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There’s something really amazing about writing.  Do you know what it is?

It’s like giving birth.

Kind of.  (I don’t want to get too deep into the analogy here.)  It’s like creating something, producing something.  It’s taking your thoughts and pushing them out onto the paper (or screen.) 

And sometimes it’s painful.  It doesn’t come out right, or we might be a little ashamed of it.  Why is it always uncomfortable when someone is standing over our shoulder, watching what we are writing?  (Everyone knows the old trick of cupping your hand or holding your arm real close to your pencil when someone walks by or tries to look at what you’re writing.)  Only after you are complete are you ready to show it to someone.  But even then, it’s still a little unnerving because you hope they don’t make fun of it, or criticize it.  It’s your baby.

And most people are sensitive to that with real babies.  They don’t say, “Well that’s an ugly one, what did you create that for?”  (Even though they may be thinking it.)

Everyone realizes that the process of giving birth and bringing a new child into the world is so amazing that it doesn’t matter what it looks like, this mother has done such a tremendous thing, she should be praised and honored.  And what she produced should be loved, protected and handled with the utmost care.

Shouldn’t we treat other things that people create in the same way?

It’s Exhilarating

The other point is that producing something is exhilarating.  Maybe because it’s so painful.  Just like any great accomplishment.  If it takes hard work, it feels good when you’re complete, and you can take pride in what you’ve accomplished.

If it’s easy, there’s no reward.  No pain, no gain.

So I’d like to create more.  I’d like to have more babies – mind babies – getting ideas from my mind out into the world. 

That means writing and making things happen.

What about you?

Everyone should have the experience of building an igloo. 

That’s what I did this weekend.  And let me tell you, it’s not easy.

But I learned many lessons that I think could be applied in other situations.

1.  To get the great feeling of significant accomplishment, you have to do something really difficult.

     Spending 5 hours packing snow, shoveling snow and lifting heavy blocks is not a small task.  And it helps your motivation if you have nowhere else to sleep that night.  Commit to something big, and you’ll feel great when it’s over.

2.  Follow instructions.

     If someone has experience, or knows more than you, and has provided you instructions, it would be wise for you to follow them.  We had specific instructions for building an igloo, including layout size, block sizes, and techniques.  There were others who tried to  build igloos just based on what they thought was a good idea, but in the end, they didn’t turn out so well.

3.  Have faith in those with experience.

     This is similar to # 2 but there were times when the instructions just didn’t seem to make sense.  Only later in the process did we understand the wisdom of the specific instructions.  There were also times when we didn’t think the blocks were very stable and that the whole thing could come crashing down in an instant.  But we had faith, followed the instructions, and the structure turned out very sturdy.

4.  Persist.

     When you’re really tired, and nothing seems to be going right, and you want to quit… don’t.  Don’t give up.  The thrill of success will be so much sweeter when you’ve gone to the edge of defeat.  When one of our key large blocks broke, we thought we were done and had no way to finish, but we kept working it and figured out a way to make it work.  Only pure persistence got us through, because logically, we didn’t seem to have any options.

These probably sound like old fashioned lessons, but that’s why they’re so valuable, they have stood the test of time and apply to almost any situation. 

It took building an igloo for me to understand them at a deeper level.

Destroying our 7' high igloo

Destroying our 7' high igloo