‘A lot of people approach risk as if it`s the enemy when it`s really fortune`s accomplice.”–Sting

“You have to stop long enough to hear the whisper you might have drowned out, that small voice compelling you toward the kind of work you’d be willing to do even if you weren’t paid. Once you tune out the noise of your life and hear that call, you face the biggest challenge of all: to find the courage to seek out your big dream, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks.”—Oprah

Yesterday, I wrote about following your dreams. So naturally, stories about tagging along with your dreams began flooding in.

My favorite is from Sting who said in a TED talk that when he was given an old, out-of-tune guitar with rusty strings, he felt as if he’d been given a friend for life, an accomplice to help him get out of Wallsend, England, where he grew up.

He was eight at the time and he’d already decided that he didn’t want to build ships like the thousands of men who walked by his house on their way to the shipyard every morning. It was a hard life, he noticed, noisy, dangerous, with toxic work conditions.

Although his dad was a milkman, his grandfather had been a shipwright and, as a child, he wondered with anxiety whether that was to be his destiny. There weren’t many other jobs in this little town on the northeast coast of England.

“But once I was bequeathed that battered old guitar, I quickly realized I’d found a co-conspirator to help me escape from this industrial landscape,” he said.

“My dream was to leave this town just like those ships that never came back once they were launched. I wanted to be a writer of songs, to sing those songs to vast numbers of people all over the world and to be paid extravagant amounts of money.”

The dream started one day when the Queen Mother came to his town to break a bottle of champagne on the bow of one of the ships. His mother forced him and his brother and sisters to dress up in their Sunday finest as the motorcade passed in front of their tiny home in the shadow of the shipyard.

“It wasn’t that long ago that the Royal Family were thought to have magical powers. People held up their sick children, hoping to touch the hem of the king, hoping for a cure,” Sting said. “It wasn’t like that in my day, but it was still really exciting when Queen Ann or one of the Royals came to give a speech.

‘I was standing there waving my little Union Jack and there in a big, black Rolls Royce was the Queen Mother. She seemed to acknowledge me. She looked me in the eye. I smiled. She smiled. We had a moment.

“I wasn’t cured of anything. It was the opposite actually. I was infected with an idea. I realized I didn’t belong in the street. I didn’t want to work in the shipyard. I wanted to be in that car. I wanted a bigger life. A life out of the ordinary.”

And that’s how it begins. When we take the time to listen.

Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the soon-to-be-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.

6 Responses

  1. I don’t know if these messages are read or if they go to the ether. I know you make a big difference in people’s lives. You have in mine.

    Today I woke up with my usual frustration of what the hell am I going to be when I grow up. I am a 55 year old woman, happily married and have a happy 16 year old son. I took my books, pad and pen outside and started writing and did not stop for two hours. The first thing I wrote was I wish I was a cool chick like Pam Grout. How does she do what she does? I want to be like her! And then most amazing, wonderful thing happened. I started writing and could not stop. It was glorious! I was being pinged all over the place.

    I came in for a drink and read your post! Good Lord Almighty I received the mother of pings! I have been a fraidy cat all my life, believing in the weirdest and so not true BS, living small, thinking small. Well, sister, no more. I have written myself a new line, a new story and I am off for one peaceful, loving adventure.

    Many thanks to you.

    Kathee Dowis

    1. Hi Kathee,

      I love reading these comments, although when I’m traveling, I don’t always get to them quite as quickly.

      I’m so very grateful for every person who has shared their thoughts. And I have to laugh at anyone who wishes they could be a cool chick like me. Believe me, I’m not always so cool.

      But thanks for the thought. And especially thanks for writing today for TWO HOURS. That’s fabulous.

      Giant blessings,


  2. Just read your last two posts. Such uplifting stories!! Great success has come to those who seemed to be unlikely to achieve it, but who knew they could create their own reality.

  3. Love this. Reminds me of when my mother insisted I take typing in high school (on electric typewriters). I told her I didn’t want to be a secretary, I wanted to have one (but I took the class anyway- and now I can touch type). My last job before becoming a mother was ship’s second officer/ navigator, of a 700′ cargo ship.

  4. Hey Pam and Kathee Dowis,

    Yes, Kathee–I read the comments to Pam’s blogs…and I “talk to her” everyday, LOL! Sincerely, When I pray, I’m seeing Pam as Mother/Father God’s “right-hand (wo)man”! Right there, hearing me and helping me to stake my claims for living LARGE…healthy, happy, harmoniously, helping others along the way.

    Pam has made a big difference in my life, too– she’s helped me re-dis-cover what I know to be true! And I am loving life more than ever before, tho I know there are peeps that say, Impossible” as I am naturally a pretty positive gal.

    Thanks, Pam–and Kathee, who inspired me to respond this beautiful Sunday Summer morning from the Beautiful Jersey Shore!

    😉 with Joy–and always, Love….

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