"Decide: are you the kind of person things happen to, or the kind of person who makes things happen?"
--James A. Owen
This last weekend saw me at the LTUE conference and symposium. It has long been one of my favorite conferences for a variety of reasons--not the least of which being that I always hear something there that becomes rooted in my soul.
This year was no exception.
There was a veritable feast of information this year but today, I'm going to focus on just one hour. One moment.
I had the great fortune to hear a life-changing Keynote speech by author and illustrator James A. Owen. (To learn more about him, you can visit his website, his Imaginarium Geographica books site, or his site at Simon & Schuster.) He is a talented man: as an artist, an author, a speaker, a human being.
As I mentioned earlier, there was really only one hour for James' speech so I couldn't possibly condense it into a single blog post. I don't know that I'd even want to try. I gave myself carpel tunnel taking notes. My mind was fully engaged. My heart was deeply, profoundly touched. In that one hour, I learned more about myself and what I wanted for my life than I've learned in probably the last five years.
Lucky for you, you can read all about it in this short book James compiled called, Drawing out the Dragons. And if you want, you can get your own copy HERE.
James says it's "basically the keynote with a few added extras." Which is true and not true. There were things said during his keynote that aren't in the book--things that had powerful significance for me. Maybe someday I'll talk about them. Not today.
But what I want to say is that anyone aspiring to any kind of art--be it music, painting, drawing, writing, dancing, ANYTHING--should read this book. Truly, I think anyone wanting to live a life of choice, of deliberate decisions, a life well lived should read it. Yes. It is that powerful to me.
I've read it. I'll re-read it. I'll encourage my children to read it. I encourage you to read it.
So what's it all about? It's the true-life story of a man who made choices: hard choices, lonely choices, monumental and small choices. And it's the best kept secret about helping other people to make worth-while choices of their own. It is changing the way I live my day-to-day. It is changing the way I view my past and my future. It is something I hope I will always, always remember.
There are a few moments in my life I feel like God pulled back the curtain and gave me a glimpse into what is in store for me, what He envisions for me, what I can make of myself. And during that hour, I had another sneak-peek.
Read it. The worst that will happen is that you'll read a really great story. The best that can happen? Well, that is entirely up to you.
Until next time,