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3 Important Life Lessons We Can Learn from Writers and Poets

People admire and revere great writers and poets for their remarkable insights on life and the human condition.

But I believe they were not much different from the masses, except for the fact that they were willing to do a few things differently. And this made all the difference in their lives and made them well renowned.

In this post, I’d like to focus on three unique qualities and traits that they possess, that can help us to make our lives more enriching and fulfilling

Have the courage to go against the grain

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost

The masses live their lives ignoring the call of their hearts and by default, thread the conventional path and withhold the unique gifts they can offer to the world.

Of course, following the conventional path may offer a sense of certainty and safety, whereas going in the direction of our heart can be scary and uncertain because there is often no predetermined path to follow.

But ultimately ignoring the call of our heart and walking the conventional path comes with a price as it may never provide us with a sense of deeper fulfilment that may come otherwise.

Something that poets and writers all clearly understand is the need to follow their intuition and move to the beat of its rhythm rather than follow the herd. As writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau stated,

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Approach life with a sense of wonder and curiosity

"If you can let go of passion and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion." - Elizabeth Gilbert

When was the last time you engaged in an activity out of pure curiosity and fascination?

We are all born curious. Curiosity is a trait that is hard-wired within us. Yet it seems as people grow into adulthood, few seem to retain that curiosity.

Writers and poets are a rare breed, who not only manage to retain their child-like curiosity as they age but even manage to make their living by exploring and following its trail.

When we nurture and follow our curiosity, our minds light up, and we feel alive and excited.

Back while I was studying in college I came across a quote by Steve Jobs which went something like “Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.”

Those words struck a chord within me, and since then, I have made a conscious decision to explore my curiosity no matter where it may lead me. And without a measure of doubt, doing this over the past few years has been thoroughly rewarding. It has expanded my mind, filled me with wonder and made me feel alive.

Create time and space for contemplation

“Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.” - George Bernard Shaw

Poets and writers are gifted with extraordinary insights because they are ones who are willing to make time and space for silence and contemplation in their lives.

Deep thinking requires time, patience, effort and ideally a quiet environment away from any distraction or other people.

To slow down and contemplate on our lives is something all of us can benefit from, yet few of us actually take the time to do it.

In an age of fast-paced living and constant stimulation, being busy is seen as a virtue and contemplation and slowing down are not considered important.

If we don’t take the time to reflect, we hold ourselves back by drifting through our lives on autopilot and fail to receive insights and messages from the universe.

I’d like to leave you with a few quotes from writers and poets across the ages that can inspire you, make you ponder and maybe even laugh!

If you're always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.

- Maya Angelou

True contentment is not having everything, but in being satisfied with everything you have. - Oscar Wilde

Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk. - Rumi

If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed. - Mark Twain

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. - Joseph Campbell

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. - Mark Twain

The years teach much which the days never knew - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” - George Bernard Show

Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears. - Rudyard Kipling

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.

- Maya Angelou

The only problem with the last laugh is that the winner has to laugh alone. - Nassim Taleb


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