Our four-year-old daughter sits watching the film version of the wonderful children's novel THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX.

It is there I find my inspiration for today's blog.

As I type this she watches the screen, engrossed and intrigued by the brave little mouse who dared to break away from other mice and follow his own path and destiny.

A Johnathan Livingston Seagull for the younger set. Those of you familiar with that Richard Bach classic about the seagull who forged his own way in a world of conformity know that this is a positive message indeed for our kids.

The story is of a little mouse named Despereaux who misses the one big lesson about being a mouse--you are supposed to be scared of anything and everything. Except maybe a hunk of cheese.

Instead of cowering in fear like every other mouse, Despereaux discovers the magical adventures within the covers of great books. He reads and reads and reads. He figures out that life can be so much more than the mediocre existence his peers and family have accepted as their only lot in life.

There's a great and poignant scene in which one of the elder mice tells Despereaux, and I paraphrase, "There's a whole world of wonderful things to be afraid of once you discover you should be scared of them!"

Think on that for a second!! We are conditioned too often to be AFRAID!! To COWER!! To be FEARFUL of everything. We are told we cannot overcome the obstacles before us. We are told we can't accomplish our dreams because they are too lofty or don't meet the standards or sensibilities of SOMEBODY ELSE.

Why am I blogging so passionately about a children's book about a sword wielding, princess rescuing little mouse?

Because this story is a brilliant allegory of our very own existence!!

What a FANTASTIC moral to this story!! Stories still have morals sometimes!! How WONDERFUL!!

You don't HAVE to live a life of mediocrity and timidity! Even if EVERYONE ELSE around you is!

Life is what you make of it. Always.

Your thoughts become things. Your life today is the sum total of every thought you've ever indulged to this very point in time.

It's true!!

The good thing about all of this...No, the MIRACULOUS thing about all of this is that YOU are in control of your thoughts, even if you can't control so many other things in life.

You can't control whether your neighbor is a nice guy or whether it's going to be bright or dark today in the forecast. You can't control your genetics or whether that package you've been waiting for will come today or tomorrow.

But who cares when you can control your THOUGHTS!!

Throw all that other garbage away as far as I am concerned. You shouldn't trade control of your thoughts for all the gold in the world!

Think about it, if you had all the gold in the world but your thoughts were under someone else's control, what good would it do you??

I love the tale that is the life of a fictitious mouse who has more to teach all of us than most might think at first blush.

Go forth today, my friends, and slay your own dragons.

Whatever shape they may take. However challenging they might be.


Because you can.

In fact, you can do so much more than you ever thought possible.