Strange title, right? Don’t worry, I’ll explain it.
See this picture?
My wonderful NHRWA Chapter President gave me that little tag. It says BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS. I keep it taped on my office bookshelf and look at it every so often as a reminder. Currently, I’m editing 2 books for 2 different publishers and starting to feel a little, shall we say stressed, about things like deadlines and plotholes, so I’ve moved that tag to my laptop ( as you can see in the picture) as a constant reminder of why I must press on despite wanting to play hooky or go watch a Housewives marathon for the day.
And that leads me directly to the Tao of NGUNGI. Remember a few years – okay, several years – back when The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was published?
At the time the literary world praised Hoff’s use of the word Tao, which means: (in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order. At its core, Tao, literally, means The Right Way. In describing Winnie the Pooh’s life as the end all be all of happiness ( and I’m taking a little literary license in describing it this way), Hoff showed the world that it’s okay to simply…be. Be who you are; be what you are. Pooh goes through life with a simple mission: get honey. Everything he says, does, and feels; every friend he makes and interacts with, revolves around that goal. And he is happy. Eternally, internally, fundamentally, happy.
Well, I’ve developed my own Tao over the years and it’s gotten me through some pretty miserable, soul-sucking times and events: the Tao of NGUNGI, which means Never Give Up Never Give In.
Too many times in my 56 years I’ve been faced with decisions that required me to choose between two opposing thoughts or ideals. If I walked one path, my personal happiness would be forfeited; if I chose the other, the happiness and well-being of those around me would suffer. The Tao of NGUNGI has helped me center my decisions by showing me that by never giving up a desire/dream/wish and never giving in to criticism/skepticism/ridicule, I can–ultimately–have everything I want without sacrificing my ideals, desires, principles, or the happiness of others.
Do you know how powerful that makes me feel? And I don’t mean it externally. No, it’s internal power I’m referring to. I have a favorite saying that people who know me get a little tired of hearing, but it’s a reminder of how I keep the TAO in perspective: “Sometimes, you have to draw a line in the sand, and sometimes, you have to cross over it.” The TAO has helped me know when to do which.
So, reading this back I realize it’s getting a tad lofty and out-there-y which wasn’t my intention with this post. No, my true intention was to get you to see that no matter what your dream/heart’s desire/wish in life is for yourself, you should never, ever, EVAH give up on it. Don’t give into the external nay-sayers. Don’t give in to the internal voice that tells you your wishes are pipe dreams that won’t come true. And never give up. Ever. EVAH.
The Tao of NGUNGI.