The Power of the Written Word

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

I remember the day my son found these words (or words quite similar to these) on a piece of paper on my computer desk. I saw his reaction to it as he read the quote and quite immediately wanted to know if I was the author of such wisdom. Wow! I wish!!!

Unfortunately I had to burst his bubble. His Mum wasn’t as wise as he had initially thought. (Actually it took him only a nanosecond to realize that I could never come up with something that clever.) I had found the quote in a book written by Wayne Dyer and he was quoting Michelangelo. For someone’s words to live on more than 500 years after their death is nothing less than phenomenal and, if this is not a testament to the power of the written word then I don’t know what is.

Likely the dream of any writer, aside from publication, would be to have their words still being quoted more than 500 years later. No doubt even Michelangelo would be surprised at how powerful his words were. But I think more importantly than the fact that these words are still being used today is the whole meaning behind the words.

Perhaps Michelangelo was right, perhaps most of us set our aim too low. Perhaps we all need to think about what our aim is, maybe even decide to aim a bit higher. The spoken word can easily be forgotten or misquoted but the written word lives on forever. This quote of Michelangelo’s is one of my favourites. It gives me permission to dream, to reach further, and to smile over the meaning of it all.

What are your thoughts on this?

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  1. You never know what can happen when you dream big!

    Is your book independently published and available on-line?


  2. lauraabest

     /  June 30, 2009

    My book is being published by Nimbus Publishing with a release date in October. And Yes, it is available at Chapters on-line.


  3. Lynn

     /  December 23, 2009

    This quote speaks volumes to me. Why? Because I dream big but I aim too low. I don’t believe in myself as much as I hope for myself. Does that make sense? I think I can, I think I can … I hope I can … I’ll make an attempt, and quietly in case I fail. Hence, nothing spectacular. I don’t challenge myself enough to grow on.

    Then there are the times I dare to believe, and when it does not happen quickly enough – or at all – I quietly slip away into another mode … another interest … putting my dream on the back burner for another time. Disappointment. Another dream unrealized.

    I recently read this quote: “Pick the future as opposed to the past; focus on opportunity rather than on problems; choose your own direction rather than climb on the bandwagon; and, aim high, aim for something that will make a difference, rather than something that is ‘safe’ and easy to do.”


    • Hi Lynn,

      It is not always easy to keep our dreams within our sight and yes, sometimes we do give up too easily. I’ve been there, felt that feeling of disappointment when something did not happen within the time frame that I gave it. But then I began to realize that it was not up to me to set a time frame and that things would happen when I was ready—- mentally and emotionally. For all those years I wanted so much to have a book published if I am honest with myself I would have to say that I would not have been ready for all the things that goes along with having a book published—-reading for a crowd of nearly 200 at the book launch, doing interviews, attending book signings, meeting and talking with so many new people. The thoughts of those things scared me enormously.

      It seemed that once I was ready, truly ready, then things did begin to manifest. I was able to meet all the other challenges that went along with having a published book without fear or reservations.

      Try not to set your own time frame and always keep your dreams within sight. Yes, they may be somewhere off in the future but don’t let them dissolve into nothingness.

      If you want to be published, Lynn then you need to understand that one day you will. Dream the big dreams and let them warm your heart, feel them inside as if what you want is already here.



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