Sharpen your pencil. Your story is ready to be written.

It’s New Year’s Day 2018. The party hats have been put away. The black eyed peas and greens are on the stove. It’s a time of reflection and renewal and celebration.

Celebrating what we’ve achieved to this point and acknowledging all the people who have helped us get there.

It’s moments of reflection as we look back. We remember those who are no longer physically with us and have special places in our hearts. We pause to remember the impact they have had on our hearts and our lives. However, the past isn’t our only thought. We reflect on our future and our dreams.

It’s a renewal of strength and determination. It’s about goals and plans and that drive to be something more than we were the previous year. It’s that force to see a dream become a reality.

It’s with those thoughts in mind I want to share a story I heard at some point along the way. From one writer to another, I hope you think of this each time you pick up your pencil.

The parable of the pencil goes something like this:

There are 5 qualities of a pencil:

•It is able to do great things, but only if it allows itself to be held in someone’s hand.

•It experiences painful sharpening from time to time, but that makes it become a better pencil.

•It can correct any mistakes it might make.

•The most important part of it will always be what’s inside.

• It leaves a mark on every surface it touches. No matter the condition, it must continue to write.

Now think of you as a pencil:

•You are able to do great things, but only by allowing other people to access the many gifts and talents you possess.

•You too experience painful sharpening from time to time. The struggles and problems in life are needed to make us stronger people.

•You have the power to correct mistakes you might make.

•The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

•On every surface, or person you encounter, you leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must do your best. Always remember, you may not know the impact you have or the meaning behind a few words you share can hold.

Write bold words and dream big dreams, not just in 2018 but for each year to come. The page is blank today. Sharpen your pencil and write your new chapter. The book is called opportunity and it’s waiting on you to design the story.

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