Yesterday I found out that The Promise of a Pencil will be spending its second week on the New York Times Bestseller list. It debuted at #2 last week and within five days completely sold out all of Amazon and BN.com’s stock nationwide.
This week it’s at #8, joining a list of authors in the Top 10 that includes Arianna Huffington, President Jimmy Carter, Malcolm Gladwell, Bill O’Reilly, Chelsea Handler and Sheryl Sandberg. Just writing that sentence makes me recognize how surreal things have become in the past two weeks.
Each day since the book launched I’ve been reading emails and tweets from people’s reactions and favorite chapters, for which I’m grateful beyond words. But in the midst of the madness, I decided last night to pause to write about something that I’ve been thinking about for a while.
There are several books that have changed my life, but my favorite book of all time is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. There’s one phrase in particular that has always stood out for me personally…
“A good man is as strong as the right woman needs him to be.” (click to Tweet this).
I never had the courage to write a book until I met my fiancé, Tehillah. It was only in finding that she loved me for exactly the person I am, and that she celebrated the qualities I most aspired to embody, that I felt the first urge to move forward with my lifelong dream of writing a book. The entire manuscript was written while the two of us traveled together, carrying only a backpack each for three months last year through South Africa, Europe and SE Asia. Her influence on my writing was immense, as her feedback helped me refine the chapters I’d craft on my laptop most mornings and evenings while typing by her side.
Over the past year she has listened to nearly every sentence of the book as it was drafted, reviewed and agonizingly finalized. She soothed my nerves in the months leading up to the launch, and gave me confidence that even if it failed to change one life, it was a pursuit worth chasing. While many attribute their successes to standing on the shoulders of giants, this book succeeded because I held the hand of an angel from the start to the finish.
Too often the importance of a great partner is lost on us. We celebrate the individual, but forget to acknowledge the foundation from which they draw their strength. It is the love of another, whether it’s your mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, grandparent, son, daughter, coach, mentor or friend, that has helped each of us get to our current place in life.
So I hope you take a brief moment to acknowledge that person today. Honor the sanctity of their presence in your life. Call them to say, “I love you, thank you for always being there.” Write a handwritten letter explaining how much they mean to you. And most importantly, let them know how much you appreciate the strength they give you to become the person you’re meant to be.
I’ll be doing the same…