When You Must


I came across an incredibly inspiring quote today by the poet and writer Rainer Rilke (well actually two  quotes if you include the one in my image).

Although it applies to writers, and people who desire to write, I think that you can substitute the word “write” out for any endeavour, goal or desire.

To me it presents a powerful self-assessment for whether we have the tenacity and internal drive to see through the things that we desire.

If you aren’t a writer, then as you read the quote below simply substitute the word “write” for whatever it is that you desire in your life, that big goal, big dream, hard achievement, anything that you would love to undertake and complete.

Then answer the embedded question contained in the quote:

There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself.  Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all; ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer: And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity.  (Rainer Rilke) 

For me, writing has become a must.  I have other musts as well.  I must create.  I must build.  I must contribute.  What is a must for you?

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