It took a stretch of my imagination back in 2014 when I started writing my book to understand what it would feel like when I had boxes of the printed books in my office, the first sales recorded and the first payments in my bank account.
I was committed to getting the book finished, knew with all my heart that I would. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to hold the finished book in my hand. The imagination was good, but the reality is better. Much better.
The project took some unexpected turns. There were delays. The finished book is not the book I first wrote. It is an adaptation of parts of the first book presented in a different genre.
The first book is a new project, still to be edited, perhaps split into two books. It will take most of the rest of this year to finish. I will finish it. It is easier to imagine the second book completed now that the first is a reality.
In the last week, I have given two speeches to two different audiences. I have sold copies of the book at both. Sales have also come from my on-line store and locally.
Feedback from the speeches and book buyers has been interesting.
Most people who hear or read about my experiences in Africa have no perception of what my life there was like. Their imagination does not stretch to my reality.
It’s only those North Americans and Europeans who have lived in third world countries or served with the military in conflict zones who have some understanding.
Visiting exotic places for short periods as a tourist shielded from the uglier side of local life does not prepare you for the reality.
The most frequent question I get asked is: “How did you survive those terrible experiences?” Followed by “I would not have been able to survive that”.
My answers are explained at length in the book.
The short answer is ” We just did and most people would too if they had to.”
The bottom line for us and for everyone facing adversity is that we have two choices; surrender, remain a victim and wallow in misery, perhaps give up totally and die.
Or survive, accept the reality of the situation and do the absolute best we can to overcome the challenges and move on. It might be in a different direction, a different career or business, with a different partner or even in a different country.
We might lose everything we though important in the process. That teaches us that things are not important, life and hope are.
As long as we are breathing, we can choose to make the most of it, survive and thrive.
We can choose to use our imagination to see a better future not a frightening one.
I have been fortunate to have lived on farms or large properties in low density suburbs for most of my life. The prospect of living in an apartment or small property in a large city makes me nervous. The thought of having to use subways, trains and buses on a daily basis is frightening.
That’s my perception but it’s the reality for millions who would find living in a rural area as I do, beyond their imagination.
We all have our own perceptions and realities, we need to use our imagination wisely to know the difference.
What do you think, leave a comment.
Imagine graphic courtesy Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net