For the most part, I have enjoyed this read. It is inspiring and motivates me to reach…but by the end, I grew weary of the grandiose talk and the amazing goals Mr. Strickland was able to accomplish in his life. Some of his experiences ring hollow in my ears. His pursuits seem selfish and, like Erica, I found myself wondering if this man had a family that he left behind on all these dream chasing excursions.
Following a dream is a worthy path, but if I were to suddenly decide I wanted to pursue my commercial pilot’s license (as Mr. Strickland did), some of the dreams of my family members would suffer in that process.
Making the impossible possible seemed even more impossible to me after reading this book. Married with children would have difficulty going to the lengths this gentleman did to make the dream happen.
But I simplify. Mr. Strickland’s story is an amazing one, and he attempts to generalize his success to smaller scale goals in the last chapters as he drives home his philosophy that to have a meaningful life, one must pursue that which evokes passion.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts how Mr. Strickland made the most of his opportunities not only through passion, but by working with others and plain ‘ol perseverance. He mentions something else in the last chapters that contributed to his success.
It’s called “Tell your story”, and it comes from the jazz phrase of the same words, meaning, “…a way of playing that not only displays your virtuosity but also gives the audience a glimpse of your soul.”
Bill Strickland applies “Tell your story” to life. He states, “…the more clearly and convincingly you are able to tell your story, the better your chance of attracting the people who can best help you move your story forward, and in whose own stories you can play a productive part.”
These words reminded me of a similar exhortation:
“…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” (1 Peter 3:15) (see, Nancy? I knew I could work faith in here somewhere!)
Strickland’s advice about “Tell your story” is aptly applied to our testimonies as Christians. In fact, most of what he says about passion, dreaming, and perseverance is Biblical. And so is this little tidbit I found on page 166: “Struggle is part of the equation when you bet your hopes on a passion, but the passion also makes the effort worthwhile.”
Do I feel this way about my faith?
In truth, the answer shames me. Too often my passion takes a back seat to obligation.
Bill Srickland has a lot to say about that.
This book, that did not mention God one time (not that I caught anyway), opens my eyes to a whole new way of viewing faith. Or is it an old one? Perhaps the one that I started out with that has been forgotten under a pile of potluck dinners and Sunday school lessons?
My faith is my dream. I want to pursue it with abandon.
I want to tell His story in a way that “attracts people” and “moves” His story forward. I want my telling to glorify Him and give others a glimpse of my soul that is so in love with Jesus.
Then I truly will be flying in the clouds.
No license necessary.