. Jody Hedlund March 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Love that quote!!! It’s SO incredibly true! I just blogged last week about reaching for our dreams. The higher we reach, the more risks we take, the more crashes we’re likely to have. But it’s so worth it!

  6. Laura March 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Jody – I’ve absolutely loved your posts in the past couple weeks. So true! Sometimes we don’t realize that it really is a sacrifice of time and hard work to get where we want to go! I need a big dose of that every day!

  7. Heather Kelly March 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    I don’t have much wisdom to share, but I love yours! And I love it when I get smacked in the face with wisdom. It usually takes a few smacks for the wisdom to sink in…

  8. Laura March 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Heather – me too. I see evidence of hard work everywhere, but it took someone outside of the profession of writing making the comment for it to really sink in for me. 🙂

  9. Kelly Polark March 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    That is awesome!
    I do think positive thinking helps. You have to know you can do it, and go after it.
    And work hard. Very hard!

  10. Karen Lange March 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Great stuff! I try to be on the lookout for that kind of wisdom, but it usually ends up smacking me right in the face. Better than not hitting me at all! 🙂

  11. Catherine A. Winn March 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    “The higher you want to go with your career, the more competitive it gets, and the harder you have to work for it.”

    Great quote! It’s going on my quote board to join the other reminders to keep going no matter how discouraging things get.

  12. Laura March 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Kelly – yes, work hard, very very hard.

    Karen – I think sometimes it’s the best wisdom because we’re not expecting it.

    Catherine – As soon as he said it, everything pulled together – like duh. Now I should be encouraged knowing that it takes more than just hard work to get what I want. It takes my fullest efforts.

  13. Kris March 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Honestly, and this sounds kind of corny, but my biggest inspiration lately has come from reading the blogs of my fellow aspiring authors. There are so many talented and hard working people out there. And, it goes without saying that my own fabulous crit group inspires me on an almost daily basis. Every small success is a huge step forward — for all of us.

  14. Laura March 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    Kris – There’s something very encouraging about knowing we’re not alone in this journey.

  15. sally apokedak March 24, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Great post. I hate going to those functions, too, and I’m usually rewarded when I make myself.

    I’ve never thought about the fact that the competition gets tougher the higher you go. Very interesting. So I guess we settle in and work hard.

  16. MG Higgins March 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Wow, so true. Isn’t it funny how something wonderful can happen–like hearing that speaker–when you’re not expecting it, and in fact would rather be doing something else? A smack, indeed. (No smacks for me lately.)

  17. Laura March 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Sally – I know, that’s why that struck me as so obvious. Not everyone can win a medal, or a contest or hit the best seller list. To get there takes a lot of work.

    MG – I love it when something unexpected like that happens – even though some boys just wanted to know about the most powerful gun ever made and crashing airplanes. 🙂

  18. Jennifer Shirk March 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    Yes! I love to hear stories like that, too. And his quote is so true and inspiring. 🙂

  19. Terry Lynn Johnson March 25, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    thank you for sharing this wisdom! I don’t have much of my own to share. But great story.

  20. Laura March 25, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Jennifer and Terry Lyn – I think some wisdom can only come with time and experience. I hope I can spout quotes like that when I’m older.

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